Studly Sweets

What’s New in Groom Cakes

The hottest new trend in grooms’ desserts actually returns to the centuries-old tradition of more classically shaped confections for the man of the hour.

Baseball caps. Drum sets. A pizza pie. These are just some of the shapes that grooms' cakes have taken in recent years. But the tide is starting to turn against (and some bakers are thankful!) these goofy characterizations of the groom's favorite pastime.

Read on for the best-dressed ideas for a cake for the groom.

Stick to chocolate

The groom's cake dates back to the 17th century, way before we knew how to craft a dessert into the shape of Yankee Stadium. So, return to the elegance of yesteryear by embracing one of the classic forms of the groom's cake--a rich, dark chocolate confection to offset the oft-white tower of buttercream that's center-stage at the wedding.

Serve it at the rehearsal dinner

Speaking of stages, why risk having the groom's cake steal the thunder of the main wedding cake by serving them at the same time? Many wedding bakers recommend serving the groom's cake the night before at the rehearsal dinner (an event that is traditionally hosted by the groom's family, anyway) instead.

"We get orders for rehearsals a lot," says Ken Romaniszyn, the president of the ultra chic Lady M Confections in New York City. Lady M's signature "Mille Crêpe" in chocolate is exactly the kind of groom's dessert that is taking off these days. Not your grandmother's layered cake, this pastry is made of 20 layers of delicate crêpes with silky whipped pastry cream between each thin French sheet. Set with a crème brûlée-like topping, this splendid sweet far surpasses any confection that looks like a cheeseburger.

Go for understatement

If you still dream of going for a more light-hearted approach to the groom's cake, consider one that is design-driven. "Stained glass designs are a particularly popular trend and the range of design is wide: from intricate Art Nouveau to clean, geometric Craftsman," says Maggie Austin, the owner of Maggie Austin Cake in Washington, D.C.

Channel Don Draper

For a color palette, the trend is more retro, à la Mad Men era. "For colors, I go with sleek tones such as grey, black, blue, or silver," says Liz Shim, owner of Eat Cake and Be Merry, serving the New York metropolitan area.

"I would recommend a square cake (since square is generally more modern) decorated with clean/minimal graphic silhouettes or even diagonal stripes that resemble a silk tie. A bold monogram in a modern font such as Neutra Text is also a fresh option."

Add booze

Say your groom doesn't like chocolate but still wants to go for a more studly sweet? Why not go for a cake that has a touch of alcohol as flavor? A touch of rum-soaked raisins or a brandy-flavored filling is a great alternative for a masculine-inspired groom's cake.

It is important to note that custom of late has dictated that the bride surprises her hubby-to-be with a cake for him. While this is a tradition that can just as well go by the wayside (why prevent your betrothed from joining in the selection?) you have our approval to surprise him with a booze-soaked dessert. It will surely be a hit.

--Erinn Bucklan

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