Wedding Cake Trends in the Mid-South for 2014

Wedding Cake Trends in the Mid-South for 2014

When I was young(er), the newest fashion trends always started in Europe, then spread to the east and west coasts of the U.S. before gradually making their way down to us in the mid-south states (TN, AR, MS) a few years later.  The explosion of the internet has shortened that delay somewhat.

Here are a few of the current and upcoming trends for wedding cakes in the Mid-South area:


Pink and Grey is one of the new popular color combos to make its way onto the wedding cake table.

This small two-tiered cake is covered in fondant and decorated with a pale grey fondant ribbon around the bottom of each tier with a multi-tone pink flower decoration.

One color that we are expecting brides to go crazy for this spring is mint.  Mint is that shade of pale green that is really just a whisper of green.  Some of the cake decorators in the San Francisco area are already getting requests for mint to show up in some form on the wedding cake.

One of the more popular color combos from the past couple of years is going to be
just as popular next year, as well.  

Yellow and Grey is a sophisticated color combination that is likely to be requested by brides for both afternoon and evening weddings.

This cake also displays another one of the wedding cake trends that has found favor in recent years - geometric designs.


This competition display cake exhibits both the pink and grey color scheme combination as well as the hottest geometric trend - chevrons.

Chevrons are hugely popular in the Mid-South right now and are expected to remain trendy for wedding cakes in the coming year.

*This cake is not my work - I was unable to determine who the decorator is in order to give proper credit.

Vintage Lace

On the other end of the design spectrum, the timeless look of vintage lace never goes out of style.  This beautiful four-tiered cake design by Tracy James of  Cotton and Crumbs in the U.K. is certain to delight the bride who envisions a wedding of romance and simple elegance.

Naked Cake

As far as I can tell, the Naked Cake sensation began with a celebrity's (Hilary Duff) wedding in 2010.  It took a little while to catch on in the "real" world but has been gaining in popularity since early 2012 and is finding it's way to the Mid-South area.

The Naked Cake seems very simple to make, but it is actually difficult to execute properly. Because there is no outside covering of frosting, the cake layers must be perfect.  The Naked Cake is well-suited for a smaller wedding in a casual setting.

This cake by Charmaine Capener of By Charmaine in the United Kingdom is one of the prettiest Naked Cakes I have seen.  (Take a minute to click on the link and "like" her facebook page).

If you are considering one of these cakes for your wedding, please don't attempt it yourself unless you are an experienced baker.

Dessert Table with Cake Assortment

Some couples have decided to forego the single wedding cake and opt for a dessert table with an assortment of cakes in various sizes and flavors as well as cookies, pies and other sweet goodies.  The dessert table option works well in an informal setting, but could be adapted to a more formal display as well.

If you decide to use this idea for your wedding, you may wish to "upsize" the number of servings compared to a traditional wedding cake.  A number of your guests will likely want to sample a bit of everything on the table.

The best trend we see (and are likely to see in the future), is that wedding couples are having  their cakes designed to suit their individual personalities.  If you envision a traditional white cake with smooth icing and flowers, then your wedding will have an understated elegance.  If you prefer a pumpkin spice cake frosted in bold colors with a geometric design, then go for it.  Some trends may come and go, but individuality is one trend that should never go out of style.


Hi - I'm Pam and I am a Baking Geek (part 2)

In PART 1 of this post, I talked about 5 general "things to know" when it comes to baking, especially baking cakes.  In part 2, I promised to go over the purpose of the key ingredients in cake recipe.  Key ingredients are:  flour, a leavener, sugar, eggs, and butter.

1.  Flour:  Flour is what gives the cake structure.  I have written quite a bit (probably more than anyone else wants to read) about flour.  For all you need to know about flour, see PART 1 and Flour Power.  The only other thing I need to add is not to overmix your batter.  When you mix flour with a liquid and beat, it forms gluten. An overmixed cake batter will result in a tough cake because it developed too much gluten.

