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.”
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.
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.
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.
–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog
– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team. She also publishes her own blog, Going Low Carb.