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Best Place to Buy a Wedding Cake 

Readers' Pick

click to enlarge goods_pearls_cupcake.jpg

Scott Elmquist

First place:

Pearl's Bake Shoppe

5811 Patterson Ave.
285-2253
pearlsbakeshoppe.com

Second place: Westhampton Pastry Shop

Third place: Jae's Cakes

Wedding cake trends have evolved since Laurie Blakey first opened Pearl's Bake Shoppe in 2010. The rustic, unfinished crumb-coat look is phasing out, and betrothed couples are opting for linear, multitier cakes with a different design on each level. She says simple, elegant styles inspired by nature are also trending.

Pearl's will provide a cake of as many as five tiers for the big day, and yes, each tier can be a different flavor. Blakey generally recommends at least one with chocolate, one with vanilla and one with some sort of fruit, which gives the couple space for some creativity. Flavors rotate seasonally, but some offerings, like champagne, red velvet and bourbon-pecan, are popular year-round.

Cakes aren't the only reception centerpieces anymore, though. Cupcakes have been trendy for a while, as they allow for more flavor combinations at lower prices. And now, more and more couples are getting away from cake entirely, opting for less traditional desserts. Aside from ice cream, Blakey says if it's sweet, she and her team can make it.

"We've done doughnut weddings, we've done Bundt cake weddings, pie weddings," she says. "We've done cannolis, we've done creme brulee, we've done cheesecakes. You name it, we've done it."

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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