Blush Pink and Black Wedding Cake with Sugar Anemones

Renée and Alan met me for a cake consultation back in June, and were able to book the very last opening on Honey Crumb's full-to-the-absolute-brim August calendar. I'm so glad they did, because getting to know them (even briefly!) and being chosen to create their wedding cake were among the highlights of my summer season. 

The design process began with a color swatch (a pale blush pink from Vera Wang's "White" collection of bridesmaids' dresses) and a few images that Renée had saved as inspiration for the cake. Uniquely, those images included a photo of an etched glass lantern with metal scrollwork trim (cake inspiration really can come from anywhere!) and a bouquet of gorgeous blush-and-ivory anemones tied with black ribbon:

She and her groom were brave enough to let me bring that beautiful blush-pink hue right into the fondant that enrobed their cake, rather than simply using it as an accent color on a traditional white base. I tinted the fondant using Americolor pink and Americolor peach, with tiny drops of Wilton brown and Wilton black. The covered tiers were then given a very light airbrushed coat of edible pearl luster to tone down the pink and amp up the cake's photogenicity ever so slightly more. 

I know, "photogeneity" sounds better than "photogenicity" -- but the former is a made-up word, and the latter is actually in the dictionary.

What a nerd.

Here are the nekkid cakes, before décor and stacking:

Inspired by the black ribbon around that bouquet of anemones, the black trim on the glass lantern, and by the chic black sashes that the bridesmaids would be wearing around their waists, black was a natural choice as an accent color for the cake, to add drama and contrast. We played around with shapes (including oval and round) and proportions (including normal- and extended-height tiers) before settling on a design that included a double-height middle tier with scrollwork stenciling (in a paler shade of blush pink than the fondant), flanked by regular-height top and bottom tiers piped painstakingly with black Royal Icing in a similar design.

The pièce de résistance was a trio of sugar anemones, which I handcrafted from ivory gumpaste. Their centers (and stamens) were jet black, and the base of each petal was gently dusted with blush pink edible pigment. Renée had dearly wanted anemones in her bridal bouquet, but they weren't available, so why not have them, in sugar, on the cake?

The entire cake (125 servings) was Mocha flavor (dark chocolate sponge, filled with alternating layers of truffle ganache cream and espresso Swiss meringue). 

Alan and Renée's photographers, Brittany and Joe of Blue Rose Photography, took some great shots during the reception (at The Manor, in Everett) that they willingly shared with me:

Now, seriously, how beautiful is that couple? Wowza.

If you'd like to see the rest of Renée and Alan's wedding album, by Blue Rose Photography, it's accessible here, on Facebook.

This is what the sweet groom had to say, on behalf of both of them: "So glad you already received some pics from Brittany and Joe. What an amazing job you did! It was hard to cut into such a pretty cake, but we were rewarded with all its mocha goodness. It was truly a work of art and we're happy you and your work were part of such a special day to us."

I'm a lucky soul.

Congratulations to you, Renée and Alan!