2.  Leavener:  Leaveners (baking powder and/or baking soda) is what makes cakes rise.  They are not the only ingredients that cause the cake to rise, but they are the primary way.  Unlike yeast, which produces carbon dioxide bubbles in the presence of sugar to create rise in breads, baking powder and/or soda just expands the bubbles that already exist in the batter.

What's the difference between baking soda and baking powder and are they interchangeable?  No - baking soda needs an acid to act (like citrus, buttermilk, molasses, honey or chocolate).  Baking powder is activated when it comes into contact with liquids and again when heated.

To make my cakes rise a little more, one of the things I do just about every time I bake a cake is to create a parchment "collar".  This process is explained in a post a wrote last year, You've Got Wring Around The Collar.

3.  Sugar:  Now, we all know sugar makes the cake sweet, but that is not it's only purpose in cake baking.  It also breaks up the gluten (from the flour) to help make the cake tender.  Sugar also helps make the cake moist by trapping the liquids.

4.  Eggs:  Eggs help bind the ingredients together and set the cake batter.  When exposed to heat, the proteins in egg whites uncoil and help the cake to rise.  The
yolks gives the cake a rich flavor and helps to keep it moist.

5.  Butter:  Butter (or oil or shortening) help tenderize the cake by keeping the flour from forming gluten.  Oils do a better job of it than butter does, but butter produces a better flavor.

While I hope these posts about the science of baking help to "demystify" the process, I highly recommend Gretchen Price's blog - Woodland Bakery (be sure to check out her YouTube videos, too).


Hi - I'm Pam and I am a Baking Geek (part 1)

I fully admit that I am a science geek when it comes to cooking.  Some ingredients are added purely for flavor but some are necessary for structure, texture or some other key component.  Baking is especially well suited for a science geek like me because each ingredient, as well as the mixing method, play a crucial role in the overall success or failure of the end product.

Ever baked cupcakes with a very high unwanted dome in the center?  What about a cake that didn't rise?  If you know the WHY of a recipe, you can usually pinpoint the problem with something goes wrong.

In cake baking, here are a few general helpful "geeky" things to know:

1.  The kind of flour you use has a huge impact on your finished product.  Just because the package says "all purpose", that doesn't mean it is the best choice for all baking.  All purpose flour might be okay for baking homemade bread, but bread flour is even better.  All purpose might be okay for making cakes, but cake flour is usually better (not always).  If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where
you can get your hands on White Lily all purpose flour, I recommend using it in place of the standard all purpose.  WHY?  Gluten - the higher the protein content in the flour, the more gluten will develop.  Lots of gluten is desirable for bread, not so much in biscuits or cake.  If you want to learn a little more about flour, see my post on

2.  Preheat - it's not just a suggestion.  Preheating can seem like a waste of time and electricity or gas but it is a part of the process.  Some baked goods rely on steam that is only generated by a very hot oven in the first few minutes.  If you don't preheat your oven to the correct temp, your cakes will not rise properly (and your cookies will spread way out).

Illustration by:  Joe Holland SOURCE

3.  Room temperature ingredients - When you are baking a cake, it is very important to have your ingredients at room temperature.  That means eggs, milk, and butter.  Well - not exactly.  Butter should be around 65 degrees (F).  When you press your thumb against the wrapper, it should leave a slight indentation.
"Does it really matter?", you ask.  Yes...Room temp ingredients combine better AND also are better able to have more air whipped into them for better rise.

4.  Check the expiration date on your baking powder and/or soda.  If you leaving agent is past its prime, your baked product will fall flat :(

5.  No peeking!   I know you are curious as to how your yummy concoction is looking, but when you open that over door before the cake is set, it will look like a meteor crater in the middle.  The cold air that rushes in will upset the rising process and the structure will collapse in the middle.  Don't open that door until about

5-7 minutes before the cake is supposed to be done.

*For a more detailed explanation about the purpose of each key cake ingredient, see PART 2.