Confetti Fall/Winter 2019

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With 20 years experience creating incredible cakes and desserts, Lynette MacDonald from Calgary wedding cake designer SWIRL Custom Cakes and Desserts was born with a passion for creating foodie moments that people savour. As one of Calgary's premier wedding cake designers, it's not just creativity that comes from within her that drives her work - it's the sparks and ideas that comes from meeting with couples planning their wedding cakes. "Knowing that we get the honour of creating a part of their special event and add to the guests experience is what keeps us driven and passionate." Whether it's small details that couples dream of incorporating into the cake design or a special flavour that means something to the couple, Lynette and her team are masters at taking what clients want and creating something beyond what they've dreamed about. 

Staying on top of trends and relevant can be challenging for anyone in a creative field, and that's where you can see who the truly passionate and talented cake and dessert designers are. "Inspiration to create new designs that we can share with clients comes from lots of places but industry colleagues are a large influences as is art and culture- both in the pastry world and the special events world. We are blessed to be around so many creative minds that it feeds creativity and therefor inspiration."

In our digital age, we all have access to thousands of photos for inspiration and ideas. But when it comes down to gut instincts, Lynette has a few ways of working that she loves, and that resonate with clients. "We tend not to express our favourites (flavours or textures) so as not to influence the clients direction too much but if they insist then we love to work with flavours of the seasons. In summer it's a velvety lemon curd with the zing of raspberries. Or a tropical inspiration of a decadent passion fruit coulis with a rum cake and vanilla bean buttercream. In the fall a warm pumpkin apple spice cake with decedent cream cheese mousse."

So what's one thing that might surprise you about creating wedding cakes? Lynette says "The time it takes to create them! It doesn't have to be the basic white cake with white filling- anything goes, be creative." Although the SWIRL Custom Cakes and Desserts team is magical, by no means do they bake their cakes with a magic wand. To perfect the design of a wedding dessert takes time and effort - and honestly, if there was any element we'd want to spend a little extra time on, it would be the sweet stuff.

So where does Lynette think the future of wedding cakes and desserts going? "That it just doesn't have to be cake anymore!! Have an entire quest experience that is an interactive dessert experience. If you want one of our party chefs on hand we can do fun and interactive things like helium sugar balloons blown right in front of your guest- and detached on a cookie or pretzel stick! Or we can torch you cream brรปlรฉe's in front of your guests and made to order as part of your sweet scape. There are also self filling cannoli stations that don't require our pastry chefs to be onsite but provide a fun and interactive element to your wedding your guests will remember for every because it tasting amazing and was fun to create!! 

We asked Lynette to give our readers the inside scoop on the two biggest questions couples have when they're planning their wedding budget and cake! 

How Does Cake Pricing Work?

Cake prices are per serving and start at $6.50. Price is determined by the number of servings, the style and design of the final cake. Even a small cake can take up to 6 hours to create with some taking up to 18 hours for the entire team to create depending on the final design. One sugar rose can take up to 2 hours to create! We create everything fresh in our bakery. If a person wants an elaborate looking cake with multi tiers but also wants a dessert sweet scape this is possible by creating some of the cake layers in styrofoam and decorate them. This can also be a cost effective option as well with sheet cakes being cut by the kitchen.  

How Does A Cake Designer Work With A Venue, Caterer and Wedding Planner?

We love working with the whole team. Weddings are a whole vision and the cake and dessert table should be part of that. Often the planner will help a couple create a vision of the feel and design of the wedding. We love being part of that process so we can lend our expertise to the design. The cake and dessert table can be an added focus of decor to be enjoyed well into the celebration. We like to speak to the venue after the couple has booked so that they are aware of who is delivering the cake and come up with a plan as far as placement of the table in the room and timing of delivery.