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.

Why use lots of flowers when you can have one mega showstopper? That's what Miche Bacher and Nanao Anton thought after seeing a Yumi Katsura gown featuring a pretty peony.

Fondant cake with hand-painted sugar-dough petals, $20 per slice, Sacred Sweets, Greenport, NY; stand, Versace for Rosenthal

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