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 theweddingreport.com, 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…
EAT CAKE BE MERRY
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.
HEATHER BARRANCO DREAMCAKES
305 North Ridgewood Road
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.
JOY & CAKE
171 First Avenue
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.
THE PINK CAKE BOX
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.
SWEET SISTERS CAKES
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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