By April Adamson
Knight Ridder Newspapers
The wedding cake has always shared center stage with the bride and groom. It's one of the last memories guests have of a wedding meal, and one of the focal points of the reception.
But while it's still a sugary delight, today's wedding cakes are not always the smooth, white buttercream towers of years past. The modern cake's shape and design have evolved.
Often, there's an ornate, even colorful multicake display, bathed in lights and draped in tulle. And white icing has been replaced with custards, colorful fruits and, often, flavored mousses.
Here's a look at what brides and grooms are slicing into across the country.
- The Cakery in Lansing, Mich., offers a cake on its Web site featuring three separate tiers linked with flowing bands of tulle. For brides who think one cake is not enough, there's an arrangement where nine - count 'em, nine - heart-shaped cakes are formed into one large heart.
- In Lancaster, Mass., the Cake Lady custom-designs cakes with tops to suit the bride and groom, such as a mini replica of the Taj Mahal.
- At Fancy Cakes by Leslie in Maryland, Washingtonians find cakes elaborately iced to resemble teetering hat boxes or stacked gifts. For the groom's cake, how about cheetah-print icing? They also create edible place cards with guests' names written in icing.
- In Austin, Texas, elegant Cakes by Kathy are dotted with iced "pearls." Even the plump strawberries that top cakes are "dressed" in icing tuxedos and bridal gowns.
- A favorite new bridal cake theme springs to life at a Web site called www.letthemeatcakeatlanta.com. Brides and grooms will find increasingly popular, topsy-turvy hat box cakes, a pastel arrangement that has replaced traditional round tiers for many couples.
- At the Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge, La., chefs create a four-tiered marvel that is lifted above a mini fountain, then surrounded by smaller "satellite" cakes.
© 2002, Philadelphia Daily News.
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.