I must admit that having a cake wasn’t at the top of my list of priorities for our wedding day – though we did have one in the end. The practical issues aside of it having fed our very grateful guests, who by the evening were looking forward to a slice of something sweet after a day long of celebrating (and alcohol!), it was simply a lovely thing to look at. The experience of working with my mum in law and a professional cake decorator who together created something that visually meant something to us both too and tasted delicious, now forms part of my precious wedding planning memories.
Whether you’re sweet toothed or not, love fruit cake or loathe it, it has to be said that the humble cake has come quite a way when it comes to weddings. What once might have been seen as a long-term tradition worth overlooking to save some wedding day pennies, has become an opportunity to create a wonderful focal point that won’t just taste delicious and be baked to perfection, but look out of this world too.
This morning, I’m keen to tell you about one of the UK’s most talented cake designers I’ve ever come across, the wonderful Rosalind Miller.
Rosalind Miller Cakes specialise in bespoke wedding cakes, celebration cakes, and cupcakes that are both contemporary and timeless. Having won The Wedding Industry Awards ‘National and London Best Wedding Cake Designer of The Year’ in 2012 and 2013, Rosalind is recognised as one of London’s top cake designers.
I’ve met Rosalind a few time now and love that she’s so absolutely down to earth – one of those unassuming characters who quietly gets on with what she loves – which mostly involves producing the most outstandingly delicious works of art.
I simply adore the gold incorporated in the cake above and below. The cake below is Rosalind’s ‘Golden Meadows’ design; ‘This cake was inspired by tiny meadow flowers and floral hair garlands, which when combined with the gold leaf create a magical and ethereal feel. I wanted to create something beautiful and whimsical at the same time, and it really reminds me of a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream.’
Rosalind taught as a lecturer in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London for many years before moving into the world of baking, and her background as an artist and designer has played a key role in her approach to cake design.
She now supplies wedding cakes and cupcakes to Harrods. As well as designing cakes, she also teaches Masterclasses in cake design and baking from her purpose-built studio in London, and her first book, ‘Wedding Cakes‘, a guide to beautiful cake design, has recently been published.
Rosalind took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to me about what she does and what inspires the design of her magnificent cakes.
‘My inspiration for wedding cake designs varies from day-to-day, and can come from the most unusual sources. However, when designing a new cake I will always keep in mind these three factors; creativity, originality, and beauty. For me, these three elements are vital in the recipe for a successful wedding cake design. I also aim not to limit my cake designs to a particular style, and to encourage my customers to do the same.’
‘Wedding cake design and sugar-craft has come such a long way over the past ten years that it has really become a field with endless creative possibilities, only limited for the most part by the designer and the couples imaginations.’
‘When designing my new range of wedding cakes for 2014, ‘The Couture Collection’, I was greatly inspired by the sumptuous floral textiles and textures of the couture gowns as seen on the runways in the past couple of years. Designers such as Marchesa, Chanel and Giambattista Valli have been using floral textiles in such a striking and exiting way, and I wanted to do the same with my cake designs.’
‘As I have always been a keen gardener and lover of all things floral and English-country-garden-inspired, I wanted to marry the floral elements of these haute couture gowns with traditional sugar-craft and modern cake design.’
‘Whilst these new designs of mine were heavily influenced by gardens, floral textiles and patterns, I like to find inspiration for beautiful cake designs in all sorts of things. From the detail on a wedding dress; to the illustrations or typeface on a wedding invitation; to the more obscure details such as beautiful wooden mouldings on the wall of a wedding venue.’
‘This is why it’s incredibly useful for a couple to bring along any visual references from their wedding when they come and see me for a consultation; such as a swatch of fabric from their dress, a wedding invite, or anything that they find beautiful and inspiring. Not only can these be used as sources of inspiration for my cake design, but they also give me a real sense of the couples personality, which is especially important to me when designing something bespoke.’
‘At the consultation I really like to focus on getting to know the couple. I always aim to create a relaxed environment during which we can sit and discuss the flavours and the design over a nice cup of tea and, of course, some cake! This enables us to really work out the best option for the wedding cake and by the end of the consultation, whether they opt for a customisation of one of our Signature or Couture cake designs, or something entirely bespoke, I will have gained enough insight into their personalities to create their perfect wedding cake.’
‘For my ‘Blue Meadows’ cake design below, I was inspired by this Chanel piece from 2013 with powder blue meadow flowers, and incorporated embellished embroidery with beading as seen on lots of gowns and wedding dresses in the S/S 2014 catwalks.’
‘I am so in love with dusty pink and green at the moment, and wanted to incorporate the embroidered flowers and vines as seen on this Giambattista Valli dress. I think the result in my Embroidered Flowers design below is delicate with a very fairytale-like feel.’
‘The flowers on this Marchesa gown struck me as so romantic and quite nostalgic. I wanted to make similar ruffled sugar flowers the focal point of this wedding cake design as they are so unusual and striking.’
‘My English Country Garden is my personal favourite and incorporates everything I love about an English country garden. I love the delicate sprays of Lily of the Valley amongst the rich tones of magenta and purple on the flowers. I wanted to mirror the wild abundant arrangement of flowers in my own garden at home, with the aim to create the effect of an English country garden in full bloom.’
‘Of course, designing the cake can be an ongoing process and we will speak to the couple numerous times after the consultation to make sure that everything is perfect. Nowadays, with the cake becoming such a central and important element of the wedding, it is vital to so many couples that it really is a perfect reflection of their wedding and personality.’
‘In a large reception room the cake will often be the focal point, and it really needs to be beautiful and impressive enough to warrant so much attention! Therefore, the cake is rarely an afterthought and many of our couples will place just as much importance on choosing their dream cake design as choosing the wedding dress and venue.’
How absolutely beautiful are these cakes? I’m in complete awe of Rosalind’s talent and skill.
If you adore what you see and are interested in speaking with Rosalind about her creating a cake for your wedding or having one of her existing designs gracing the reception room at your wedding venue, please visit rosalindmillercakes.com for further information, or telephone 07957 – 571797. Rosalind Miller Cakes can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
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