Maybe a super-smooth fondant or paper-toweled buttercream cake isn't your thing. There are dozens -- if not hundreds -- of ways to add texture to your cakes instead. You can use fondant or gum paste to mimic just about any surface. With royal icing -- an egg-white icing that hardens when it dries -- you can create lace designs to add to your cake's surface. With patience and a piping bag armed with a basket weave tip, you can even completely cover a cake's surface, giving it a woven look. Or, try using mesh to make spots of patterned detail or create an all-over textured look. If you've decided to go with smooth fondant, you can still add a little texture by cutting it out with a patterned roller.
And it's not all about the frosting. Candies, sugar beads and edible flowers can add an extra touch of texture to any cake.