5 Modern Wedding Cakes Inspired by Artistic Backdrops
Local bakers create decadent desserts inspired by hand-painted tapestries from Fox Heron Collective, shot on location at Ember.
LA VIE EN ROSE
“Our inspiration is rooted in fine art, since we are both artists,” say Isabel Kinikini, a photographer, and Connor Wilde-Mathie, an oil painter, who together make up Fox Heron Collective, the local duo known for their custom, hand-painted tapestries and linens for special events, like this rose mandala tapestry featuring a natural painterly style (pictured above).
Annie Pugmire of Annie’s Cakes drew inspiration from the tapestry’s rosey hues to create a trio of modern confections. The single-tier round cake is raspberry buttercream with a delicious raspberry drip; the two-tier cake is vanilla with Swiss meringue buttercream; and the hexagon cake is vanilla with lemon-raspberry buttercream. For an extra dose of sweetness, she baked up vanilla cupcakes frosted with raspberry cream cheese buttercream and fresh raspberry purée, and mini white-chocolate tarts topped with plump raspberries. Concrete and marble cake plates by Emery Ave.
SPARK OF ROMANCE
Dubbed “Ember,” the ladies of Fox Heron Collective named this moody tapestry for the downtown Salt Lake City venue because it was created specifically for Ember‘s ceremony and reception space. “Its color story came from a discussion about the gestures and smoke that emanate from cooling embers,” explain Kinikini and Wilde-Mathie. “This tapestry has actual charcoal smudged into the fabric, but look closely and you’ll see flashes of gold leaf and warm tones like embers resting in all that smoke.”
Inspired by the dramatic backdrop, Annie Larrabee of Annie Bee Cakery created these equally artistic confections. The contemporary three-tier cake is rich chocolate Nutella with a Swiss meringue buttercream; Larrabee decorated the extra-tall middle tier with an edible, hand-painted design and flakes of gold leaf meant to mimic the brushstrokes of the tapestry.
To complement the cake, Larrabee baked mini cakes in blackberry white chocolate and dark chocolate flavors; a decadent dark chocolate ganache tart with a salted chocolate crust and topped with a drizzled berry reduction, fresh berries, and shredded coconut; and the prettiest swirled lemon-blueberry Pavlovas, a traditional meringue dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.
“This indigo tapestry was created in the foggy months of January when we couldn’t get enough of the winter mist that had been resting on the mountains,” explain Kinikini and Wilde-Mathie. The duo also looked to peeling wallpaper and old-world plastered walls for textural inspiration; peek closely, and you can see small clusters of salt crystals applied to the canvas for shimmer.
Andrew Young, pastry chef and owner of Bubble & Brown Bakery, designed an avant-garde cake and an array of delectable desserts to coordinate with the blue color palette. His single-tier sweet is made with layers of lime chiffon sponge cake soaked in lavender and blackberry syrup, filled with lavender buttercream, fresh blackberries, and a vanilla bean buttercream coating; the cake is adorned with mini lavender macarons and crowned by white chocolate shards.
Young also whipped up organic Earl Grey and vanilla bean shortcakes filled with house-made Meyer lemon curd, fresh blueberries, and lightly sweetened cream; winter-perfect “snowballs” made with flourless almond-orange sponge cake topped with house-made orange marmalade, vanilla buttercream, and fine flake coconut; buttery shortbread squares scented with fresh sage, vanilla bean, and sea salt, and topped with a sugared sage leaf; and cassis and vanilla bean macarons.