Westchester Wedding Guide From the Pros for 2012: Local Wedding Vendors Share Trends and Favorites for Cake Ideas and Styles, Popular Icing Choices, Most Memorable Wedding Cake, and Budget Dessert Options
The Sweet Send-Off
Cakes in Westchester have more in common with works of art than with Duncan Hines—dessert creates the last impression of the evening, after all.
ON THE RISE Have your cake—and pie, and cupcakes, and candy—and eat them all, too. The “dessert buffet,” in which couples let their guests have a choice of desserts, often displayed on a well-styled table, is catching fire in Westchester. “There is more interest in dessert bars with more diverse options, small portions, and non-traditional tastings,” says Karen Miller of Three Dogs Gluten-Free Bakery in Briarcliff Manor. The most popular desserts—in addition to the cake, of course—are cookies, pies, whoopee pies, cake pops (one-bite cakes on a stick that look like lollipops), and French macarons. “The macarons have become very popular over the past year,” says David Shore of La Renaissance Pâtisserie Française of Scarsdale. “We offer them in chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, lemon, mocha, and raspberry.”
ON THE DECLINE Cupcakes are out, our vendors say, unanimously agreeing that traditional wedding cakes are far more popular in Westchester. And modest ones, too. “The mega-sized wedding cake is on the decline,” says Shore. Adds Phyllis Procopis of The Pastry Corner in Mount Kisco: “We’ve seen our clients shift toward a desire for stacked and simple wedding cakes.” And the cake tops? Leave them plain. “We don’t see plastic cake toppers that often,” Shore says. “They are not popular.”
THE LOOK Most Westchesterites go for a classic, clean, and elegant look for the wedding cake. “Most couples are still very traditional, with round tier cakes with some sort of ribbon and scroll work,” says Lynn Ayala of Dream Cakes Bakery in Cortlandt Manor. “The bulky buttercream-roses era has definitely passed!” Miller agrees: “I am still getting a lot of orders for perfect, really tall tiers; clean lines; and white-on-white.”
Decorations, if any, follow the minimalist style. “Simple, understated, elegant, modern, and clean finishes,” says Jay Muse of Lulu Cake Boutique in Scarsdale, with “pearls, metallic colors, ruching techniques that mimic current wedding-gown trends, and hand-painted motifs.” Bakers also see a lot of requests for Swiss dots, small flowers, scrolls, or cakes that match the couple’s invitations.
THE TASTE There’s an adventuresome palate in Westchester, with couples going for “foodie-forward flavors,” says Muse, “infusing green teas, chai, and savory spices.” Other oft-requested flavors include: Red Velvet ∙ Pumpkin ∙ Coconut ∙ Carrot ∙ Chocolate Mousse ∙ Strawberry Shortcake ∙ Raspberry ∙ Ganache ∙ Oreo/Cookies 'n’ Cream.
THE ICING ON THE CAKE
FROM THE PLANNERS “Passed desserts are a popular alternative to the traditional plated dessert,” says Melisa Imberman of The Event of a Lifetime in Milwood. “Retro desserts are a fun option, such as s’mores, Mallomars, and Ring Dings.”
“In the warmer months, it’s always fun to serve mini Popsicles in beautiful, bright colors, especially when guests are heating up from all of the dancing,” says Lauren Sozmen of Loli Events.
MOST MEMORABLE “We had one client who had a wedding cake consist of ten different varieties pies.”
—Phyllis Procopis, The Pastry Corner
“A groom’s cake in the shape of a Ferrari race car. The couple was traveling to Italy for their honeymoon to see the races.”
—Lynn Ayala, Dream Cakes Bakery
“Flavor wise—a sour cream chocolate cake layered with ‘Banoffee’ custard, composed of a combination of toffee and banana, with homemade dark-chocolate-covered toffee bits. Visually—a Super Mario Brothers-themed wedding cake.”
—Jay Muse, Lulu Cake Boutique
“We do a lot of 3D Yankee Stadium groom’s cakes, which are always pretty memorable.”
—Jaime Raucci, Riviera Bakehouse
“A wedding cake decorated with white fondant icing, fondant orchids, and approximately three-hundred sugar pearl dragées.”
—David Shore, La Renaissance Pâtisserie Française of Scarsdale
SAVE “Decorating the big formal cakes is what adds to the cost,” Miller says. So, to save money, cut down on the labor-intensive decorations. Opt for a more minimal cake, or a dessert buffet that includes lots of un-decorated cookies and pies. Or, you can rely on an old trick: order a smaller, tiered cake for cutting and display, then serve your guests sheetcake from the kitchen.
The Bakery at Four Corners
Beascakes Bakery & Breads
The Chocolate Dreamer
Cocoa Chocolate Shop
Connie’s Bakery & General Store
Dream Cakes Bakery
Flour & Sun Bakery
Homestyle Desserts Bakery
La Renaissance Pâtisserie Française of Scarsdale
La Tulipe Desserts
Lulu Cake Boutique
The Pastry Corner
Provisions Bake Shop and Café
Sweet Delites Pastry Shop
Susan Gambelli Custom Cakes
Three Dogs Gluten-Free Bakery