Wedding Cakes Shed No Tiers

Wedding-cake fads come and go: "cakes" assembled from cupcakes, from cookies, from various pastries, from cake lollipops. But the old-fashioned tiered wedding cake remains first in the hearts of most brides. New Jersey is blessed with a number of gifted wedding cake creators.

Joy and Cake
A cake by Elyse Rosati of Joy and Cake
Brandi Grooms Photography

According to the Bridal Association of America, the average cost of a wedding cake in the United States for the years 2005-2009 was $543.

That sounds a bit low for this part of the country. In 2012, Joanne Bruno, co-owner of Palermo Bakery in Ridgefield Park–a leading maker of custom wedding cakes–told NJM that her cakes generally run from $5 to $25 a slice.

According to, the average wedding in the United States in 2013 cost $25,200 and had 126 to 136 guests.

Let’s do the math.

Going with Bruno’s per slice range and theweddingreport’s guest range, wedding cakes cost between $625 ($5 a slice for 126 guests) to $3,400 ($25 a slice for 136 guests). So some serious money is being spent.

Here’s a brief introduction to just a few of New Jersey’s most artful wedding-cake makers…



A graduate of the University of Michigan and the California Culinary Academy, Liz Shim is known for her gum-paste sugar flowers that look too real to eat. Specialty cookies and cupcakes are also available. Her creations are made from scratch in a commercial kitchen in Englewood. Consultations by appointment.


305 North Ridgewood Road
South Orange

A third-generation chef, Barranco graduated from Parsons School of Design, then attended the French Culinary Institute. Although she can provide cupcakes, cookies and pastries for a full dessert buffet, her specialty is intricate cakes that create one-of-a-kind centerpieces. She has appeared on Food Network’s Sweet Genius and created cakes for Hillary Clinton and Ivanka Trump.

171 First Avenue
Atlantic Highlands

Elyse Hudacsko Rosati graduated from Cornell University’s School of Engineering before she decided to learn how to engineer towering cakes at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York and the Ritz Escoffier School in Paris. Working one-on-one with clients, she takes inspiration from dress details, vintage jewelry and beautiful flowers.

18 East Main Street, Suite 101

Ann Heap graduated from Boston College and worked in advertising before studying pastry at the French Culinary Institute in New York. She founded her business in a restaurant kitchen before opening her appointment-only shop in 2007. Heap has competed three times on Food Network’s Cake Challenges and twice on TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off. Celebrity clients have included Rachael Ray, pro tennis player Maria Sharapova and author and Skinnygirl Cocktail creator Bethenny Frankel. She recently opened a retail boutique for carry-out treats. Pink Cake Box University offers online cake decorating tutorials.


Working out of a Fairfield kitchen, Beth Karam-Putt has created cakes for Paul Simon, Catherine Zeta Jones and other famous names. Trained at Johnson & Wales University’s International Baking & Pastry Institute, she has been creating contemporary and classic cakes since 1989.


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