When you think of food as art, cakes offer a blank slate. Spongy tiers of vanilla or chocolate (or strawberry or lemon) cake await layers of frosting, fondant, flowers and adornments in every conceivable color. These customizable confections can express feelings, display personalities and define an occasion — all important goals when you're talking about a wedding cake.

Of course, we've all seen stunning wedding cakes before — with beautiful cascades of flowers or delicate, intricate patterns — but we're in the mood for something new.

If you're planning a wedding and looking for a cake that feels outside the box, feast your eyes on these offbeat wedding cakes.

Nature-inspired geode wedding cakes are a fairly new wedding cake trend, as brides and grooms say good-bye to frosting and "I do" to edible crystals, rock candy and gold leaf. You can experiment with the color, shape and size of the geode.

Birds nest wedding cake
Birds on a wedding cake (Photo: Red Kitchen Girls/Facebook)

If at first this looks like an edible print placed onto a tiered wedding cake, don't be fooled. This scene with blackbirds perched on a twig is carved right into the cake.

Another nature-inspired wedding cake trend is the peacock wedding cake. While this one is quite elaborate, the idea can be customized. For example, some peacock cakes place the peacock as a cake-topper with the tail cascading down tiers of cake, while others display a much smaller array of tail feathers (i.e. fewer cupcakes).

Mt. Rainier wedding cake
Perhaps a mountain-shaped wedding cake, like this one of Washington's Mount Rainier, would be appropriate for avid hikers or skiers. (Photo: Idealisms/flickr)

Getting married in a national park, by chance? This Mount Rainier wedding cake could inspire environmentally minded couples or avid hikers or skiers to opt for a mountain-shaped wedding cake.

Clearly a wedding cake made for lovers of literature
Clearly a wedding cake made for lovers of literature (Photo: Joanna Rose Cakes/Facebook)

For couples who prefer more indoor activities, there's this option, perfect for literature lovers, book worms and academics. Each partner could add their favorite read into the mix, maybe even with a romantic bend. Think Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook" or F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby."

No shying away from color on this wedding cake.
No shying away from color on this wedding cake. (Photo: juicyasana/flickr)

This bride wrote on Flickr about her cake: "The design on the cake and colors were taken from our invites. There is also an Adinkra symbol (the moon and star) in a couple places on the cake." On the top, those small spheres almost look like planets, giving it a outer space feel, though not in the traditional sense. The whole thing comes off as cool, colorful, unusual and unexpected.

Wedding cake
Is it a windmill? Is it a volcano? (Photo: elenessa2002)

While we're not exactly sure what this cake is supposed to be (is it a cookie volcano?), it makes the list because it can do this:

It's part cake, part firework-launcher. It's part cake, part firework-launcher. (Photo: elenessa2002/flickr)

Pink tiered wedding cake
Three pedestals each hold a pink ribbon-wrapped and flower-topped cake. (Photo: hellishcheeky/flickr)

Look closely at this one, and you'll see the bride used Han Solo and Princess Leia figurines as the bride and groom on top of the cake. The interplay of "Star Wars" and pink daisies is ... quirky, but the cake design is lovely. You could choose any color or any flower, and the natural greenery adds an element of freshness.

Just Married wedding cake
Does this mean couples are buying 'Just Married' cakes, too?! (Photo: eltpics/flickr)

Perfect for travelers who may opt for a less luxurious itinerary. This cake offers flourishes from under the sea and on land, so it can be suited for any destination.

Sweetlake Cakes
His and her wedding cakes for a classy, sultry occasion. (Photo: Sweetlake Cakes/Facebook)

How sexy are these? They just scream Wild West wealthy affair. From the understated texture in the first tier of the tuxedo cake to the luxurious satin ruffles on the dress cake, no detail is left untouched with this pair of his-and-her wedding cakes.

Lotus wedding cake
The petals on this wedding cake are inspired by the lotus flower. (Photo: Ron Ben-Israel Cakes/Facebook)

Instead of roses, why not lotus petals? They sort of look like pink artichoke leaves.

Nerdy wedding cake
Release your inner nerd. (Photo: Diving Cakes/Facebook)

This geeky confection combines R2-D2 from "Star Wars," the Tardis from "Doctor Who," the ring from "Lord of the Rings," the Batman signal and more to create the ultimate wedding cake for any nerdy couple.

Fall foliage wedding cake
This wedding cake incorporated the whole tree into its fall foliage design. (Photo: Batch 17 Bakes/Facebook)

Continuing with the tree theme: This cake doesn't just use fall-inspired colors. That's been done before. This one incorporates the whole tree, falling leaves and all.

Pillow wedding cake
Hopefully the cake inside is as pillowy-soft as it looks. (Photo: Elizabeth's Cake Emporium/Facebook)

You'll be pooped at the end of your wedding day, so why not have extra pillows on hand?

Angela Nelson ( @bostonangela ) is an exhausted mom of two young daughters and two old cats, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning digital editor with more than 15 years of experience delivering news and information to audiences worldwide.