All That Glitters

The latest cake trend is a feast for the eyes
Edible sequins add sparkle and texture to your cake. “It takes the design to the next level,” says Sweet Heather Anne’s Heather Leavitt. | Photograph: Lauren Dahlhuser

WEDDING DAY GLAMOUR DOESN’T stop with your dress. Edible sequins bring sparkle and couture details to the dessert table, creating a wedding cake that looks just as good as it tastes. Here, Heather Leavitt, owner of Ann Arbor bakeshop Sweet Heather Anne, dishes about how to get the look.

MDW: When did you start incorporating edible sequins into your cake designs?

Heather Leavitt: Katie Robinson, a talented cake designer on our team, first came up with using wafer paper for sequins when she was working on a cake inspired by a client’s wedding dress a couple years ago. Prior to this, we made sequins out of fondant, but I always thought they looked too heavy and I was never satisfied with the final product. Wafer paper sequins are so light and delicate, and we just love the way they look. That cake inspired us to start playing around with other sequin cakes, and before we knew it we were covering entire tiers with edible sequins.

MDW: What do you love most about this growing trend in wedding cakes?

HL: I love the sparkle and texture that the sequins add to a cake. Even when we just add pops of sequins, it really takes the design to the next level.

MDW: What’s the process for creating edible sequin details?

HL: The first step is choosing your inspiration. For this cake, we used a 1920s dress, but the possibilities are really endless. We’ve also used ’80s sweaters, sequin wall art, and wedding dresses to inspire our work. After designing the cake, we make the sequins out of wafer paper or gelatin. We actually have a free tutorial on our website. I won’t go into all of the details but it involves cutting out the sequins one by one with a hole punch, so it’s a bit tedious but so worth it. Then, we attach the sequins to the cake with royal icing, using tweezers to handle them. It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but we have a great team and divide up the labor so it doesn’t take forever.

MDW: How long does it take and how many team members are involved in creating a cake like this?

HL: This cake took about 40 hours in decoration time alone. That was split between six different team members to ensure that the cake was fresh and delicious when the wedding guests were able to enjoy it.

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