Tuesday 14th January 2014
Happy New Year from all at Renshaw! How many of you bakers and decorators made cake related resolutions for the 2014, and how many of you are sticking to them? The traditional January purge is almost at an end, and whilst cake is always on the agenda at Renshaw, we have been scouting out the most exciting new cakes and bakes, resurrected sugar craft skills and flavours to keep us inspired.
We caught up with the incredibly creative Juliet Sear, owner of Leigh-on-Sea based Fancy Nancy Cakes and cake baker and decorator to the stars to discuss all things cake related for the coming year. Supplying both Harvey Nichols and Fortnum and Mason’s with her fabulous cakes and bakes, and author of the comprehensive The Cake Decorating Bible – not to mention her much sought after demonstrations at The Cake and Bake Show – Juliet is right in the thick of all things current in cake decorating to share her insights on the upcoming trends for 2014.
I think the top five trends this year will be naked cakes (these were big last year and are still so popular) and buttercream cake decorating, using fancy piping to give cakes a retro feel, including piped cakes, ruffles and vintage style buttercream layer cakes. Also, I think we’ll be seeing lots of sugar embellishments, including buttons, bows and jewellery plus bright bold colours and unusual patterns. This will be seen through more digital print style ideas, geometric shapes and modern pop culture designs featuring airbrush work and tattoo style designs. Ultra-styling will come to the forefront too, incorporating not just the cake but also other baked treats like matching cookies, cake pops, cupcakes and mini cakes on stylish desert tables.
The naked cake trend continues to be huge, and is so easy to do. They taste lovely and can be layered in so many flavours and adorned with either sugar blossoms or fresh florals and fruits. At Fancy Nancy, we have created some delicious winter varieties using decadent chocolate tortes, cookies and cream cakes and salted caramel, decorated with chocolate roses and metallic lustre.
I also think that the ombré cakes trend will stick around, as they are pretty cool and look stunning. It’s easy to achieve using buttercream using basic piping skills, or using shades of coloured sugar flowers, or for the more advanced, airbrushing. They can be very strong and whacky, or if done in more pale subtle shades with tiny florals, look very delicate and ethereal.
I think definitely more old fashioned royal icing skills, creating very ‘Big Fat Greek Wedding’ style cakes, harking back to old school elaborate vintage looking cakes – the kind we can see in our grandparent’s wedding cake pictures, but a more glamorous version with more tiers.
I always look at fashion trends so always have my head stuck in fashion magazines whilst travelling (as well as looking online). Fabrics and patterns on the catwalk really inspire my ideas, so I’m always thinking of ways to recreate these looks using sugar paste and sugar craft skills. I also like to take inspiration from interior trends, wallpapers, jewellery and also from nature, particularly flowers and wildlife. At Fancy Nancy we are currently creating a special woodland spring collection inspired by woodland flowers and scenery.
Hand painted cakes. I love hand painting and I think the look you can get from a well-executed painted cake is beautiful.
I’d like to see cake toppers coming back into fashion – beautiful ones created through painstakingly hand-painted models. Also flavour wise, completely rich fruit wedding cakes to be served alongside cheeses. Delicious!
In my opinion, we’ve been getting lots of demands for cookies and cream cakes, plus salted caramel was huge in 2013 and still is. We’ve been making a salted caramel with a twist, laced with a little bit of bourbon! I think in 2014 we will be seeing more of this, plus using more unusual delicate flavours in sponges, like cardamom and lavender and honey. Also using locally sourced ingredients as a general food trend will extend to celebration cakes where possible.