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Confection Couture – Wedding Cake Trends for 2016

The sweetest moment of wedding planning? Choosing your wedding cake, of course. Though the only guest to have it’s own table deserves a lot more than just a moment of thought and effort.

To help inspire your custom cake, we asked former scientist now confectioner Suzanne Brady of Cove Cake Design what’s baking in the wedding cake world in 2016 and which Irish bakeries are putting their best, and trendiest, foot forward. So you can have your cake, and be on trend too.

It’s All About the Taste!

Nowadays, achieving the ‘Instagramable’ factor is a goal for weddings, and the wedding cake certainly plays a part in the big pretty picture. Though Suzanne says that aside from looking amazing couples are also using the taste as a point of difference, “before all else your wedding cake should taste amazing. Gone are the days of standard flavour choices and in are artisan Irish cake makers who have a passion for baking and ingredients. Fine chocolate, Irish berries, jams, curds, caramels and praline. Modern day cake flavourings are decadently delicious!”. We’re hoping someone invents Tasteagram soon.

Designs by Cove Cake Design and The Cloudberry Bakery.

Elegant Naked and Semi-naked

Naked or ‘undone’ cakes are wedding cake without icing or frosting. A 2015 hit, this avant-garde style is still on trend but to protect their modesty cakes are going ‘semi-naked’ or ‘dirty-iced’, with the cake peeking out from beneath a skim of silky buttercream. “This trend shows no sign of abating, but naked cakes have been moving in a glamorous direction. Laden with summer berries and dusted with icing sugar was a key trend in 2015 but 2016 sees a move towards sharp semi-naked and modern elegant twists. Contrasting naked tiers with ganached, fondant or coconut coverings, pretty flowers and metallic elements are beautiful updates for the naked cake style”.

Designs by Cove Cake Design.

Drip Cakes

Suzanne predicts that many couples will opt for a delicious, deconstructed, drippy beauty this year, “chocolate drip cakes took the world by storm in 2015 and are still a key trend for 2016! Dark or white, metallic or coloured, the drip comes in many guises and many styles. From a chocoholics delight, to clean and simple, for weddings stick to beautiful decorations such as fresh flowers, macarons and gilded berries”.

Designs by Cove Cake Design, The Cake Cuppery,  and Artful Bakery.

Edible Art

In essence confectioners are artists; they can do to a cake what Da Vinci did to the Sistine Chapel. Take advantage of their skills to create a Baroque-style cake, beautifully opulent and detailed, with lavish use of gold swags, scrolls and rich embellishments. “A renewed appreciation of Ireland’s artisan producers and creatives has seen a return to beautifully crafted traditional fondant wedding cakes. Inspired by everything from wedding gowns and bridal flowers to stationary and decorative details, entrust your wedding cake designer to create a beautiful bespoke wedding cake that will perfectly complement your day!”.

Designs by CocoaMoiselle and Cupcakes and Counting. See also The Wedding Cake Boutique.

White on White

For a subtle but chic cake Suzanne suggests a white wedding cakes adorned in all-white details. Think texture, pretty flowers and old school piping detail such as lace, embroidery and beading. “Nothing says wedding more than classic white. Choosing a white-on-white wedding cake with subtle decorative detail will be simultaneously a current statement as well as a timeless classic”.

Designs by The Cloudberry Bakery, Artful Bakery and Cove Cake Design.


If the traditional snow white wedding cake leaves you cold, then add a fun, fresh twist with inspired eye-catching designs such as squares, chevron and stripes, in an array of unexpected hues and punchy shades. Suzanne says, “influenced by current interiors trends, modern geometric cakes are the perfect complement to geometric influences in your wedding styling and stationary”.

Designs by The Wedding Cake Boutique and The Cake Cuppery.

Dessert tables

Why have one cake when you can have a table laden with sugar-coated showstoppers? “Delicious dessert tables are a certain way to wow your wedding guests! No longer restricted to cupcakes and cakepops, dessert tables now range from mini meringues and pies to doughnuts and fudge. Considered styling around your main cake makes this a real visual feast”.

Designs by The Cloudberry Bakery and The Cake Cuppery. See Emily’s Pantry, The Wedding Cake Boutique and The Brown Hound Bakery.

Modern Metallics

Another trend Gatsby would have approved of is the rise of gilded, glamourous metallic wedding cakes. Suzanne suggests picking anywhere along the bling-scale to add an elegantly expensive look, “silver and gold are still very much in vogue, with copper and rose gold now also popular. Adorning full cake tiers or adding subtle abstract hints, metallics are undoubtedly a glamorous addition to your wedding cake”.

Designs by The Cloudberry Bakery ,Artful Bakery and Cove Cake Design.

Floral Wreaths

For Suzanne, with all that the fashionable florals seen in bridal trends it seems only natural that cakes will begin to bloom too, “trailing flowers and foliage are currently a wedding styling favourite, while floral crowns give a pretty vibe to bridal hair styling. This has also translated into wedding cakes with fresh or sugar floral wreaths adorning buttercream and fondant cakes in equal measure”.

Designs by Cove Cake Design and Artful Bakery.

Marshmallows and Macarons

The Irish love affair with macarons was cemented with the recent opening of Ladurée’s first standalone store in Dublin. These French treats come in a dizzying array of flavours and are a perfect choice for dessert table treats or guest favours”, says Suzanne of the enduring trend to use macarons as an alternative wedding centrepiece . Though she predicts in 2016 we’ll see a lot more of another covetable confection, “Hot on the heels of macarons are new favourites, marshmallows. Deliciously sweet and nostalgic these squidgy sweets are sure to delight adults and children alike!”“. We say, why not have both.

Designs by Artful Bakery and The Cloudberry Bakery. See also Delish Melish and Macarons by Andrea.


Suzanne Brady Cake Cove Design Cove Cake Design was founded in 2013 by Suzanne Brady. A former scientist, with a PhD in Biochemistry followed by a career working for Cancer Research UK, Suzanne discovered a  natural love of baking after becoming a full-time mother in 2008. A keen student, she completed a Professional Masters Certificate in Cake Decorating, Royal Icing and Sugar Flower Techniques at Squires International School and a PME Knightsbridge Diploma in Sugar Flowers. With an eye for perfection Suzanne subsequently honed her skills with online and self-taught techniques. And so, in 2013 Cove Cake Design, a nod to the stunning Sandycove area of Dublin where Suzanne and her family call home, began its baking journey.

From the outset Suzanne’s ethos has been to work closely with each client, drawing on a wide source of inspiration to create a bespoke cake unique to each occasion. With a delectable menu reflecting the quality of ingredients sourced and the design precision with which Suzanne decorates each cake it is unsurprising that Cove Cake Design has flourished into a thriving home business whose cakes have been recognised and featured in numerous magazines and blogs from around the world.

Cove Cake Design  Cove Cake Design  Cove Cake Design



Erica Bracken Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father, and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after a brief dalliance with law, she completed a Masters degree in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food,  nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn  and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the  way.

Erica Bracken  Erica Bracken
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