Inspired by the decor and architecture of the Baroque period, the most lavish and opulent cake style of the moment is without doubt the gilded gold antique frame cake design.
Pioneered by the magnificent cake art of Alexandria Pellegrino of The Cake Opera Company in Canada, the design trend has seen top cake artists create ornate, gilded frames in sugar rivalling the grandeur of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
While it is a design style that is primarily over-the-top and luxurious, it can also be adapted for more low-key, simpler creations and even contemporary designs.
The spectacular feature cake above is by the UK’s own queen of sugar gilding – Diana Woolmer of Dee’s Sweet Surprises. All of Diana’s cakes bear her unmistakable touch of luxury with gilded details and frames – no matter what the cake occasion, Dee’s Sweet Surprises can gild it! The design above is one of the more heavily ornamented styles, with layers upon layers of gilded accoutrements and gilded robing for a truly over-the-top, luxe look.
Cat Collins of The Cake Whisperer is also a long-time fan of the sugarcrafted frame in her super stylish wedding cake collection, including the stylish wedding cake above in soft muted tones. The beautifully shaped ornate gilded frame is embellished further with studded dragees, with the “peeling layers” effect of the second tier adding a wonderful “faded elegance” feel overall to this beautiful antique design.
La Fabrik A Gateaux of Quebec have also graced a number of their wedding cake designs with sugarcrafted antique frames in their cake styling, incorporating it with the bridal couture trend of ruffled fabric in the design below, seamlessly blending two beautiful design trends. The fabulously ornate frame is set against a pearl beaded backdrop for the perfect touch of vintage chic. Rich gold set against pristine white also makes for an suberbly elegant wedding colour scheme.
When designing an antique frame wedding cake, bear in mind the following tips:
- Make a sketch of the overall shape you would like the frame to take and it’s positioning/placement on the cake
- A sugarcrafted frame can be made using silicone moulds, such as scroll moulds, leaf moulds, fleur de lis moulds, casting individual elements then layering them and piecing them together to form the frame.
- Reserve the two largest pieces – a large medallion, fleur de lis or damask piece for the pinnacle and one for the centrepoint at the bottom of the frame.
- Keep two medium sized mouldings for mid-way down the sides of the frame. Then fill in the frame between these four elements with scroll shapes, leaves, swags, moulded roses, etc. You’ll find a selection of moulds to create the baroque mouldings for a gilded frame design here.
- Before attaching the individual pieces to the cake, test your frame design on your work surface to see that it has the correct symmetry and balance. (Make sure each element on the left has a mirror image piece to match on the right.)
- When ready to decorate, attach the pieces before they dry out/ harden in case you need to bend them into shape a little.
- Don’t paint the pieces until they are in place the cake – the colour could smudge against the cake if you need to make adjustment. Wait until the frame is in place fully and dry before painting with metallic gold.
While extending a gilded frame over a number of tiers creates a dramatic effect, a more subtle antique effect can be achieved by placing the frame against a single tier, perhaps framing a classic monogram. Dewi Kurniadi of Sweet Bloom Cakes has done just that with her fabulously pretty, yet stately, antique wedding cake above (left), pairing it with lace detailing and the subtle pastel sugar florals.
On the right, a small framed monogram makes adds a stylish finishing touch to this smart, striped cake by Classic Cake and Confections (image: Gina Meola Photography).
Another example is Anna Tyler’s luxury vintage wedding cake below featuring an antique gold frame with a simple inscribed sentiment amidst a cascade of blush sugar flowers for a truly on-trend wedding cake design, incorporating feminine florals and luxe baroque styling.
The French inspiration is clear in this bold striped wedding cake design by The Cake Whisperer framed with a fabulous gilded gold surround, adorned with fresh white sugar flowers and dramatic Louis XIV style ruffles.
One of The Cake Opera’s outstanding designs below features a jewelled frog, no less, for a truly custom wedding cake creation. The vintage keyhole centrepiece is surrounded with an opulent gold frame matching the splendour of the gilded amphibian.
