Paul Delagnes Bread Basket

Bread Basket is well known for wedding cakes. Photo submitted

PICTURE: Paul Delanges of Bread Basket and Cakes. Submitted photo

by Alex Wilson

Couples planning to get married have more choices than ever when it comes to wedding cakes.

While traditional, tiered wedding cakes sometimes cost more than $2,000, less expensive options can bring the same amount of joy if couples put their heart and soul into creating something unique to their union.

One thing in common with all the wedding cake creators who shared stories with the Ventura County Reporter is that they love baking wedding cakes nearly as much as newlyweds adore each other.

1575 Spinnaker Dr., #105B, Ventura

Sugar Lab Bake Shop has been in business for 10 years in three different locations, but its current spot at Ventura Harbor Village is certainly the sweetest.

Sugar Lab1

Flowers feature in a cake by Sugar Lab Bake Shop. Photo by Wonder Tribe

Owner Ali Kenis makes wedding cakes and a wide variety of sweets at the seaside location. Sales have doubled since moving to the pedestrian-friendly setting a year ago.

One thing Kenis recommends to couples looking for a wedding cake is to let their creativity take sail. When couples come in for tastings, Kenis offers the cake and frosting samples separately, side-by-side, to allow the creation of unique flavor combinations.

“I always tell couples, the cake is where you can put in some personality with your wedding that you might not be able to as easily in other places,” she said, citing examples like wedding cakes based on superheroes or sports team colors. “It’s a sweet beginning for their marriage.”

When Kenis has a chance to see a couple cut one of the wedding cakes she made, it brings her joy since the cake is a traditional symbol of love and togetherness.

“The couple cuts it together, and serve each other, and that’s their first sweet bite in marriage,” Kenis said.

1007 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard

Heavenly Cakes

Elements of nature presented by Heavenly Cakes and More. Submitted photo

Olivia Toch and her husband Mony are celebrating a milestone of their own. They’ve been baking wedding cakes and other sweets like muffins and donuts for 20 years at their shop near the beach in Oxnard.

The couple has a big following of loyal customers who rave about the fresh-baked bread and treats. And when it comes time to tie the knot, couples return for help with their big event.  

One of the trends Toch has seen recently are cakes decorated in a “rustic” fashion that sometimes include elements that invoke nature but aren’t actually edible.

“Lately, it’s always very simple. They don’t really want a lot of frosting. A lot of fresh flowers, or just green leaves, or things like that,” she said.

83 E. Daily Dr., Camarillo

Bread Basket Cake Company has long been known as one of Ventura County’s premier wedding cake destinations, and they have a celebrity clientele to prove it.

Gilbert Delagnes started the business 35 years ago, and with his husband Paul has made an elegant Golden Globes-themed cake for the 73rd annual awards in 2016. 

Much like the live entertainment business, pandemic shutdowns and social distancing put a big dent in the wedding industry, too, when celebrations were shut down just like concerts, plays and film productions.

Paul Delagnes said he’s happy to see couples and their loved ones finally able to get back together in person. 

 “It’s good to see everybody celebrating again and enjoying life together with one another,” he said. “That’s what the wedding cake signifies for us, the fact that you have a couple cutting it, and sharing it with everybody at your event.” 


861 E. Main St., Santa Paula


When customers walk into Rabalais’ Bistro in downtown Santa Paula, they’re greeted with a display case filled with mouth-watering baked treats.

Rabalais carrot cake

Rustic cakes are hot this year. Submitted photo

Rabalais’ Bistro is a multifaceted business that’s been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for 11 years in a setting reminiscent of New Orleans. Many customers who come in for wedding cakes are already fans of the food, espresso drinks and cocktails.

Owner Tracy Lippert said while some couples prefer a traditional tiered cake, a wedding trend she’s seeing is a dessert bar with a variety of treats, including one or two large cakes and lots of smaller desserts.

“They’ll also get lemon bars or Creole-fudge bars; they’ll get cookies, cupcakes. There are all kinds of cute ideas for displays on Pinterest,” she said. “That’s more of what I see brides doing nowadays, less of one giant, tiered cake, and having more dessert buffets.”

4160 Market St., Ventura

Evan Chavez manages A Gift of Taste in Ventura and keeps a close eye on the latest wedding cake trends.

Many couples are asking for wedding cakes known as “naked” cakes with no frosting and others that are “semi-naked.”

“It has a very limited amount of icing on it. You can see the layers of the cake,” he explained.

Chavez suggests couples do research on the Internet and then stop by the bakery in person to look through photo albums for additional inspiration.

“It’s very satisfying to make their idea come to life. A lot of times people come with concepts and not a specific theme in mind. We do our best to accommodate their vision and bring it to life for them,” he said.