Many long-established wedding traditions are being altered, twisted, and revamped to accommodate the interests and aesthetics of a new wave of couples. That goes for cakes, too. We talked to Todd Mozingo, the owner of Edible Arts Bakery, the oldest dessert bakery in Raleigh, about some of his bakery’s wildest custom creations and how the industry is evolving.

INDY: What are some of the most unorthodox cakes Edible Art has created?

Todd Mozingo: Overall, the majority of the cakes that we do are very traditional. However, we have done some traditionally structured, regularly tiered wedding cakes with very interesting decor. Recently, we did one that was all black. We did one that was purple with an ombre design and with gold accents on it. We did, about two years ago, a Super Mario Brothers-themed cake. Last fall, we did a Victorian-themed cake that had a giant octopus climbing up it because the bride was a marine biologist. We did a Day of the Dead-themed cake a couple of years ago, and it had chocolate skulls and flowers on it.

What’s the process of creating a wedding cake, from conception to execution?

Sometimes people come in with a general idea or elements from different cakes. And then we sketch a design once they decide to work with us. The majority of the time, they come in with a picture, and maybe we make some slight modifications. Baking a wedding cake, especially a large tiered cake, can take several hours from the mixing to the baking. Then the cake is cooled, assembled, and pre-iced. It usually sits overnight.

Today, some couples are choosing to forgo wedding cakes altogether. What are the popular alternatives?

We offer cupcakes. I think we are probably one of the few places around that also does petits fours, which are little hand-cut, hand-glazed cakes. We make macarons and dessert parfaits, which sort of tend to wax and wane in terms of popularity. We make miniature pies. We run the gamut in terms of small desserts that we offer.

What’s on the horizon in the wedding-cake industry?

Many years ago, people were really focused on making cakes as glamorous as possible. Since that time, we have really been focused on a couple of things. And that is textured buttercream, where you take the spatula and make ridges in the cake in different directions, and lace patterns. Here, we are a bit different in that we don’t use a lot of molds or stencils. We freehand a lot of our designs. Our designers are very skilled at looking at a picture of a dress or a linen and just drawing what they see. Naked cakes, interestingly, started about five years ago. Those are cakes with no icing or very little icing. That trend has stuck. All white is also really big; we don’t use as much color on cakes as we used to.

What are you experimenting with?

We are a Southern-style bakery, so something like French macarons, that’s not something I envisioned offering on a daily basis five years ago. So, it’s been really exciting to [explore] outside of that mold a little bit.