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Ah, Natural!

Who needs icing when you can have a beautiful, bare-all bridal cake?

Emily Allen of Cakewalk Bake Shop crafts uniced cakes; this spiced carrot version incorporates Bows and Arrows flowers. Price upon request.

Unlike traditional wedding cake bakers, Emily Allen of Cakewalk Bake Shop (4908 Bryan St., 817.291.1129, doesn’t shy away from dramatic use of color—from painted or dip-dyed cakes to smaller numbers topped with billowing floral arrangements—or, in this case, even skipping the cake’s icing shell. “My aesthetic is vintage-inspired,” Allen says. “I like natural cakes that are understated modern.”

Her elaborate ruffle-piped cakes are popular in burnt sugar; her lighthearted swirl-iced cakes can be made with dark-chocolate espresso batter and mint-buttercream icing, for instance. Allen also makes cookies, pies and any baked treat—including a killer coconut macaron.

“Many brides want a dessert bar,” she says. “We might do five or six cakes of different sizes. In one wedding, the groom wanted a whole s’mores bar, but instead of traditional s’mores, I did macarons and cupcakes and a range of desserts inspired by the s’more.”

Allen, who stumbled into baking after her own 2011 nuptials, honed her bridal cake skills during a six-week apprenticeship at Marfa’s Austin Street Cafe. She returned home to Fort Worth in August of 2012, and her business skyrocketed. She now bakes cakes—which run $4.50 to $6 per serving—weekly, using recipes she either developed in Marfa or has created in Dallas, working out of a commercial kitchen and meeting with clients at her space at The Bell Jar.

For this issue, on-the-rise Allen—also known for her uniced confections—crafted another trend-hitting number: a luxuriously tall four-tier treat with sheets of spiced carrot cake sandwiched with rich maple-buttercream icing. She sprinkled the tiers with powdered sugar, then piled layers high with berries and flowers from Bows and Arrows. No fondant. No sugar flowers—just a perfect, pavlova-esque piece.