Friday, April 1, 2011

Oh Martha! Popular Cake Toppers

Want cake topper inspiration? Look no further than Martha. Some toppers can be family heirlooms, some are whimsical and traditional packed with lovely tradition. Read below to get the scoop from Martha on what certain cake toppers can mean.
This horseshoe is a classic symbol of good fortune; a bride in England might tie a horseshow charm to her wrist for luck. The topper here is made of phalais, a dried grass that resembles wheat, itself an emblem of fertility and abundance. The ribbon is embriodered with the couples' initials.  
In Bermuda, couples top their wedding cakes with tiny saplings, which they plant to grow as their marriages do. Here, a milk-chocolate figurine, formed in a replica of a 1920s mold, stands on a faux top tier of Styrofoam coated to match the cake. The flowering quince branches above were painted with chocolate (choose pesticide-free foliage). Chocolate modeling dough makes a balustrade and miniature roses. The rolled fondant is tinted pink to pick up the hue of the quince.
As legend has it, wedding bells ring out to announce a brand-new union to the world -- and also to frighten away any evil spirits. These bells and the wreath of paper flowers that encircles them were made using the old-fashioned art of quilling, in which strips of paper are manipulated into intricate shapes. Gum-paste curlicues on the fondant-covered cake pick up where the paper ones leave off.

Guests will be enchanted with a pale-blue wedding cake draped in garlands of tiny leaves and delicate paper bows. A matching wreath topper symbolizes the eternal nature of marriage.
Working with designer Denise Sharp, they took poetic license with Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famed love sonnet, quoting it on a cake by Kromer. Sharp's calligraphed paper garlands -- dotted with ribbon flowers and bows, and adhered with royal icing -- and paper bands encircle fondant tiers that graduate from rosy pink to paler pink on top. The bands are layered over satin ribbon and scalloped cardboard trim wrapped with embroidery floss. A crepe-paper bouquet on a fondant disk is the crown.
The topper is made of three nesting boxes, each edged in gold ribbon, tied up like a parcel from an elegant boutique.
For this cake topper, we selected a dish made of a barley candy. If you want to use a china dish, which is much heavier, insert three or four dowels into the top tier of the cake to support it.
A sunny canopy parts to reveal a three-tiered, fondant-covered cake. It is finished with an initial made of hand-painted, sugar-paste flowers, a sweet topper for a garden wedding.

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