Looking to bring some classic elegance to your special occasion? Consider an Art Deco cake. This striking design style, which originated in the 1920s, is known for its bold geometric shapes, dramatic contrast, and metallic accents. Whether you’re celebrating a wedding, birthday, or other event, an Art Deco cake is sure to make a stunning impression. In this article, we’ll explore the history, styles, techniques, and flavors of Art Deco cakes. Let’s dive in!
Understanding the Art Deco style
Before we get into the specifics of Art Deco cakes, let’s take a moment to explore the style behind them. Art Deco is characterized by a combination of classicism and modernism, featuring sleek lines, vivid colors, and ornate details. It emerged in the aftermath of World War I, as a response to the previous Art Nouveau movement. Art Deco was inspired by a variety of sources, including the Egyptian pyramids, African tribal art, and the skyscrapers of New York City. It was a popular style for architecture, fashion, and graphic design as well as cakes.
One of the defining features of Art Deco is its emphasis on luxury and glamour. This was a reflection of the optimism and prosperity of the 1920s, known as the “Roaring Twenties”. Art Deco designs often incorporated expensive materials such as gold, silver, and ivory, as well as exotic materials like sharkskin and zebra hide.
Despite its popularity, Art Deco fell out of favor in the 1930s, as the world plunged into economic depression and the mood turned towards austerity. However, the style experienced a revival in the 1960s and has remained popular ever since. Today, Art Deco is often associated with the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and is a popular theme for weddings, parties, and other special events.
The history of Art Deco cakes
Art Deco cakes are a relatively recent phenomenon, having emerged in the 21st century as a revival of the classic style. The first Art Deco cake is thought to have been created in 1925 for the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. Since then, Art Deco cakes have evolved and adapted to different eras and cultures, but they are always characterized by their bold shapes and metallic accents.
One of the most famous Art Deco cake designers was the American baker, Sylvia Weinstock. She began her career in the 1980s and quickly became known for her extravagant and intricate designs. Weinstock’s cakes have been featured at high-profile events such as celebrity weddings and presidential inaugurations.
Today, Art Deco cakes continue to be popular for their unique and glamorous aesthetic. Many modern cake designers incorporate elements of Art Deco style into their creations, such as geometric shapes, metallic finishes, and bold color schemes. Whether it’s a wedding cake or a special occasion dessert, an Art Deco cake is sure to make a statement.
Classic Art Deco cake designs
When it comes to classic Art Deco cake designs, think bold geometric shapes, black and white contrast, and metallic accents. The tiered cake can be square with angular edges or round with sharp-edged layers. The cake is usually decorated with symmetrical shapes, like diamonds, triangles or sunbursts and are embellished with metallic fan arches and towers. A typical color scheme is monochrome with contrast of black or white or gold or silver.
One of the most popular Art Deco cake designs is the skyscraper cake. This cake is designed to look like a tall building with multiple tiers, each one smaller than the one below it. The tiers are often decorated with intricate geometric patterns and metallic accents, giving the cake a sleek and modern look.
Another popular Art Deco cake design is the sunburst cake. This cake features a large sunburst design in the center, with smaller sunbursts radiating outwards. The sunbursts are often made from metallic fondant or icing, giving the cake a glamorous and luxurious feel. This design is perfect for weddings or other formal events.
Modern twists on Art Deco cake designs
While classic Art Deco cake designs are beautiful, many bakers are putting their own spin on this classic style. Today, you can find Art Deco cakes in any color, shape, or size, with intricate edible decorations that bring the past into the present. Some modern twists include incorporating bold colors, emerging trends such as blush pink, coral and navy blue. Try adding more geometric accents or using geometric patterns with colored fondant for an updated twist on a classic style.
Another modern twist on Art Deco cake designs is the use of metallic accents. Gold, silver, and bronze are popular choices for adding a touch of glamour and luxury to the cake. These metallic accents can be incorporated into the cake design through edible paint, foil, or even edible glitter.
Additionally, some bakers are experimenting with incorporating different textures into their Art Deco cake designs. For example, adding edible lace or sugar flowers can create a more intricate and delicate look. Other bakers are using techniques such as marbling or ombré to create a unique and eye-catching effect.
How to incorporate geometric shapes into an Art Deco cake
Geometry is the key to a successful Art Deco cake. The shapes have to be crafted precisely and with detail. Hand-cutting geometric shapes or using cutters are best tools to make sharp triangles, diamonds, or circles. Fondant strips can be laid in an overlapping pattern to create corners and edges. Use of gold or silver straws to make the structure and toppers to give the final look of style.
