Let Them Eat (Wedding) Cake
By JENNIFER THOMPSON
Facchianos Bridal & Formal Attire
GRAND PRIZE: Rebecca Sutterby of Kansas won last year’s Grand Prize with this beautiful and delicious cake at the 2008 Sugar Art Show at the Tulsa State Fair.
Wedding cakes are often the centerpiece of the wedding reception and the finale to any great wedding. No more is the traditional round-tiered white cake with butter cream frosting. Often the cake is designed with the overall wedding theme or a design that captures the personality of the bride and groom. For instance, having a wedding in the fall might inspire a flurry of fall leaves upon the cake, as well as a decadent carrot or spice cake inside.
Cakes have turned into pieces of art with the introduction of fondant, edible paints, and molded chocolate, which have enabled cakes to take any shape and style. Just watch the food network and see cakes that are far outreaching one’s imagination. Other ways to personalize cakes is to print off a picture of the couple on edible paper and have it adhered to the cake, or get “wedding cake jewelry” for the top of the cake. Facchianos Bridal and Formal Attire has an array of monogrammed cake toppers to make your cake beautiful and personal. Some brides may bring a swatch of lace from their gown to the bakery and it can become the design on the cake.
Traditionally the top tier of the cake was to be saved until the first anniversary to be shared by the bride and groom, but over the years I haven’t found a couple yet that tried their cake and ever enjoyed it. Some local bakeries I know of have offered to make the same small tier for couples on the first anniversary to enjoy just like the wedding day. Speaking of small, mini cakes have been popular, either per person or one per table, with a small wedding cake to cut, just to be a little different.
The traditional white cake is usually the cake that is front and center, but in the south it is often accompanied by a groom’s cake much like the armadillo cake in Steel Magnolias. Believe it or not, I have attended a wedding with a bleeding armadillo cake as seen in the movie. It was a red velvet cake, with a tail made of rice krispie treats covered in grey fondant.
The groom’s cake originally was a chocolate cake; most recently it has evolved into whatever the groom is passionate about. Usually the bride will pick the style and surprise the groom with the design on the day of the wedding. It used to be that pieces of the groom’s cake were sent home with the unmarried women to place under their pillow in hopes that the man they dreamt of would eventually become their future husband. Who knows if it ever came to fruition, but that cake would have never made it to the next day for a few of them I am sure.
The serving of the cake has always been an issue for me at the wedding. If you do not have someone to serve the cake, find someone or have the caterers do it. It is not a simple task to serve cake. Also please do not let the photographer talk you into cutting the cake first. For some odd reason dessert means the end of the meal and you will lose half of your crowd if you serve it early; now you have paid to have the reception until midnight and half of the people are gone. It doesn’t make for a fun and festive atmosphere. I like to dangle it as long as possible like a carrot in front of a rabbit to keep the guests there.
If you would like to see some exceptional cakes to get ideas, one of the best places to go in Tulsa is the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show at the Tulsa State Fair on October 3 and 4 in the QuikTrip Center. Entrants come from all over to compete for the $60,000 in cash and merchandise. The inspiration this year is Sea and Shore, so for all you brides having a destination wedding, this will be the show for you to see.
The Sugar Art Show is produced by Kerry Vincent who I have known for 15 years, and I remember back when Facchianos provided a bridal fashion show for Kerry at the Sugar Cake Show. The show had about 100 entrants then and now it has grown to 600 plus. The show has grown so much and has become so popular it is even showcased on the Food Network every year. Kerry is also asked again and again to judge many of the food challenges on the Food Network. If you would like more information, go to www.oklahomasugarartists.com