Wedding season is just around the corner. May through October is the most popular time in the U.S. to tie the knot, and many bakeries have already begun planning for all the cake action to come. As the confectionery centerpiece of every wedding feast, all eyes are on cake trends in 2019. Here are a few that online students studying in our Professional Pastry Arts program may want to pay attention to.
As odd as it may sound, cakes that aren't made of traditional ingredients are a thing this year. One of the most curious examples are literal cheese cakes. Imagine the likes of parmigiana, chevre, brie, gorgonzola and Gouda stacked on top of one another in a cheese tower garnished with flowers, figs and grapes. If you're struggling to envision it, there's no shortage of imagery on Pinterest. It's certainly not the most traditional avenue, but weddings are a time to celebrate what you love, and some people really love cheese. Call it a marriage of pastry-making and the culinary arts.
Not all non-cake cakes are savory, though. Many newlyweds in 2019 are celebrating matrimony with towers of other confections. Some interesting examples include cupcakes, French macarons, cookies, dessert tables and croquembouche. For context, croquembouche has a popular presence at weddings in Italy and France. Choux pastry puffs are stacked into a cone, and then finished with caramel work and whatever else the bride and groom desire. Many people see this as an alternative to cake that's still relatively in keeping with tradition.
The most ornate wedding cakes seem to push the boundaries of what a cake can be, and many bakers will explore new possibilities in 2019. For example, Wedding Wire identified hexagonal cakes as an elegant but architectural alternative to the classic multi-tiered round cake. Another interesting trend is the floating-tier cake. Rather than stacking each tier on top of the other, some newlyweds are opting to place each tier on a cake stand. This makes it possible to garnish the top of each tier.
Another intriguing structural trend is the inclusion of non-cake items between tiers. Picture balancing acts in which cake tiers are more like edible building materials than defined layers. Other designs might be built with entirely edible ingredients, like marble chocolate pillars and columns, caramel lattices and inky black fondant that looks less like food and more like some sort of abstract furniture.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, many wedding planners in 2019 are opting for the nostalgia and homeliness of the more understated single-tier cakes. They may not be structural, but there's still plenty of room for artistry. Single-layer cakes makes great canvases for many of 2019's other common trends. For instance, fern and flower flourishes are a hit this year, according to Brides magazine, and so are tile and mosaic-style prints on otherwise simple cakes.
Textures are also turning heads in 2019. Unique fondants and frostings are made to resemble concrete, marble, wood grain, copper and even tree bark. These interesting textures can pop that much more when they're on a cake that's structurally straightforward.
Of course, all of these trends are just a few examples of the intriguing cake designs and structures that newlyweds are embracing in 2019. And as our online pastry students already know, the fine art of cake decorating is ever-evolving. The sky is the limit for bakers and pastry chefs who continue to hone their skills.