Another of Sweet Bloom’s beautiful blush and gold wedding cakes features below left – this time the gold frame has been in-filled with a metallic gold finish for a fabulously extravagant wedding cake look.
On the right, one of Dee’s Sweet Surprises signature creations – a wow 21st birthday cake decked out in a black & white Chanel-inspired bow for an added touch of French glamour.
For a more restrained baroque inspired design, a smaller antique frame adds the perfect touch of vintage luxury and is beautifully paired with applique lace in this ivory wedding cake design by The Rolling Pin, Canada.
A square gilded border frames cameo style silhouettes in the wonderfully whimsical teacup wedding cake design (below right) from Tracey Rothwell of The Little Cherry Cake Company in a pastel, rococo-inspired colour palette (one of the four designs she teaches in her new Craftsy class: Stretch Your Style – Designs For Any Client).
An adorable little girl cameo in antique gold features in this ultra luxe children’s birthday cake below by Dee’s Sweet Surprises, with tiny gold bows adding a beautiful design feature to the gilded gold frame. The design is finished with a decandent gold rose border, button-centred flowers and crimped gold edging on the board for an extra antique touch.
An enchanting ballerina cake in soft pink antiqued with gilded gold flourishes and a birthday monogram framed in gold features below by The Sweet & Saucy Shop (image by Troy Grover Photography).
A simple birthday cake design is given a luxury finish with a gilded gold frame side design and topped with dramatic sugar flowers, beautifully textured and dusted, in pretty shades of lavender and mauve below by Jenna Rae Cakes.
Another super luxe creation from Sweet & Saucy below with a gold framed monogram and baroque moulding dressing this fabulous cake, topped with a soft pink sugar rose. On the right, one of Jorge Blanco’s impeccably designed creations from Sugar Couture Cupcakes & Cakes with splended gold framed detailing in two parts and a wow sugar flower bouquet.
Joshua John Russell, aka The Fashion Caker, is always ahead of the curve in terms of cake design and his gilded gold framed creation below is no exception. Hand piped scrolls and fleurs de lis create a marvellous framed effect. Quilted detailing and gold studded tufting adds a fabulous design element inspired by the luxe upholstery of the baroque period. Joshua finishes his design with an arrangement of succulents and dusky pink sugar flowers in a nod to contemporary trends.
Abundant arrangements of fresh garden florals add an extra layer of luxury to Faye Cahill‘s baroque styled wedding cake design below (image by Lucy Leonardi Photography). On the right, JK Cake Designs (formerally Cake by Kim, Australia) have created a beautiful assymetrical frame surrounding a gilded gold monogram in the unique design below, dressed with vintage doiles and luxe fabric effect flowers.
And while large cakes make a great canvas for ornamental frames, cupcakes too can be decked out with minature frame cake toppers and gilded decor as seen in the luxe cupcake collection below (image from The Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts).
Pastel blue and white striping set against a soft pink backdrop and encased in an opulent antique frame makes a wow celebration cake in the signature style of Dee’s Sweet Surprises (below left). Gilded gold buttons and sugar rosebuds add to the intricacy of the frame detail, with a vintage key making a beautiful touch.
Another of JK Designs/Cake by Kim’s vintage cake designs features below in a pretty pale blue and pink combo with vintage doile lace and fabric flowers.
Pale blue and gilded gold makes a fabulous rococo-inspired colour match below left – a true blue showstopper by the UK’s Victoria Made. Gilded gold leaves add an extra level of 3D detailing which really sets off this frame design.
French baroque and roccoco styling are two of the biggest design influences in the magnificent work of Alexandria Pellegrino of the Cake Opera Company with one of her splendid wedding cake designs featured below right in pale blue and gold – a marvellous wedding cake display for lavish wedding banquet.
Gold leaves feature again in the majestic cake design below flanking a stately square-shaped monogram against a faded blue backdrop by The Cake Whisperer.
Alexandria Pellegrino’s artistic background shines through her two historic wedding cake designs below as featured in her recent Craftsy class (Simple Skills for Dramatic Designs). In these two designs, Alexandra in-fills the gilded frames with antique toile and stamped designs for in a spectacular display of wedding cake art.
