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Couture Cakes

Martha Stewart Weddings, Volume 3 1997

A cake that takes its cue from the bride's dress is always impressive, and it's an easy way to unify the look of a wedding.

Button Cake
The tops of these three stacked boxes are covered with fondant and marzipan buttons. Some buttons are painted with a pale shimmery coloring to simulate a pearly finish. At the base of each box is a fondant ribbon, made by pressing strips of fondant into ribbed elastic to simulate the look of grosgrain. A gum-paste bow serves as the cake topper. For the cake table, grosgrain ribbons are woven together to cover a board.

Primrose Cake
This four-tiered cake takes its fanciful spirit from gowns created by some of fashion's most daring designers, who adorn necklines, bustles, and hems with clusters of colorful silk flowers. The cake's flowers and leaves appear to support the weight of the tiers but are actually hiding the dowels that do the work.

Scrollwork Cake
These lighthearted scrolls were inspired by fabric-coiled appliques used to embellish dress bodices. To make these decorations, gum paste is sent through a pasta machine, then rolled into curls and attached to the fondant-covered cake with water. The finished cake resembles a fabulous hat, one that Audrey Hepburn might have worn.

Swag Cake
The swags, which start and finish with a bow, ripple and flow like fabric; delicate dots of buttercream icing imitate dotted swiss.

Pulled-Sugar Ribbon Cake
These shimmering platinum-blue ribbon bands and this triple-loop bow were pulled and formed from sugar. The rectangular, fondant-covered cake is displayed on a hotel-silver tray with a traditional ribbon-and-cross border.

Grosgrain Ribbon Cake
Sleek, oval tiers enrobed in fondant are at once classic and modern. A band of grosgrain ribbon encircles each layer, secured with piped royal icing. A vintage bisque bride-and-groom cake topper stands on top.

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