At Buttercream Design Co. in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, founder and creative director Ashley whips up the kind of confections that are just as beautiful as they are crave-worthy. With 18 years of baking and cake design up her sleeve, there’s not a style or flavor she can’t make come to life, or a location she can’t deliver to. We talked to Ashley about the design process, how early you should book Buttercream Design Co. in advance, and what makes her desserts so special—and delicious!
Photography: Elizabeth Lanier
What’s the first thing you ask a couple when they come to you for their wedding cake?
The first thing that I ask the couple on our introduction call is about themselves, their story (how they met, what their favorite date night dessert is, etc), as well as how they want their guests to feel when they first see their wedding cake on display. From there, we secure their date with a deposit and contract and then we go through the tasting and design process.
Photography: Elizabeth Lanier
What’s Buttercream’s most popular cake flavor?
Through the years our signature flavor “A Reason to Celebrate” has always been a crowd-pleaser for our celebration cakes! It is our White Cake with layers of Champagne Buttercream, Fresh Raspberries, a Raspberry Preserve, and masked in a Swiss Buttercream. For weddings, we create custom flavors based on the couple and their family’s favorite flavor profiles.
What designs are most popular?
Throughout the years, simple buttercream designs have always been the most requested as they are an understated beauty and pair beautifully with different event styles. But at the event itself and afterwards, the most popular designs are the ones that make a statement by either further telling the story of the couple or incorporating details to enhance the event design. Cake designs don’t have to be loud or over the top to be statement pieces.
How early in advance should a couple order their cake?
We typically book upwards of a year in advance. Especially if events involve destination travel, we suggest reserving the date as soon as possible.
Photography: Eric Kelley
What’s the general rule for how much cake you should order per guest?
The cake design should never be dictated by the number of servings you are looking to serve. Build your cake around the design, and additional slices can be filled in with serving cakes , or faux tiers can be put into place. In addition to that rule you should always have at least 1.25 servings of your guest count. Guests should never leave the event feeling disappointed because they didn’t get a slice of cake.
What’s the biggest mistake couples make when designing their cake?
Not utilizing the cake as a design element and building in personal touches that will speak to your guests and further tell the story.
How have you noticed cake designs changing in the pandemic?
We’ve really embraced a few new trends. We are seeing quite a few smaller token cakes with individual cakes for each guest (including shipped cakes for guests who are celebrating from afar and/or through Zoom). Additionally, faux cakes have become quite popular for couples who still want the impact of showpiece wedding cake. Additionally, we are working with quite a few designers who build our cakes into enclosed areas like art cubes to create a “museum” feel for the cake displays. After all, each cake is a piece of art, so it only seems fitting.