How To’s: Wedding Cake Trends, Advice & More from Philadelphia’s Best Bakeries

Photo by Joe Kelly Photography A cake for every season- created by House of Clarendon
Photo by Joe Kelly Photography A cake for every season- created by House of Clarendon

Along with the couples whose celebrations we plan and style, one of our favorite elements of any wedding is the cake! The best cakes are equal parts delicious and gorgeous (and sometimes become a photo backdrop!), but we’re always enthralled with the designs that help to tell the couple’s story.

In order to learn more about the pieces that inspire some of our go-to Philadelphia, Lancaster, and Jersey Shore bakeries, we went straight to the source. Today, we’re chatting with The Cake Studio, House of Clarendon, The Master’s Baker, Nutmeg Cake Design, and Velvet Sky Bakery about trends, advice, their favorite cakes they’ve designed, and so much more. Thanks so much to all five bakeries who graciously answered our questions!

The Master's Baker / Photo via The Master’s Baker
The Master’s Baker / Photo via The Master’s Baker

What’s the best way to choose the flavors and design for your cake?

The Master’s Baker: When it comes to choosing your flavors, it can depend on the season or can be based on the couples’ preference. We let our couples choose each tier to be a different flavor. This is where you can choose a simple flavor such as vanilla paired with raspberry filling or if you are wanting a “wow” flavor that is unique, you can also choose our mint chocolate chip cake. Our couples like to have a variety for their guests to eat.

The wedding cake design is usually based on the venue and the overall look of your wedding. Styles of our cakes range from rustic chic, classic elegance, or whimsical. Our couples like the cake to reflect their taste as well as compliment their venue. We love customizing wedding cakes with our couples and bringing in all the little elements they love and capture it in one flowing design.

Describe your favorite nontraditional wedding cake.

House of Clarendon: In Pennsylvania, we’re lucky to experience all of the four seasons; Winter, Fall, Spring and Summer. I loved designing the various seasons of couture cakes above because it brings Pennsylvania’s seasonal style to life.

The Cake Studio/ Photo by LoRusso Studios
The Cake Studio/ Photo by LoRusso Studios

What’s one current cake trend you believe will become a classic?

The Cake Studio: I will say I LOVE using fondant.  Yes, it gets a bad reputation, but used properly, thinly, expertly, you cannot beat the design possibilities.  Having said that, buttercream finishes are returning to favor.  They aren’t your mom’s “Wilton method” piped cakes.  There are a lot of creative, modern buttercream techniques being used today and it’s exciting to see. This is a trend that is sure to gain momentum cementing buttercream as THE classic wedding cake finish.

Nutmeg Design  / Photo by Hudson Nichols Photography
Nutmeg Design  / Photo by Hudson Nichols Photography

 What’s your best piece of advice for couples as they choose their cake?

Nutmeg Cake Design: The cake is one of the many parts of the wedding that can truly be personalized – have fun with it! I encourage couples to include patterns or textures from their dress or invitations, meaningful quotes or a custom topper! I think traditions have relaxed over the years and the cake is really an opportunity to create a piece of art that voices the love story. Think outside the box and have your designer talk you through the possible options in buttercream vs. fondant and what your budget will allow. And most importantly….make sure you make time to enjoy a piece on your Big Day!

Cake by Velvet Sky / Photo via Instagram
Cake by Velvet Sky / Photo via Instagram

 What do you love most about designing and baking cakes for weddings in Philadelphia?

 Velvet Sky Bakery: I think the most fulfilling part about what I do at Velvet Sky Bakery is the creative process, from sketch to slice, and working closely with brides and grooms, bringing their unique ideas and visions to life, in cake. Everyone is different, every wedding is different, and every love is different – so the cake, being the centerpiece of every wedding celebration, should serve as a true expression of that. Clients come to me with a huge spectrum of approaches – some with very elaborate visions, some that give me full artistic license to design their cake, some with just a color scheme in mind… and over a cake tasting and sometimes a few consultations, I work towards building a cake concept with them.

The results are anything from a classic, elegant wedding cake to a fully edible sculpted tank as a grooms cake, and I always am up to accept new challenges, but the one thing that stays the same is the focus on communicating well with our brides and grooms, developing a great relationship, and working together with them to create something delicious and unforgettable. Knowing that our brides, grooms and their guests loved the final result – that’s where the real joy is.


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