What's Hot When It Comes to Wedding Confection

Bite-sized desserts, such as these mini citrus curd tartlets, are replacing the traditional wedding cake at many modern weddings. Image courtesy of BellasDesserts.com

As a professional cake designer, Lauren Cortesi, the owner of Bella’s Desserts in Honey Brook, knows not only desserts but dessert trends as well. Bella’s Desserts, a Main Line Today award winning business, offers specialty cakes, custom wedding cakes, unique desserts and special occasion cakes for wedding showers and other special events (as well as gluten-free, dairy free, and vegan cakes and desserts). If brides and grooms are talking about it or thinking about it, so is Cortesi, and she was more than happy to share her thoughts on wedding dessert trends for this spring.

By Cortesi’s assertation, such trends derive from people wanting to try something a bit different from the norm. Whereas cupcakes and macaroons were the recent darlings of the wedding confectionary kingdom, it is now mini-desserts that are the latest and greatest sweet treats for a wedding.

“Mini desserts seem to be done more and more in lieu of a big wedding cake,” said Cortesi, who currently has recipes for about 20-25 different mini-desserts, including bite-sized brownies, cake pops, cheesecake pops (squares of cheesecake dipped in chocolate), and mini tarts.

She said that the cost for the mini desserts is about one dollar a bite, so they can be a bit more expensive than a cake, but with the minis you get to be more unique.

“They can be made fun or formal, and they are a neat and very different way to treat your guests. They can be dipped in nuts, colorful sprinkles, or made to look like jewels. They can also be made to match the wedding décor.”

When it comes to serving these tiny temptations, Cortesi said that buffet-style presentation is popular.

“People like to walk through and help themselves to bites because they like to have different choices,” she stated.

Cortesi added that those who choose to go with mini desserts should take into consideration adding something other than sugar to their dessert choices. One suggestion she offered was that guests be offered savory foods, such as an array of flavorful cheeses, as savory foods compliment the sweetness of the mini desserts.

For those who prefer the tried and true wedding cake, Cortesi said that cake trends have been more about flavors than anything else.

“One big trend I am seeing for this year is for ‘sweet and salty’,” Cortesi said. “The traditional sweet and salty cake flavor is peanut butter and chocolate, but chocolate and salted caramel is very popular now.”

Her most recent delve into such delicious desserts was the aptly named ‘Sweet and Salty Cake’.

“The cake is chocolate cake and the layer filling is salted caramel. It is made with a caramel ganache, and covered in caramel buttercream, and sprinkled with Fleur de Sel (a French sea salt) which is not as salty as your traditional salt and pairs wonderfully with sugar.”

As far as cake decoration goes, Cortesi said that she has been receiving orders for animal print cakes.

“It may be more of a local trend but I have been receiving requests for animal print cakes. I made a green and black Zebra striped cake recently.”

The trend of completely covering of cakes in fondant is also something which has been changing. Cortesi, for one, has instead been using small hand-cut pieces of fondant to provide accents to a cake’s design. This variance in design also appeases the cost-conscious bride and groom, as the price of sugar, and subsequently fondant, has climbed recently.

Another trend which Cortesi mentioned was groom cakes. She recently designed a cake that looked like a bottle of (Victory Brewing Company’s) Hop Devil beer, as well as a Texas Hold ‘Em themed cake, and a cake that was designed to look like the seal for The Citadel (The Military College of South Carolina).

Groom cakes typically appear at the rehearsal dinner or at the reception next to the main dessert.

“It is a nice nod to the groom to have a special cake that shows a bit of his personality.” Cortesi said. “A groom’s cake can make for a great surprise – after all, the guys are a part of this too!”

While the trend of cupcakes has been on the downslide, Cortesi said that they do remain popular choices. For spring, she suggested brides think about fun flavors, such as cupcakes flavored to taste like mint juleps, margaritas, or Irish cream.

Her final bit of advice for those planning dessert for a wedding is to think ahead.

“The spring wedding season books up very fast, so be sure to get in touch with your vendors as early as possible. When you are planning things out with your venue you need to think about all of the different vendors and how the pieces should all come together.”

Visit Bella’s Desserts online at http://bellasdesserts.com or call 484.467.1538 to schedule an appointment (hours of operation are Monday – Saturday 9-6). Email Lauren Cortesi at Lauren@bellasdesserts.com

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