We spent nearly a year scouring the country's best bakeries in search of top pastry artists. More than 200 accepted our invitation to create a showstopping design, but only 24 can claim to have produced one of America's Most Beautiful Cakes.

Inspired by sexy snakeskin and glossy pearls, Kerry Vincent hand-stenciled a python pattern and topped it with borders reminiscent of embroidered English lace.

Hand-painted fondant cake with gum-paste flowers, $25 per slice, Romantic Wedding Cakes by Kerry Vincent, Tulsa, OK

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