The pale blue and soft pink pastels favoured during the roccoco period create a beautiful palette for Amelie’s Kitchen’s antique wedding cake design below, perfectly accessorised with a gilded gold oval frame, laurel leaf garlands/swags and gilded border trims.
Contemporary colour palettes and statement sugar flowers create an amazing combination when paired with elegant gilded gold details like Miss Couture’s colourful modern spin on the old world style below.
Coral and mint come together beautifully in the stylish pleated design below from Rosy Cakes with a vintage floral portrait in a gilded gold frame making a fabulous focal point. On the right, The Cake Whisperer blends art deco motifs with baroque style flourishes in a splendid pastel wedding cake design.
Antique damask flocking and an ornate gilded frame are contemporarised with a splash of coral for a statement wedding cake design from Cakes 2 Cupcakes, with a softer coloured floral corsage making an elegant centrepoint.
High drama is the order of the day in Caking It Up’s stylish and imaginative “Snow White” inspired design below. Black icing provides a dramatic backdrop against which a gilded gold mirror is set, encasing bold monochromatic stripes and topped with a blood red apple for a spectacular design.
Charcoal grey isn’t the most obvious of choices to pair with ornamental gold details but works fabulously in the beautiful wedding cake design below by Sugar Couture Cupakes & Cakes, finished with a stylish arrangement of powder pink David Austin roses and parrot tulips for a super on-trend design.
If there’s one final touch that can make a gilded gold frame cake even more lavish, it’s adding a beautiful handpainted insert. Dreamy, handpainted peonies in soft pink watercolours are framed in lavish gold in an out-of-this-world design below by Nadia & Co.
The influence of French baroque styling is unmistakable the fabulous cake below from Let Them Eat Cakes, Canada – one of the original creations which inspired the framed cakes design trend – with a fabulous floral surround enhancing the gilded gold frame and extra handpainted detailing adding further depth to the design.
For a truly unforgettable wedding cake, Nevie Pie Cakes have created a majestic floral & gilded gold masterpiece below – a feast of handpainted floral art interwoven with luxurious baroque styling (image by Brighton Photography via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings).
More beautiful gilded gold detailing mixed with ivory florals this time from wedding cake master Ron Ben Israel (below left). On the right, one of Nadia & Co.’s unique designs – this time handpainting the gilded gold frame design for a magnificent single tier cake design.
Another of Nadia & Co.’s masterful handpainted frame designs features below with beautiful botanical flourishes and dressed with a stylish peach and gold sugar spray (image by Mango Studios via Wedding Chicks).
If gilded gold is a little too decadent for your wedding cake taste, then an ornate moulded frame in silver creates a stunning antique wedding cake feature, with a super stylish example below by The Cake Opera Co. (image by Iconica Photography via WedLuxe).
A vintage silver frame encasing a classic monogram in old world lettering is set to be one of the biggest design trends in period style wedding cakes over the next year with fabulous examples below by Faye Cahill (left) and Michele Coulon Dessertier (right, via Style Me Pretty), with blush florals softening the designs for a beautiful, feminine touch.
One of Alexandra Pellegrino’s iconic designs below features a lavish silver frame surrounding a handpainted woodland scene of silver birch in her famed “Footsteps in the Forest” winter wedding cake design below (image by Christian Oth Photography).
Silver framed details and delicate hand piped lace make the most beautiful vintage combination in the wedding cake design belwo by Emma Jayne Cake Design.
Always on top of the latest in cake design, Amelie’s Kitchen have created the beautiful and striking antique style wedding cake below topped with a pomander floral arrangement and styled with doile lace trim, ruffles and a classic monogram (blanked for privacy reasons) with an ornate silver frame, perfectly complemented with a silver swag garland.
A fabulous ruffled design paired with an intricate silver frame makes a beautiful vintage inspired wedding cake below by La Fabrik A Gateaux, (image by Arcouette Photography) tying together two fabulous trends – ruffles and antique frames.
