In the world of Pinterest and Instagram it can feel pretty mind-boggling choosing anything for your wedding day. But we all know the best way to tackle wedmin head on is to tick off the key elements of a great wedding first. Venue - tick, Dress - tick, Food, Music... wait! Let's go back to food again, what about your cake?
I will be honest, I've chosen to write all about cakes today because I have a serious sweet tooth and I happen to think this is one of the loveliest parts of you day to plan. Cake is beauty, flavour and celebration all wrapped up together. Or it should be if you choose the right local baker!
I live in East London and I love how many dynamic creative businesses there are here so I'm focusing on those. But wherever you live, choosing your cake is just like choosing the other elements of you big day - if you know what you both like before you start working with suppliers, it's much easier.
I love a moodboard and I think it's the perfect way to begin gathering your ideas for the vibe of your wedding day. You do not, I repeat do not, need to be creative to do this. It's literally just gathering together cuttings from magazines, or a board on Pinterest to see how all the things you like will look together. It also helps you to see any patterns. For example do you keep homing in on a certain colour? What other colours seem to work with it? When you look at all those pretty dresses, cakes, decorations together do you see a style forming? Perhaps it's quite bohemian, or very minimal. Once you've clarified colours and style in your own mind it makes everything else much easier to decide. Then you can call that trendy baker down the road and say "I'm having a festival style wedding, I want a naked cake with pink and orange flowers and a cherry on top"... Or "I'm having a winter wedding with lots of blue and gold, can you make marbled icing?"... I'll leave the details to you!
So now to get your taste buds attention, here's a little about my favourite East London wedding cake makers...
CAKE OF DREAMS
In their own words, "Cakes should be those towering, cherry topped, creamy, dreamy creations that exist in your childhood imaginations. They should taste incredible, be made with fresh, real ingredients and bring a bit of joy. Based in East London, Cake of Dreams is just waiting to get baking up some sugary magic. Any excuse accepted." Photograph above by Carmel King
Bethan began Spooned from her East London kitchen in 2016. Her stunning creations combine her eye for detail and design with delicious textures and flavours. Bethan hand-makes every cake to order from scratch using the best ingredients. In her own words, "we design custom wedding cakes to wow on your big day. Your centrepiece will not only look beautiful but taste incredible too." Photograph above by Lisa Castagner
As the author of two books and an established bakery on Columbia Road, Lilly Vanili needs little introduction. Her cakes are literally show stopping and clients have included the likes of Elton John. Her instagram account and shop are without doubt worth a peak to get your eye in.
I love Violet Bakery because not only to they create spongy magic, they also cook up food for thought, by way of their podcast. I've recently listened to great little sound-bites (bites, get it?) from Mary Katranzou and Zandra Rhodes. But back to cakes. Owner Claire Ptak has a passion for sourcing ingredients that comes through in all she bakes, here are her own words. "All of my cakes are baked with organic flour, sugar, milk and eggs. Limited edition buttercream icings change with the seasons. They are made with fresh fruit purees, melted Valrhona dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso, home-made flower cordials or dark caramel made with sea salt. Spring brings Elderflowers, gooseberries, rhubarb and Alphonso Mango icings; in the Summer we use Kentish cherries and strawberries, raspberries and blackberries from Suffolk and Dorset blueberries. In the Autumn we puree figs, Fragola grapes from Italy, and local apples and quinces. Winter is the time for oranges, lemons, clementines, and grapefruit. We can’t live without coconut, so we always offer it."
That was beautiful bit of writing in itself so I had to include all Claire's words. And that is also where I will leave you, salivating for more, and almost certainly ready to unravel even more of East London's secret world of artisan bakers... please let me know who else you find!
2019 Update! Although I originally wrote this post last year, I must now add my own wonderful wedding cake baker - she literally made the cherry on top of our big day, with a scrumptious three-tier chocolate and cherry cake. You can see all it's glory over in my post How to Plan a Wedding.