I haven’t been in the habit of blogging about particular cakes but I thought this one warranted an explanation.
Lola is a friend of mine from University days and, along with her now-husband Ian, is full of fun and a zest for life. The happy couple booked me in for a wedding cake many months ago and requested a cake along the theme of New York’s iconic Empire State building as the venue where Ian popped the question.
Lola and Ian’s first thoughts were for a recreation of the Empire State in cake form…not an easy one I’ll admit and whilst I agreed that this would certainly make an impact at the wedding I thought that given the troubling proportions of the building (thin and very, very tall) and that this cake would have to travel several hundred miles from Cambridgeshire to Birmingham without me in tow for final assembly (I would be attending another wedding in Tenerife at the time) an Empire State Cake, whilst surely impressive, seemed a logistical nightmare too far!
I therefore suggested this cake as an inspirational base with less topple capacity (and hence tear-inducing dimensions), but which could still keep to the New York/Empire State theme.
I love this cake, designed by Sucre Coeur, but, after several weeks of mulling it over, I concluded that it didn’t really speak of the couple or reflect their personalities. In our wedding-cake communication, Lola had described her and Ian’s wedding as “a bit of a creative mess […] Having lots of fun without too much co-ordination”. This invariably resulted in “6 bridesmaids in different dresses, lots of doodles on [the] place settings, [they] doodled the menu […] ceilidh dancing and discoing and […] lots of games to play”.
I found this “anything will fit in!” approach very refreshing and inspiring and went back to the drawing board, quite literally as I asked Lola and Ian to email over a copy of their doodles for direct use in the design of the cake. After printing the doodles onto rice paper I used this to decorate the bottom tier. I loved the idea that the bride and groom who had doodled various aspects of the wedding already could have their highly personalised handy-work featured directly on the wedding cake too!
For the middle tier, I drew inspiration from the few tongue-in-cheek short films that Lola and Ian have constructed over the years, including a wedding invitation movie trailer (yes, creativity flows through their veins!). The film board is as near a replica of the board that features on their wedding website as I could manage.
Finally, the top tier incorporated the Empire State building as a nod to Lola and Ian’s engagement and where the whole cake communication began. As a genius addition to the design, Ian requested a topper featuring King Kong (as his alter-ego) with Lola clutched tightly in his hand. Initially this was a daunting request but I was very lucky to find an image online (courtesy of Evil Cake Genius) which ticked all the boxes. I printed the image onto rice paper as for the doodles on the bottom tier and used royal icing to stick it onto a hard-setting sugarpaste called pastillage which I hand-cut to fit the image. This took pride of place on the top of the cake and set the design off perfectly.
This cake was most definitely the most unique and personalised I’ve ever done and I hope matched the fun and creative theme set by the lovely Mr and Mrs Saunders!