After a long winter spent wedding planning and pouring over spreadsheets, your big day cake tasting is going to be one of the most exciting to-dos on your list. With seemingly infinite flavor possibilities, how does one possibly narrow down the endless cake and filling combinations? That’s where Sarah Schlesinger comes in. Owner and designer of Sarah & Simon Cake Design, Schlesinger took us through the classic flavors that never go out of style as well as a few trendy combinations that are sure to wow your guests. Read on to see her favorite flavors, as well as what she thinks is the best source of confection inspiration.
According to the pro, citrus and floral flavors (like rose water!) rule in the springtime, but they’re not your only options. “Spring is an interesting time for flavors because it’s not quite cold and not quite warm — flavors toe the line between rich and delicate,” says Schlesinger. “I see a lot of lemon cake with raspberry jam, white chocolate instead of dark chocolate, and white funfetti cake for a pop of color and playfulness.” What’s more, if you’re a fan of carrot cake, a spring wedding gives you the perfect excuse to serve it.
Related article: The most popular wedding cake flavors, according to bakers
Try something trendy.
If you’re looking for something bit more unexpected for guests to sink their teeth into, Schlesinger notes that matcha is having a moment. Whether incorporated into cakes, fillings, or washes, you can elevate your morning cup of matcha to center stage with a little creative thinking. Not much of a sweet tooth? Fear not. Schlesinger’s second trend lends itself nicely to rustic affairs. “I’ve also been seeing more interest in the incorporation of savory herbs. Pairings like lemon and sage and rosemary and grapefruit are popular,” she says. “Cake flavors are definitely getting more experimental, and I think freshness plays a huge part during this season.”
Remember to bring it all together.
With the perfect spring flavor decided, it’s time to give the style some thought. Although florals for spring aren’t exactly…groundbreaking (we hear you, Miranda Priestly) the way they’re done can be. “Sugar flower and fresh flower decorated cakes alike are moving to a more ‘organic’ arrangement style,” explains Schlesinger. “Less tight bunches of flowers, more dreamy use of vines, long stems, and berry sprays.” But she also warns couples to avoid getting caught up in traditional design parameters and to push the boundaries instead. “Look for cake design inspiration in usual places — think about shapes, textures, and colors. The cake is like a custom sculpture. I once worked on a cake that had a pattern on it to mimic the bride’s shoes — it was unexpected, stood out, but was still tied another design element of the wedding.”
This article originally appeared on Martha Stewart Weddings.