Wedding Cake Stands the Test of Time
By Debra Sinkage | Icing on the Cakes at Argyle's
Some things change while other things stay the same. What's changed? Dessert offerings, displays, and design have evolved. What's stayed the same? The tradition... (and people love cake).
Image: Matt Lusk Photography
In 1990, I relocated to the Outer Banks to open a bakery that specialized in wedding cake design. Beforehand, I never took into consideration the struggle it would be to transport the essential supplied needed in order to create a finished product that stood out amongst other bakeries. Ingredients such as organic or unbleached flour were practically unheard of here. It came to be that I actually had to pay extra for a trucking firm to deliver everything that I needed to prepare the fresh and natural pastries that we take for granted today.
In 1992, I realized that other local businesses may be having similar problems acquiring the materials and supplies that they were in need of. Soon, a group of eight businesses decided to form the Outer Banks Wedding Association and we held our very first wedding show at the Ramada Inn in Nags Head, North Carolina. Since our start, the association has been able to grow to over 250 members with the foresight and leadership of the original members.
The wedding cake has always been a crucial focal point of the reception and décor. However, the styles and trends in which they are displayed and designed are constantly changing.
Thirty years ago, the bigger the cake, the better! The cakes were very ostentatious, some even featuring smaller cakes descending down a staircase wrapped around a larger, two-tiered cake. During the same time, the basket weaved style frosting was at its height. These would feature many different types of cakes and flavors at varying levels.
Later on, fondant grew in popularity due to its ability to be stretched over large surfaces creating a smooth façade. Fondant is a sugar coating that is rolled out flat and is manipulated to create intricate finishes and designs.
A different trend was the dessert bar. Popular here on the Outer Banks was the beach themed dessert bar. It would feature a full-sized cake, surrounded with sand and beach chairs and an array of desserts. Recently, there has been a lot of growth with cupcakes being displayed around a small tiered cake with a fun topper.
We’ve been seeing increased popularity with donuts and donut holes, along with the return of the larger 3 and 4-tiered cakes featuring buttercream frosting and florals. More modern cakes are also in style showcasing no icing or frosting for that deconstructed look.
There are many factors that come into play when a couple is choosing the type and design of their wedding cake. It could be where they are from or their nationality. My family is Norwegian and it is common for us to have a Kransekaker cake, made up of rings of almond paste cookies that are stacked one on top of another.
Whatever you may choose, all of us at Icing On The Cakes are happy to help in making sure your cake or dessert is a high point of your wedding day!