The calla lily symbolises beauty, and white calla lilies have been favourites of brides since they were introduced to America in the late 19th century. One lavish use of the lily's graceful shape is as the decoration on wedding cakes. The flowers are made from sugar paste, rolled fondant or imported directly from nature.
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Traditional Tiered Cake
The royal wedding of Victoria and Albert in 1840 featured a 9-foot-wide wedding cake in two tiers. The sugar frosting used on the cake gave us the term "royal icing." But it took 20 more years for multiple tiers to become common and even then they were reserved for the wealthy. Today's happy couple can opt for the contemporary tradition, a towering white, multitiered cake. When covered in a swirl of white calla lilies, any cake seems like a regal confection. A three-tiered cake frosted in white royal icing with a rim of sugar rosettes bordering each tier might use a delicate spray of calla lilies as a cake topping with posies of calla lilies tumbling from tier to tier down the front of the cake.
When the bride's bouquet is calla lilies, the perfect cake can reflect the delicate beauty of the live flowers. This is a wonderful way to add stature to a small cake for a simple wedding. A one- or two-tiered white cake, set on a crystal cake stand or a viewing table scattered with white rose petals, supports a symmetrical arrangement of real calla lilies. The flowers rise in a precise "bouquet" with the stems equidistant apart and every blossom a matching size. This calla lily sculpture uses the cake as a pedestal and is held together with a gossamer silk ribbon. A slightly more elaborate cake features the flowers around a clear and invisible centre support that holds up the small bride cake in between the blossoms at the top of the tower. The flowers almost seem to be the pedestal for the top layer of cake.
Calla cupcakes are an indulgence for a lively, more casual wedding with whimsical decor. A milk glass or crystal cupcake pedestal holds tiers of beautifully frosted cupcakes, each one with its own sugar calla lily on top. The uppermost tier holds a small, single-layer cake to keep tradition. It can be cut by the bride and groom or saved as the anniversary cake to be eaten the next year. The small bride cake is covered by a posy of calla lilies, either a sugar creation or a bouquet of real flowers in place of a bride and groom cake topping.
Calla lilies are not limited to white in the garden and they are no longer exclusively white at weddings either. The flowers come in watercolour shades of vibrant pink, lush purple, vivid orange, buttery yellow, rusty maroon and even black. They are stunning in any shade and, when tradition is not the deciding factor, personal taste gets colourful. So does the cake. A wedding cake awash in bright calla lilies might be a classic carrot cake, a citrusy key lime cake, or a rich chocolate devil's food cake. The lilies tumble down the sides of the cake, interwoven with French organdie ribbon and the whole colour scheme matches the bride's bouquet. A cake with an arrangement of wedding lilies provides options for the bride who wants to keep her bouquet. The floral cake decoration can be tossed into the crowd to determine who will marry next -- a botanical version of having your cake and eating it, too.
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