Friday 9th August 2013
This month, we’re honouring wedding season by celebrating matrimonial cake creation. We caught up with one of our cake decorating favourites, Mich Tuner of Little Venice Cake Company and Britain’s Best Bakery fame to talk wedding cake trends, up and coming sugar craft techniques and where she sources her inspiration for new wedding cake designs…
What are your top five trends for wedding cakes, looking ahead to winter and next summer?
Assortment of flavours – I expect to see a real assortment of flavours in the coming seasons. People are looking to incorporate seasonal produce into their wedding cakes, creating an exciting taste that breaks away from tradition. Flavours such as salted caramel, chocolate rose, chocolate mint and fresh purees such as lime and passion fruit curds are sure to be popular.
Less formality – Wedding cakes will definitely be getting more fun. Many brides are going for less formal designs, using decorations such as fresh flowers and steering away from the more intricately embellished options.
Lace / Vintage – The re-release of The Great Gatsby has led to a real revival of the roaring 20s. This influences peoples’ choice of cake design, with art deco features such as oranges, blacks and mathematical, geometrical styles becoming popular. The other side of this is the more ethereal lace designs and pearl detail, which are likely to make a comeback.
Personal bakes – There has definitely been a rise in the number of couples wanting to either create their own wedding cake, or receive one made by close family or friends for that added personal touch. With the popularity of programmes such as The Great British Bake Off and Britain’s Best Bakery, people are getting much more adept at making their own cakes. This is driving more people to attempt their own, very personal, wedding cake.
Soft colours/flavours – Soft, ice-cream sorbet flavours and colours are set to be another trend over the coming seasons. This may be a pistachio flavour combined with a soft green colour and finished with fresh flowers to complement. The soft colours, flavours and textures create a fresh, light style of wedding cake.
What are your favourite wedding cake trends of the past 10 years?
As Coco Chanel said ‘fashion changes but style endures.’ This is something that I believe very much transfers into cake design. When looking back at wedding cake styles, I always think that stylish, white wedding cakes that are breathtakingly beautiful are the best. No fads, just classic, timeless sophistication.
Which sugar craft techniques and skills are making a comeback in wedding cake design?
That would have to be techniques using Royal Icing. These are the classes that I am most often asked to teach, and people are finding how decoration completed in Royal Icing delivers the most breath taking quality. The Royal Wedding cake has also brought back interest in hand piping detail on wedding cakes.
Which areas of inspiration do you look for to keep wedding cake designs fresh and new?
I majorly look to fashion, couture, jewellery designs and exhibitions to influence my designs. I love nothing more than attending the latest exhibitions at the V&A to provide fantastic design inspirations. These events provide a time capsule of what has happened in history but are very relevant to the modern day and demonstrate historical longevity.
What’s the most memorable wedding cake that you’ve ever been asked to create?
It’s very hard to just choose one! I’ve had the pleasure of being able to make fantastic wedding cakes for both Madonna and Pierce Brosnan. Pierce’s was flavoured with orange blossom water and was transported to Ireland for his big day. I also made a cake for the Queen as a gift for her diamond anniversary, which was incredibly special. Another interesting commission was a 14-tier wedding cake that we made-up right on the precipice of a cliff in Monaco!
Personally, however, the memories of decorating my A-level Home Economics teacher’s wedding cake when I was 17, and making and decorating my own wedding cake, are incredibly fond ones.
What are your top tips for creating a wedding cake at home?
Keep it simple – It is much better to do something simple brilliantly than to do something highly detailed that looks a bit sloppy. There are some truly stunning, yet fairly basic recipes and designs available online.
Great taste – You should always choose the flavours that you like. It’s your cake and you want it to taste delicious. If you don’t like fruit, try sponge. If you love chocolate, have it!
Fake it – A great tip is to introduce faux-tiers to your cake. This is the best way to take the jeopardy out of cake design and avoid last-minute calamities. You can take all the time you need to decorate and then bake your cake fresh nearer to the big day.
Basic beauty – For decoration, use ribbons in bright colours for a beautiful touch that avoids any hard work. Another good tip for decoration is to spend time crafting sugar flowers up to three months before your wedding day, then attach them to the cake at the last minute so your bake looks flawless as you lay it out.
Finishing touches – Don’t feel up to decoration? One tip for a perfect final touch is to arrange the cake at a table and place the bridal bouquet elegantly alongside, adding an extra air of elegance to a simple cake.
Win a Wedding Cake Masterclass with Mich Turner
Renshaw Baking have partnered with Mich Turner at the Little Venice Cake Company to offer one lucky cake decorator or bride, the chance to win a Mich Turner Wedding Cake Masterclass (worth £995) plus a Renshaw goodie box, filled with icing and modelling paste.
The prize includes working with Mich on a dream wedding cake and taking home the result! Plus, one runner up will receive one year’s FREE Cake Craft and Decoration Magazine subscription and a £25 voucher to spend on one online order at renshawbaking.com.
To be in with a chance of winning the prize, all you need to do is tell us all about your dream wedding cake! Find out more here.