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Cake Talk with Culinary Capers Pastry Chef Kim Collishaw

Culinary Capers Catering Pastry Chef Kim Collishaw is busy custom designing and handcrafting wedding and celebration cakes for the 2014 wedding season.  We asked Kim what the wedding cake trends are for this year.


Q:  Are wedding cakes still popular for today’s modern bride?

In the last few years we have seen a decline in cakes for weddings.  Instead brides are doing a bountiful dessert station that may feature a petite wedding cake.  However, I think the wedding cake is coming back as brides are realizing that the cake is an important and traditional focal point of their wedding.

Q:  What are you seeing for big picture trends and flavours in wedding cakes on the West Coast?

A lot of simplicity.  Couples are forgoing lavishly decorated cakes and instead opting for a simpler design with fewer embellishments. Buttercream is in!

Culinary Cakes Buttercream Wedding Cakes
Culinary Cakes Buttercream Wedding Cakes
Buttercream cake finished with burlap and lace
Buttercream cake finished with burlap and lace

Personalizing flavours. 
During an initial cake consultation, couples will ask to recreate a flavour of a dessert from a memorable vacation destination. Nostalgia is also a big factor in flavours. A bride or groom will ask us to create a variation of a dessert they enjoyed as a child.

Culinary Cakes Ombre Red Velvet
Culinary Cakes Ombre Red Velvet

Keep flavours in check with the season.  The wedding cake is about picking flavours that reflect the season. Summer is perfect for delicate flavours like raspberries, lemon and vanilla. Winter is more about the decadent comfort of chocolate and caramel.

Q:  Tell us what’s specifically hot for 2014!

Pink, Ombre and Ruffles
This look is ultra feminine. Ombre means there is a subtle difference of colour on each tier. The cake ruffles are made with a fondant and gum paste mix. The handmade flowers are crafted from gum paste and lustered with various shades of pink to give it dimension.

Culinary Cakes Ruffled Cakes
Culinary Cakes Ruffled Cakes

Get Naked! Frosting Free

These free-form cakes are more relaxed looking than a finished wedding cake. The cake is filled with a cream, custard, or light mousse and fresh fruit, stacked like a wedding cake and dusted with icing sugar. These cakes echo the ever popular, “rustic chic” farm-to-table wedding theme.  You can do any combination of flavours including vanilla, lime and berries (pictured below) or chocolate cake, raspberry filling and fresh berries.

Culinary Capers Cakes Naked Cake
Culinary Cakes Naked Cake
Q:  Fondant or Buttercream debate – what are the pros and cons for each?

What I like about fondant is that it stands up much longer in warmer weather. Buttercream is a nicer flavour and should hold up as long as the cake is not sitting out too long in a sunny, warm setting.

Culinary Cakes Fondant Cakes
Culinary Cakes Fondant Cakes


Q:  What are your tips to consider before seeking out a pastry chef or bakery?

Creative collaboration.  It’s all about fit, so ensure that your style and the pastry chef’s style mesh. Bring photo inspirations to your cake consultation to ensure the pastry chef feels comfortable executing the creative touches and techniques that you would like for your cake.

Have a budget range in mind.  A professional pastry chef should be able to efficiently guide you through various price ranges depending on what kind of cake you are envisioning.  The more detail there is, the more expensive the cake will be.


Wedding Cakes:   Culinary Cakes
Photos:  Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm, Culinary Capers Catering
Photo credit:  Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. (burlap and lace cake)

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