When incorporating geometric shapes into an Art Deco cake, it’s important to consider the color scheme. Bold and contrasting colors such as black, white, and gold are commonly used in Art Deco designs. These colors can be incorporated into the cake through the use of fondant or edible paint. Additionally, adding metallic accents such as gold leaf or silver dragees can enhance the overall look of the cake.
Another important aspect to consider when creating an Art Deco cake is the texture. Geometric shapes can be made more visually interesting by adding texture to them. This can be achieved through the use of embossing mats or by adding edible glitter or sanding sugar to the fondant. Texture can also be added to the cake itself by using a textured buttercream or fondant finish.
Choosing the right color palette for an Art Deco cake
Art Deco has a range of colors that are universally accepted. The most popular color palette for Art Deco cakes is monochromatic, which includes black and white with a touch of silver or gold. However, you can also try combinations of wine, creams, green and gold for autumn feel or blush pink, lilac and silver for a luxurious feel. The choice of color depends on the theme of the occasion and personal preference.
When choosing a color palette for an Art Deco cake, it’s important to consider the overall design and style of the cake. For example, if the cake has intricate geometric patterns, a monochromatic color palette may be the best choice to highlight the design. On the other hand, if the cake has a more organic or floral design, a softer color palette with pastel shades may be more appropriate.
Another factor to consider when choosing colors for an Art Deco cake is the flavor and ingredients of the cake itself. For example, if the cake has a chocolate flavor, a darker color palette with shades of brown and gold may complement the flavor profile. Similarly, if the cake has a fruity flavor, a lighter color palette with shades of pink and green may enhance the fruity notes.
Using metallic accents in an Art Deco cake
Metallic accents are paramount in Art Deco cakes. Cake decorators use edible gold paint, metallic sugar, or fondant in gold or silver color to accent the cake. Metallic toppers like gold animals, fan arches or monograms add a glimmer and shine to the design.
Tips for creating a tiered Art Deco cake
If you want to create a tiered Art Deco cake, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure the tiers are level and support each other with invisible straws or cake dowels. Secondly, work on one tier at a time, ensuring the placement and symmetrical design of geometric shapes. Thirdly, assemble the cake on the site of the event. Place carefully to avoid any damage to the cake. Carefully stack the tiers by adding similar accents to all the tiers.
The best flavors to use in an Art Deco cake
The flavor choices for an Art Deco cake can be wide. Classic flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and lemon can be used, while exotic flavors like passionfruit, lavender, and coconut are also popular. You can be more adventurous and try bold and daring flavors that can complement the eye-catching design of the Art Deco cake. The palate and the theme of the event should match the flavor choice.
How to make edible fondant decorations for an Art Deco cake
Fondant is an ideal medium for intricate Art Deco decorations because of its smooth and moldable texture. Use of fondant molds and cutters ensures smooth and sharp designs. Fondant can be tinted to any color to personalize the design. After the cakes tiers are covered with fondant, cut out different geometric shape from colored fondant and layer them with edible glue, adding additional layers until the desired effect is achieved.
Perfecting the smooth finish on an Art Deco cake
One of the most important parts of an Art Deco cake is creating a smooth finish. This can be achieved by covering the cake with a thin layer of fondant and using a fondant smoothing tool to make sure there are no bumps or wrinkles. Ensure that there aren’t any air bubbles trapped between the cake and the fondant. For smooth fondant accents, roll out the fondant on a cornstarch-dusted surface to avoid sticking.
Creating a show-stopping Art Deco wedding cake
For a show-stopping Art Deco wedding cake, incorporate all the classic Art Deco elements with a touch of personal style. Use of personalized monogram, added flowers and fruits and tiered structure adds the perfect wedding element. The layers and the designs should blend seamlessly. Matching the color of the cake to the wedding dress adds an extra layer of sentiment to the design.
Impressing guests with a unique Art Deco groom’s cake
Surprise your guests with a unique Art Deco groom’s cake. The groom’s cake is an opportunity to add personality and fun to the design. Try adding a personalized car cake, an art deco themed whiskey bottle or even the groom’s favorite sports team logo. The design can be kept to black and white with a touch of metallic to add dramatic effects.
Designing an art deco-inspired dessert table
An Art Deco-inspired dessert table can be a great way to incorporate the design into an event. Simple white or black mini cakes or cupcakes with metallic accents, every shape of sweets, such as macarons, cookies, and bite-size donuts, can be displayed on an Art Deco-inspired table for a visually striking look. The display and the dessert elements should be designed in symmetrical shape to create the Art Deco feel.
Art Deco cakes are a dramatic and elegant way to celebrate any special occasion. Whether you’re looking for classic, modern, or personalized touches, there’s an Art Deco cake to fit any style. Use geometric shapes, metallic accents, and smooth fondant finishes to create a cake that will be as memorable as it is delicious.