Image Credit: Kevin McGinn Photographer




For the couple who isn’t afraid to eschew tradition, Tijan Biner chats with Stacey Anderson from Sugar & Spice Cupcakes about inventive and untraditional alternatives to the customary wedding cake, and there’s no fondant in sight.

Image Credit: Sugar & Spice Cupcakes

Behind the scenes at a quaint bakery in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, Stacey Anderson whips up delightful confections with a twist. Her company began as a specialty cupcake business, but it wasn’t long until it grew to feature all sorts of sweet treats. “My first ever wedding consisted of more than 250 cupcakes,” she says. “It was a huge order for my very first wedding client. Having received loads of positive feedback on the night, I was inspired and excited to extend my range of cupcakes to include wedding cakes.” While her company name suggests cupcakes are her forte, Anderson has built a name for herself as a truly versatile baker, offering a range of sumptuous cake pops, cookies, doughnuts and meringues, which prove to be just as in-demand as her wedding cakes.

Anderson’s trend-setting confections belie a fondness for tradition; she believes the cutting of the cake is the most integral aspect of a wedding day. “Cake-cutting is the first step taken as a bride and groom,” she says. “It signifies their union and promise to forever provide for one another.” However, these days, couples are opting for innovative wedding day sweets that give ‘cutting the cake’ an entirely new meaning, and this is where Sugar & Spice Cupcakes comes in. With so many stunning takes on the multi-tiered, white-fondant dessert – many of which leave out the cake entirely – you’re sure to find one that’ll hit the sweet spot.

Towers Of Treats

From miniature cannelés – small pastries layered to create the traditional French dessert croquembouche – to pretty parfaits, tiered treats are a wonderful alternative to the regular wedding cake. “We have previously made cheesecake-filled wine glasses and doughnut towers, and last year we made a tower of mini pavlovas,” says Anderson, who relishes creating beautifully decorated and dainty delicacies. “The new trend at the moment is cookie cakes shaped as letters

and love hearts. These can be filled with cheesecake or cream patisserie fillings and are generally topped with fresh flowers, macarons, chocolate or meringue.”

Forego cake stands and consider bite-sized brownies, cannoli, Belgian waffles or doublecrust cream pies, as they’re all sturdy enough to stack on their own. For a more delicate aesthetic, an assortment of fruit tarts or éclairs will look dreamlike on a tiered display stand.

Tiers Of Joy

There’s no need to cut the cake out altogether – a deconstructed cake, as seen at the royal wedding, will bring opulence to any table space. “The royal wedding cake was a very relaxed, simple design, which brides seem to favour these days,” Anderson says. “A trio of cakes is very popular at the moment, particularly having three separate cakes – all of which match in colour, theme or design – displayed together.”

Comprising multiple cakes, this deconstructed take on the traditional tiered tower features different heights, inch designs and presentations. Why not make like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry by opting for a tasty lemon and elderflower sponge cake that’s slathered in buttercream and topped with fresh flowers? For a truly royal finish, place the tiers on golden platters and goblet-style cake stands.

Anderson says deconstructed cakes are beneficial to couples looking for multiple flavour options or a budget-friendly design – not much decorating is needed, as the key features are the cakes themselves. “Tiered cakes allow for a more luxe look, but they are more expensive,” she says. “Couples can have multiple flavours with a deconstructed cake, as well as more options in the way of design and finishing.”

Eye Candy

Rather than opting for one standout feature on your cake table, consider a dessert station – it’s

like a kid’s candy buffet, but a little more decadent. “Dessert tables and roving desserts are extremely popular,” Anderson says. “Couples are choosing this over a cake to reduce costs, as some venues charge a cake-cutting fee. It also gives guests more choice and variety as opposed to just having one cake.”

Your dessert station doesn’t need much to make a statement – think of unique ways to serve your treats and ensure your displays are original. Consider having less variety but plentiful quantities, which will allow you to perfect each dessert. At the end of the day, your dessert station should be seasonal, fresh and colourful, while still reflecting your style as a couple. For a wonderful trip down memory lane, why not include a childhood-favourite treat? Think s’mores, fairy floss or ice-cream sandwiches!

Whether they are creating extraordinary takes on the customary wedding cake or other unconventional offerings, the Sugar & Spice Cupcakes team work closely with their clients to ensure each design is inimitable, delectable and memorable. “Couples are always looking for ways to make their wedding a more personal reflection of their style, which is really fun and inspiring,” says Anderson, who prides herself on striving for perfection in everything she creates. “Our attention to detail would be our most important trait – I’m extremely fussy!”

With a passion for blending the humble and the haute, all Anderson hopes is for Sugar & Spice Cupcakes to “continue its success and become a well-known cake business.” Knowing all too well about the stresses of wedding planning, she imparts one final piece of advice to engaged couples – stay true to yourselves. “Remember to have fun, and don’t get stuck comparing your style to someone else’s,” she says. “Let your day be a reflection of the both of you. When you’re ready to design your cake, come to us! We’d love to help you make your wedding day unforgettable.”