All wedding cakes are edible works of art, but sometimes, we’ll come across a confection that looks as if it belongs in a museum. Many of these artful cakes are created using a technique called “bas relief,” which is a sculpture term where design elements are created by either carving away material (often wood or stone) or by adding material to the top of an otherwise smooth surface.
Bas relief also beautifully translates to cake decorating—these days, bakers are creating intricate patterns from sugar, usually of natural motifs like flowers, leaves, berries, fruit, and acorns. Then, the patterns are applied to the surface of the cake with icing, creating a wonderful illusion of the design having been “carved” from the cake surface.
Bas-relief embellishments are especially effective on monochromatic cakes, when both the cake background and bas-relief patterns are in the same color (most often white on white). But opting for different colors can also look stunning, as several examples we’ve found (below) demonstrate.
Love the look of a sculptural wedding cake? Keep reading for some of the most artful bas-relief wedding-cake designs we’ve found.