Plan Like a Pro: Cake Designer Maggie Austin Reveals Her Top Tips

Maggie Austin Wedding Cake Tips

Photo: Courtesy of Maggie Austin

Rock-star baker Maggie Austin's style and skill made her an overnight success with foodies everywhere (including the Obamas!). We're eating up her best tips to get a wedding cake you'll absolutely love.

Bring a photo of your wedding gown to the first meeting with your baker.
She can take style cues from it even if you don't want aspects of the dress in the cake décor. Although textile fondant details like lace, shimmery accents, and beading are lovely and classic.

Don't hate on fondant.
It gets a bad rap because some bakers roll it way too thick or don't use a quality brand. Prepared and used properly, fondant is a delicate, beautiful canvas. For the best taste, order buttercream for the filling.

Have a two-flavored cake — three, max. Any more can be confusing for servers and guests.
I always suggest offering something in the vanilla family and something in chocolate. My favorite flavor for fall or winter? Cinnamon-and-chocolate cake with hazelnut praline and cappuccino buttercream.

If you want different flourishes on different tiers (like ruffles, pearls, et cetera), ask for a cake in a neutral palette.
Love the idea of a brightly colored wedding cake? Then choose just one flourish or it'll be too busy.

Go for monochrome!
White on white feels modern again. For a statement with an all-white cake, consider bas-relief — sculpting fondant into 3D "pictures" (like in the cake above!). It adds an artistic feel and has a lot of presence from afar. And when guests wander closer, they discover this unbelievable attention to detail.

Or get a purple cake.
For some reason, that's really popular right now.

See More: A Pinterest-Approved Trend You'll Love: Stained-Glass Wedding Cakes

Skip the cake topper and finish it off with a sugar peony or rose.
However, if you insist on having a topper, send it to your baker. Not a photo — the actual thing. She needs to know its size and weight early on.

Keep the lighting on the cake simple.
That means no bright-pink gels! Your baker may spend hours getting the fondant shade just right; colored lighting can spoil the effect.

Typically, you can change your mind up to two weeks before your wedding.
I had a client who saw a designed I posted on Facebook, fell in love with it, and changed her cake completely. Totally okay! Most of the work happens closer to the date. For me, Friday is often an all-nighter spent jamming to Bob Marley. I don't show up on delivery day looking great, but the cake does.

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