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Royal wedding cakes revealed

Fiona Cairns, royal wedding cake designer, AP

Fiona Cairns, royal wedding cake designer, AP

Is it possible to please everyone when planning a wedding? There are family traditions and expectations to consider. Couples work to make the event both traditional and uniquely personal. Such is the case with Prince William and bride-to-be Kate Middleton.

Details of their wedding cake were recently revealed to the delight of those hungry for royal wedding tidbits. In keeping with British-wedding tradition, the wedding cake will be a brandy-flavored fruit cake made with dried and candied fruits and nuts. Because fruitcake tastes better after a four-week aging process, chosen cake designer Fiona Cairns has already begun the baking of the cakes.

Cairns, whose bakery in the English countryside makes 27,000 cakes a week, is known for her fruitcakes and for using traditional British ingredients. She says that being selected is “terribly exciting. [She] felt privileged, excited and daunted all at the same time.”

According to Cairns, the cake will be many-tiered and each tier will have a different theme. It will be decorated in only white and cream tones and will be traditionally decorated with well-planned floral elements. She says, “Kate knew what she wanted. She showed us her mood board. She had quite a few ideas. [It will be] quite traditional but with a modern twist.”

Chef Paul Courtney makes a practice chocolate biscuit cake. AP

Chef Paul Courtney makes a practice chocolate biscuit cake. AP

Flowers decorating the cake each have meaning and many are used in the architecture of Buckingham Palace. There will be flowers representing the countries of the UK: the English rose, Scottish thistle, Welsh daffodil and Irish shamrock. Other elements used have symbolic meanings such as the oak and acorn, which stand for strength and endurance.

By contrast, Prince William will, perhaps, begin a new tradition by having a groom’s cake, which is unusual in the UK. His cake, popularly called the “chocolate cookie cake,” is based on a secret Royal family recipe — a boyhood favorite of his. The unbaked cake will be made with 1700 McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuits mixed with 17 kilos of dark chocolate before being molded into multiple tiers and covered in chocolate decorations.

Traditional wedding cake from Classic Cheesecakes and Cakes, credit: Picture This! Photography

Traditional wedding cake from Classic Cheesecakes and Cakes, credit: Picture This! Photography

It remains to be seen whether the royal couple’s cakes will begin a new trend in the American wedding cake industry. Mark Lotti of Classic Cheesecakes and Cakes, which is about to celebrate 25 years, told me that he has never once taken an order for a fruitcake-flavored wedding cake. He also tells me that having cheesecake as a wedding cake was completely novel and trend-

setting when the bakery opened in 1986.

If you’re looking for something akin to Prince William’s “chocolate cookie cake,” you may not find it in Atlanta just yet. Instead, consider stacked tiers of cookies by Atlanta Gourmet Cookies, who will customize colors, flavors and decorations.

Atlanta Gourmet Cookies, credit: K. Piela Photography

Atlanta Gourmet Cookies, credit: K. Piela Photography

Royal wedding enthusiasts can sample cakes by Classic Cheesecakes and Cakes and the fare from other wedding vendors while watching the royal nuptials live at Piedmont Park at their royal wedding event on April 29th. See the Piedmont Park website for additional event details.

You can also see the royal wedding cake gallery.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog

Jenny-Turknett-Tagline– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team. She also publishes her own blog, Going Low Carb.

11 comments Add your comment

saszip6@yahoo.com

March 28th, 2011
11:18 pm

Wish we were going to this wedding!

ATL06

March 29th, 2011
9:28 am

I’m sorry but I would have to pass on this tradition. These cakes sound like they will suck. Everybody always talks about the wedding cake.

RK

March 29th, 2011
10:55 am

Thoroughly disappointing.

1164mgc

March 29th, 2011
11:46 am

They might be pretty but I don’t think I’d like to eat either one. Not that I’d even have a chance to;-)

Jenny Turknett

March 29th, 2011
11:54 am

1164mgc, did your invitation get lost in the mail, too? ;)

I’m not much of a fruitcake person either. But since it is a British tradition, they must enjoy it more than we do. I do think the chocolate biscuit cake sounds intriguing. I was even thinking of attempting my own version!

RK

March 29th, 2011
12:49 pm

Boiling meat is also a British tradition, and you know how good that tastes.

Ramona Clef

March 29th, 2011
4:04 pm

“She showed us her mood board.” Does anyone know what that means?

holland

March 29th, 2011
4:11 pm

a ‘Mood Board’ is also an ‘Inspiration Board” that many use when creating an event or wedding. You put picures of things you like (flowers, color swatches, centerpieces ideas, etc) and take it with you to see your vendors. It helps vendors see what ‘YOUR’ vision is for the event.
..

auntiealli

March 29th, 2011
8:40 pm

I agree with you Jenny, not a fruitcake fan either. Let us know if you try the chocolate biscuit cake and how it does – sounds yummy!

Deborah

March 30th, 2011
6:14 pm

It’s not like the fruitcake in the US that nobody eats! Wedding cakes usually have a layer of almond paste over the fruitcake and then royal icing which allows for amazing decorations. Very Victorian–and if you’d had good British fruitcake, you’d look forward to this cake as the best of the best fruitcake! The tradition includes taking a piece home with you to put under your pillow if you are not yet married–which is POSSIBLE with fruitcake!! The purpose is that with wedding cake under your pillow, you will dream about who you will marry in the future!
http://bit.ly/Quintess

eleanor

March 31st, 2011
11:39 pm

Does anyone know where I can get the recipe for the Royal Wedding Fruitcake?