Best Wedding Cakes of 2011

Cakes
best-wedding-cakes-of-2011-4.jpg Photo: Clary Photo

As the end of 2011 draws nigh, it got me thinking about the year in wedding cakes. We've featured some seriously stunning designs in our magazines and on the blog, and it was incredibly difficult to narrow down the list. But here they are—my five favorite wedding cakes from 2011.

First up is a romantic confection by Amy Beck Cake Design in Chicago. The delicate lace pattern was handcut from rolled fondant and was designed to resemble the bride's lace wedding gown. The three-tier cake was accented with an edible sugar brooch that matched the sparkly pin the bride wore in her hair.

See the rest of my favorite wedding cakes of the year after the jump.

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best-wedding-cakes-of-2011-2.jpg Photos: Courtesy of Cake Face (left) and Kimberly Sentner (right)

This never happens, but when I saw this incredible Art Deco cake by Cake Face (above left), I literally gasped out loud. Baker Mignon Daymond worked with the groom on this sculptural design, which features chocolate-truffle cake tiers brushed with edible pearlescent luster dust and stacked off-kilter. The fan-shaped topper, which was fashioned from sugar, complemented the wedding's Art Deco theme.

One of the best parts of my job is working with amazingly talented vendors, such as NYC-based cake designer Elizabeth Hodes, who created this chinoiserie-inspired cake (above right). The hand-stenciled flowers on the sage-colored tiers were designed to match an iconic wallpaper pattern and Elizabeth created the ornate tier separator herself, which was inspired by Asian scroll work. Delicate birds fashioned from blown sugar (seriously!) and pink peonies handmade from gumpaste were the finishing touches on this incredible cake design.

best-wedding-cakes-of-2011-3.jpg Photos: Anna Williams (above left) and Beth Armsheimer Photography (above right)

Every other year, the magazine does an incredible story called "America's Most Beautiful Cakes", where editors scour the country's best bakeries in search of top pastry artists. More than 200 submitted designs and the entries were whittled down to the top 24. This handpainted fondant cake (above left) by Inticing Creations in San Francisco was my favorite from the story; the floral design was inspired by a rose-patterned vintage dress from the 1920s.

And, lastly, this wedding cake decorated entirely with M&Ms (above right). When I featured this cake on the blog in the summer, readers went nuts for it—probably because the design was modern, unexpected, and refreshingly easy and affordable.

What do you think of my year-end cake picks? Let me know in the comments, and clue me in to your favorites so I can see what I missed. Also, check out our gallery for more great wedding cake ideas or visit our local listings to find your cake baker.

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