What the royal wedding cake is likely to look like

18 May 2018 - 11:01 By Rebecca Deuchar and Jessica Brodie
Claire Ptak hard at work on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding cake in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace.
Claire Ptak hard at work on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding cake in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace.
Image: Kensington Palace/Instagram

British royals tend to have a "go big or go home” approach to their weddings, particularly when it comes to the cake.

It was Queen Victoria who popularised the idea that wedding cakes ― and dresses ―  should be big and white when she married Prince Albert in 1840.

Since then, we've seen an array of towering, intricately-iced cakes taking centre stage at royal celebrations.

Prince William and Kate Middleton, for instance, had an eight-tier masterpiece covered with elaborate botanical decorations. The groom's parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, had a formal 1.5m tall fruit cake.

But there'll be no sugar flowers and old-school Italian piping on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding cake at their nuptials on May 19. Instead, they'll be serving a contemporary bake that wouldn't be out of place at any well-heeled hipster's wedding.

Kensington Palace tweeted that the couple have requested "a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring". It'll be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. 

It's being baked by Claire Ptak, a food stylist Markle once interviewed for her now defunct blog The Tig.

Prince William and Kate's wedding cake was created by the team at Fiona Cairns, makers of handcrafted luxury cakes.
Prince William and Kate's wedding cake was created by the team at Fiona Cairns, makers of handcrafted luxury cakes.
Image: Getty Images/ WPA Pool/ John Stillwell
The wedding cake on display at Prince Charles and Diana Spencer's 1981 wedding.
The wedding cake on display at Prince Charles and Diana Spencer's 1981 wedding.
Image: David Levenson/Getty Images

Ex-California girl Ptak started her London bakery Violet as a market stall. She prides herself on using organic, sustainable and seasonal ingredients and creates bakes with delicately balanced flavours that have a rustic appeal. “I never wanted the cakes at Violet to be too fiddly or girly – that’s not me,” Ptak told food52.com.

Ptak has already started work on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's cake which, according to a tweet from Kensington Palace, required vast quantities of ingredients:

  • 200 Amalfi lemons
  • 500 organic eggs from Suffolk
  • 20kgs of butter
  • 20kgs of flour
  • 20kgs of sugar
  • 10 bottles of Sandringham Elderflower Cordial

WATCH | Claire Ptak reveals what the royal wedding cake will taste like

There are several snaps of this sort of cake on Violet bakery's Instagram feed, giving a hint of what the royal couple's completed cake will look like:

Judging by these examples, the cake Ptak produces for what's been dubbed the "people's wedding" is likely to be show-stopping in its quirky, undone lack of formality.

DID YOU KNOW?

The ritual of having a wedding cake dates back to ancient Rome, when a barley cake was broken over the bride’s head as a symbol of fertility.

In medieval England, brides and grooms had to attempt to kiss over a mound of baked goods. If they smooched without toppling the pile, it was believed they were assured a lifetime of prosperity.


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