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.

With a nod to elegant Italian marble, Wendy Sherwood created a pleasing patchwork of blush, gold, and silver white-chocolate tiles.

Fondant cake, $15 per serving, La Forêt, Napa, CA; stand, Robert Edward Woodworking