A perfectly piped monogram features in Sugar Couture Cupcakes & Cakes silver frame design (below left), with an opulent sugar flower making a stylish focal point in another beautiful silver frame design (below right) from La Fabrik A Gateaux.
Duck egg blue provides the most fabulous backdrop for a silver framed monogram, complemented perfectly with soft pink sugar roses in this stately wedding cake design by Zoe Clark Cakes.
Soft, airy wafer paper flowers in pastels add a feminine touch to this ornate silver frame wedding cake by Punk Rock Cakes, Prague.
For another twist on the antique frame design trend, vintage white framing makes a beautiful alternative to the slightly heavier gilded gold and antique silver frames, and creates an almost lace-like effect with its intricate detailed. The lace effect frame is another signature design of The Cake Whisperer, Canada – their design below is in a super soft shade of mint, with a floral arch in peach and the intricate white frame draped with strings of pearls for added glamour.
Sweet Love Cake Couture have created a beautiful white-on-white lace effect frame in their piped design (below left) for a most elegant of birthday cakes for a 30th birthday party. A delicate white frame makes a beautiful addition to this children’s birthday cake (below right) from Lyon’s Bakery set against a mint backdrop.
Delicate scroll shapes are used to create a subtle lace frame on this superbly elegant wedding cake by Aimee Jayne Cake Design (below) finished with a beautiful arrangement of sugar roses in peach.
Another very simple white frame adds the perfect lace motif to the ladylike rustic cake below by Sweet Face Cakes.
The softest of beige/taupe against white is the beautiful colour palette chosen by wedding cake designers Suzanne Esper and Laura Cavillo-Howes of Divine Bakes in their sophisticated designs below, left and right respectively. Mixed height tiers and perfectly placed sugar roses add the perfect symmetry to the Suzanne Esper design (left) while ribbon roses in wafer paper and strings of pearls add vintage glamour to the smartly striped design by Divine Bakes (right).
Connie Cupcake/The White Cakery’s outstanding wedding cake design below simply oozes elegance with the intricate beaded central motif highlighted with an ornate lace effect frame composed of leaves and fern fronds in a nod to baroque splendour.
A stencilled lace frame encircles a simple monogram for a beautiful communion/confirmation cake below by JK Designs/Cake by Kim (Australia) in palest of blues. Cotton & Crumbs have also chosen pastel blue for their vintage chic wedding cake (below right) to frame a beautiful gold monogram on this whimsical teacup wedding cake.
Gently overlapping scrolls in white set against a white backdrop creates an ultra pretty lace frame in this pastel perfection wedding cake design by Alessandra Frisoni, trimmed with lavender ribbon and dressed with dusky pink roses mixed with ivory and silvery-mint dusty miller foliage.
The vintage cupcake collection below was designed as a “thank you” gift for bridesmaids by the Couture Bakery Hong Kong, with a vintage white frame making a super stylish cupcake topper on one of the designs.
A heavily ornamented white lace-effect frame creates the most stunning centrepiece for this pale blue wedding cake design by the Berliosca Cake Boutique below with layer upon layer of sculpted detail creating a fabulous baroque silhouette.
Pastel stripes in a white antique frame make a wonderful accompaniment to the candy pink ruffles on this super on-trend wedding cake by Sweet Fix Cakes, topped with a jaunty sugar flower spray (image Jessica Maida Photography). A beaded inner rim adds an extra layer of texture to this frame design.
Elaborate baroque mouldings and scrolls create a striking wedding cake design in this Victorian lace-inspired creation by Fatma Al-kuwari Cakes.
Buttoning detail creates a pretty fabric effect within the lace frame of this design from The Cake Whisperer. The pleated lower tiers make a wonderful contrast to the “torn paper” effect layering on the top tier for a beautiful shabby chic overall effect.
Delicate hand-piping creates the most ethereal of effects in this beautifully framed monogram cake by Simply Sweet Cakes Designs by Diana. The lace theme is continued on the bottom tier, with a whimsical dotted tier adding pretty texture in between.