Cake decorators know all about modern wedding cake trends — but what about the trends that have come and gone over the past century? One cake decorator, Gabrielle Feuersinge of Cake Coquette, partnered with Mode.com to showcase iconic cakes from the past 100 years.
Want to know the design secrets of yesterday? Learn more about Gabrielle’s nostalgic cakes — including her favorite design, the most challenging to create and her inspiration for the modern cake — right here!
“This cake was the simplest one. The showpiece really was the flower topper, so I did a simple, white fondant cake. At first I thought I’d do them all with fondant, and then I realized that wouldn’t be entirely authentic, so I switched to buttercream later on.”
“This was probably one of my favorites! I looked at all kinds of beautiful, intricate cakes from the 1920s and concluded that they all were royal icing. Even though this was one of the smaller cakes, it probably took the longest because of all the piping.”
“We learned that during this time period, they would have used a harder, fondant-like frosting, so that’s what we went with here.”
“I’d heard that horseshoes were a big look on cakes in the ‘40s as a sign of good luck. I kind of put my own spin on it with the horseshoes on the side of the cake.”
If you look at pictures of cakes from the ‘50s, there’s no consistency in the height or width of the tiers. I think maybe people made them at home with whatever pans they had. I wanted to stay true to that, so I picked really odd sizes.”
“In the pictures, cakes were starting to get pretty tall in the ‘60s, so I was playing around with different heights. Each tier was about 3 inches tall, and the columns really made this one tall.”
“It was hard to find some of the elements like pillars and columns from these outdated cakes. The company I bought them from told me that they’re discontinuing them since they’re so not popular anymore. I cleaned them out of their stock!”
“This one was the biggest ensemble for sure! But I’m very comfortable working with buttercream, so I was able to knock these ones out quickly.”
“The quintessential look of the ’90s was scroll piping, little flowers and trying to come up with something different. The square cakes started to get popular — you didn’t see them before the ‘90s.”
“We were originally going to do a cupcake stand presentation, but it didn’t look great on camera, so we just put them around the cake. Smaller cakes and cupcakes were the look!”
“Obviously this cake is not for every couple — maybe one couple would ever choose it for their wedding. My point in making it wild and fun was that now you can do whatever you want that’s perfect for you. While there are trends, what I see most often is that everyone wants to have something different. More often than not, people come to me looking for cakes that are original, have an artistic angle and stand out.”
As for the iconic cake of 2016 that will stand the test of time? Gabby says naked cakes and textured buttercream will go down in the history books.