The Evolving Wedding Cake

The cake is the centerpiece of many a wedding ceremony.

And wedding cakes, like everything else, change.

On The Early Show Thursday, Carley Roney, editor in chief of The Knot, filled viewers in on the latest trends in wedding cakes, and offered pointers on picking the perfect one.

Roney says the cake puts the punctuation mark on a wedding. No longer just a dessert, it's become a major style statement, coordinating with the overall wedding theme and taking center stage at the reception.

Summer and fall are the most popular times for weddings, and the best cake bakers in all areas book early -- so couples should get a move on to select theirs.

The first step is, of course, deciding on its design.

TREND: UNIQUE CAKE SHAPES

Tiers in contrasting shapes add intrigue to a basic cake. The options are endless; you could top a square bottom with two rounds, or even use a different shape for every tier.

KNOT TIP: Let your reception room be your guide. For a ballroom bash, do a tall and traditional square bottom tier and several rounds to top it off. For a casual loft wedding, play with a combo of hexagon, round, and square-shaped tiers.

Cake #1: MIXED SHAPES - This five-tier multi-shaped cake is covered in white fondant, trimmed with black accents, silver bling and decorated with groupings of pink peonies. From Ron Ben-Israel Cakes

Cake #2: ICE CUBE BLOCKS - This clever two-tiered cake is in the shape of ice cubes! Adorned with handmade pink orchids and brown branches, this cakes has a very modern summer look. Cheryl Kleinman Cakes

TREND: CHOCOLATE CAKE

Brides are tossing tradition and going for a cake that suits their own tastes. No longer hidden behind white frosting, today's couples are loving the idea of treating their guests to a full-blown chocolate dessert. Not only decadent in taste, they give off a wonderful aroma!

Cake #1:This modern three-tiered chocolate cake screams "couture"! Drenched in hand-rolled truffles, this chocolate fondant cake is ideal for the couple who wants to go over the top. The unique geometric designs will definitely grab your guests' attention. From Bijoux Doux.

Cake #2: Dark chocolate decadence: This four-tiered cake is iced with chocolate fondant, trimmed with white fondant ribbon, and decorated with clusters of white sugar flowers. Perfect for the bride who wants to mix things up by serving chocolate, but still wants a traditional feeling to her cake. From Elisa Strauss of Confetti Cakes

TREND: MINI-CAKES

Sure -- one big, beautiful cake is impressive -- but multiples are even better! You can take this trend in two different directions: a mini-cake for each table at the reception, or a mini-cake for each guest!

Cake #1: Mini-cake for each guest: A beautiful mini-cake for each attendee promises the ultimate "wow" factor! You can opt for a more traditional and formal look by choosing white, or mix things up with a clean and bright dash of colors such as yellow or blue. From Cheryl Kleinman Cakes

Cake #2: Table-top cakes: Another way to "wow" your guests, while saving a little bit of money, is to have cakes at each table for your guests to share. These six-inch cakes are covered in gorgeous, handmade sugar carnations. From April Reed Cake Design

TREND: GRAPHIC PRINTS IN BOLD COLORS

Brides and grooms are loving the idea of ditching traditional floral details and instead are going with big, graphic shapes in the same bold colors as the rest of their wedding décor.

Cake # 1: Pink/brown duo: This three-tiered cake is adorned with pink and chocolate geometric shapes made from fondant.

Cake # 2: Pucci-inspired print: This three-tiered cake has a bright and bold graphic print reminiscent of Pucci, another great example of how runway fashion bleeds the world of weddings. The blue print is the perfect combo with the vibrant orange flowers.

  • CBSNews

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