Dessert: Cake Plus

Sure, let your guests eat cake, but for a really festive final course how about treating them to some other sweets, too?



Sure, let your guests eat cake,
but for a really festive final course how about treating them
to some other sweets, too?


Talk about a storybook romance. Inspired by the handmade, Old World marzipan confections on New Renaissance baker Bonnie Lyons’s three-tiered, orange blossom water mousseline-striped almond cake, event designer Matthew Parker presents nostalgic ribbon candy and Turkish delights on pedestals from Totally Tabletops and Iacoli & McAllister, respectively. The old-fashioned almond-flavored sweets also call for traditional Italian Amaretti di Saronno cookies; both can be packaged and sent home in reusable mason jars. Picking up on the woodland vibe of the hand-sculpted tree-fruit and berry marzipan, Parker commissioned This Charming Candy to create custom lollipops which he propped amid rustic elements. The designer gave the dessert table a fanciful, one-of-a-kind feeling with quilled paper details, made by rolling and shaping paper strips. New Renaissance Cakes (206-920-5322; newrenaissance
), Matthew Parker Events (206-218-7969;, Totally Tabletops (206-227-8572;, Iacoli & McAllister (206-225-1173;, This Charming Candy ( 







Red-checkered details and
natural elements evoke Americana
as well as the European countryside,
but who’s to say you can’t have
a picnic in a ballroom?






A rich picnic with single-barrel Blanton’s Kentucky bourbon and Italian maraschino cherry liqueur in crystal stemware, fresh raspberry-pink blooms, and ceramic plates from Cost Plus World Market that cleverly riff on the everyday paper ones? What a sweet idea—especially when you’ve got chocolate cakes and cherry pies from Madison Park Bakery. We love the heart cutouts in the sugared crust, Parker’s hand-woven ribbon wall, and the way the tiny red-checkered touches evoke both Americana and some distant-but-homey foreign countryside. And while this scene feels plucked from a country club or lush waterfront locale, who’s to say you couldn’t recreate the alfresco mood inside a grand ballroom? Madison Park Bakery (206-322-3238;, Cost Plus World Market (visit for locations)


Today’s lavish affairs
call for luscious cake as well
as decadent petit fours,
miniature mousse cakes,
and inventive truffle pops


Once upon a time, it would have been more than enough to present guests with a luscious passion fruit mousseline-striped white chiffon cake from Four Seasons pastry cook Kim Mahar. But today’s lavish affairs call for French macaroons (Mahar’s are raspberry- and pistachio-flavored), petit four cakes in both apricot and marzipan and raspberry and almond, white chocolate and raspberry mousse cakes, and huckleberry ganache truffle pops. The vibrant, springtime-colored bows that dot all of the baker’s treats tie them to the custom-made backdrop; Parker used modern, poppy papers from Moxie to craft a flurry of festive bows. Sunny wind-up ducks from Cost Plus make a take-home gift that will recall the cheery mood and splashy colors. Four Seasons (206-749-7000;, Moxie Papergoods & Gifts (visit for locations) 


Sweeten your dessert spread
with ice cream made from
fresh, local berries




Ice cream is, of course, cake’s equal-if-not-better half. So Kaysie Lackey, the head chef at The People’s Cake, came up with a five-tier vanilla bean cake with raspberry compote and vanilla bean buttercream that evokes the classic cake cone. Friends and family can scoop up seasonal berry flavors from Molly Moon’s Handmade Ice Cream and then load up on sweet extras. To ensure that the last course matches the last round of cocktails and bubbly, Parker striped the scene with a luxe silk, satin, and grosgrain ribbon wall, and mixed colorful vintage crystal and milk glass from Pacific Galleries with mod candlesticks from Cost Plus. Of course, we couldn’t resist the soda-pop-shop feeling of the store’s red plastic spoons—molded to mimic real silverware— or bubble-blowing solution in plastic soft-serve cones for the send-off. The People’s Cake (206-369-9422;, Molly Moon’s Handmade Ice Cream (visit for locations), Pacific Galleries (206-292-399;