The customary three-tiered wedding cake, blanketed in white and topped with a plastic bride and groom in miniature, is timeless. But, for some betrothed couples, it's a sight too ordinary. Just like the quirky DJ they've hired; the jars of organic peach preserves they're leaving for guests; and the slinky, red heels she's donning instead of satin ones; they want their must-have confection to be an imaginative one. Imaginative is one way to put it, at least. At once classy and dramatic, these 8 outrageous desserts are fitting to the most unconventional of nuptials. Take a look, but do NOT touch, ahead.
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One-time sculptor Allison Kelleher was besotted with Australian artist Antonia Sellbach’s abstract geometric works, which spawned this striking colorblock creation. “I kept returning to her color palette, tweaking it ever so slightly,” says the founder of Portland, Oregon-based AK Cake Design. “I made a random pattern out of fondant squares and triangles, and to add depth of color, I painted each piece with the same shade of edible paint. I purposefully left paintbrush strokes on the pieces to harken back to the original.”
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Duff Goldman of Baltimore’s Charm City Cakes and Beverly Hills’ Charm City Cakes West — and Ace of Cakes fame — was inspired by porcelain motifs for his decorative “Garden Party.” A crown of coral fondant feathers offers contrast to the vivid-blue, floral designs.
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Not all white cakes are modest. Emily Lael Aumiller of Brooklyn-based Lael Cakes proves that with this beauty, enrobed in fondant and adorned with hand-sculpted sugar-paste flowers. The bottom tier’s scalloped shapes come courtesy of piped icing. “A birch-bark like texture has always been something I incorporate into a lot of my designs,” says Aumiller. “It takes on an abstract, ruffled effect.”
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“The idea was to create a cake using traditional elements, but in unexpected colors,” says Erin Gardner of Wild Orchid Baking Company, in Dover, New Hampshire. “Black cakes are often thought of as goth, but I wanted to make it pretty.” Festooned with dots and garlands of flowers that reference goods from Rifle Paper Co., this one’s utterly glamorous.
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There is a translucent, eggshell quality to this stacked masterpiece by Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Kerry Vincent. Hand-painted veneers flaunting swaths of embossed lace and delicate blooms give it an aristocratic air; Vincent crafts the details with a scalpel.
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Origami cranes perch on a nest of spun sugar in this modern, haute couture marvel from Chicago-based Amy Beck Cake Design. The top tier, a cube of simple white fondant, provides a bright juxtaposition to the bottom’s imperfect, ombré gray ruffles.
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Lauren Bohl White’s background is rooted in interior design, so it’s not surprising that the founder of New York’s A White Cake revels in tinkering with different shapes and patterns. Melding florals, dots and spheres, her whimsical “Tangerine Dream,” is an eye-catching candy-hued alternative to the usual ivory.
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Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous stained glass windows spurred Washington, D.C.-based Maggie Austin Cake to create this jewel-box like centerpiece for a wedding aptly served at the Wright-designed Fallingwater estate, outside of Pittsburgh. A pristine block covered in Austin’s freehand-painted flowers sits atop a dreamy skirt of sea-foam frills.