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.

Haute stuff! These delicate, pearl-studded blooms have high-fashion roots: They're based on a Sondra Roberts clutch and an Oscar de la Renta gown.

Fondant cake with flowers, $12 per slice, Wedding Cakes by Kim Payne, Cheyenne, OK; stand, Bountiful