While the traditional rich fruitcake is now languishing in the backwaters, one old-timer that is coming up through the ranks is the pound cake, the history of which goes back to England in the 1700s.
Adapted through the years, it remains a dense cake. Some professional wedding-cake makers call it ``yellow'' cake, to differentiate it from chocolate and white mudcakes and red-velvet cakes, which remain favourites.
There are also ``rainbow'' cakes, a series of cakes of different colours layered so that when cut they resemble a rainbow.
Banana and carrot cakes will also be a feature at some summer weddings.
Cupcakes, which were a hit for many years as an afternoon-tea favourite and then came back a decade ago as special-occasion fare, are also in demand. Able to be baked in a number of flavours, guests are provided with a variety of taste sensations. And, presented
in tiered layers, often in the theme of the wedding, they always look sensational.
Macaroons, those airy meringue-like biscuits put together with a filling to form a sandwich, are another baking speciality. These almond-based taste treats are created in many fanciful colours and can also be arranged as a tower. They are gluten-free.
Cakes are often presented as art forms. The latest looks are metallic icing finishes, such as silver and gold, for some real glam appeal.
Decorative effects also include stripes, dots and ruffles. Colour effects which see the shade move gently from dark to light tones through the layers is another option. And handmade icing flowers provide yet another stunning finish.
Professional bakers love the challenge of wedding cakes. Many offer consultations and tastings to help couples make their selection. To help in choosing the size of cake required, a three-tier is ideal for about 100 guests, four tiers for 150. Taking the worry out of whether there will be enough is to have one more layer in the kitchen ready to be cut if the rest disappears.
The most important information your baker needs is the type of cake and the budget, particularly when cakes can range in cost from around $200 to $2000!
TIP: Many couples, particularly those watching their budget, are serving their wedding cakes as the dessert.