Desserts with Luxe Looks
Whether it’s the whole thing or one that just simply features lots of bling, a metallic wedding cake feels formal and luxe but also fresh, fun and modern. Think solid gold cakes with bold black or soft sorbet-colored accents, ivory cakes with chic silver stripes, or a hip bronze chevron pattern, rich vintage-inspired designs, or ornate, Rococo details and sugar jewels.
Want to have your sparkly cake, and actually eat it, too? According to Allison Kelleher, owner of AK Cake Design in Portland, Ore., there are a few different ways for your baker to achieve a lustrous, flavor-free metallic sheen:
• hand-paint the cake with a mixture of luster or shimmer dust and alcohol (usually vodka or lemon extract, which will evaporate later) or a special food coloring
• airbrush the color onto the cake
• apply edible gold or silver leaf
Because of its smooth, temperature-resistant surface, fondant is the preferred medium for all of these methods (especially delicate hand-painting and metallic leaf), says Kelleher, although she has seen other bakers airbrush on buttercream.
If you’ve opted for an intricate design or only want metallic decorations, hand-painting with a brush is the best way to go, says Kevin Kossman, co-owner of Piece of Cake Desserts in Mesa, Ariz. But if you want a cake that’s bronzed from top to bottom, airbrushing will give the most consistent look, he adds. “Unfortunately, for a true, shiny metallic look, you can’t just mix food color into frosting, as you will get a dull finish.”
Like the base, fondant is ideal for metallic embellishments, and flat pieces will provide the cleanest overall look. “Bumpy accents or painting metallic colors onto piped designs should be avoided,” says Kossman. “It can look great in pictures, but close-up you’ll likely have spotty coverage or paint in places where it wasn’t supposed to be.”