Tag: cakes

Heuchera Magic

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When you get a call from  renowned florist Zita Elze for a commission, you know it will be for something pretty special. Zita has a unique floral embroidery style that is delicate and ethereal and unique to her. Undoubtedly one of the most talented floral artists in the world, Zita’s original vision and creative concepts know no bounds.  For this reason, she attracts so many students from all over the world who consider themselves lucky to learn from this floral maestra.

We’ve worked with Zita in the past and this time she wanted a simple cake adorned with Heuchera leaves as well as matching cupcakes.

Bred for heat and humidity tolerance, Heuchera or Autumn Leaves is a particularly interesting variety of Coral Bells, and its foliage of lobed, rounded leaves changes colour throughout the seasons. In spring, the mid-sized leaves emerge red, change to taupe in summer, then deepen to ruby red in fall.

The CAKE

We created a four tier white luxury wedding cake with a green watercolour effect flecked with gold leaf. Creating the sugar leaves was pretty special as the sheer diversity of the leaf colours gives room for  many possibilities.

Once the green leaves were cut and veined, we used shades of red, burgundy, plum, foliage green and even orange to paint and dust the sugar foliage.

We arranged the sugar leaves on the cake in a cascade and softened the look with some hand made tendrils. The result was a luxury wedding cake stunning in it’s simplicity!

With thanks to Fiona Caroline Photography for the images.

CELEBRATING PRIDE

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At Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium we are often approached to collaborate on styled shoots due to the fact that we have a reputation for being one of the best cake companies in the world. When Amie Bone approached us we did not hesitate to say yes as we knew this was going to be rather special.

THE SHOOT CONCEPT

This concept, conceived and styled by Amie Bone with additional styling and co-ordination by Charlotte Munro, takes a different look at relationships. In an era when men and women are supposed to be from “different planets” and unable to communicate, many gay men and straight women seem able to connect almost effortlessly.

This shoot was created as a celebration of PRIDE and modern relationships and friendships.

THE VENUE

The beautiful and unique Aynhoe Park was the location for this shoot. At the heart of 250 acres of Capability Brown Cotswolds countryside, the 17th century 28 bedroom home is a country house of stories and surprises – a place where the extraordinary happens every day. It was therefore perfect for this unusual shoot.

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DECOR AND DETAILS

Amie designed an incredibly wild cascading floral tablescape featuring an explosion of greenery and flowers. She used runners of coral peonies, gloriosa, orange and deep pink roses, pink sweet peas and hydrangeas, orange gladioli, green guelder roses, yellow calla lilies, ranunculi and tulips in abundance to create the most opulent look. Interspersed within the floral runner were bespoke bird cages and luxurious gold candelabras.

Each place setting had a charger plate by Whitehouse Crockery which was topped with gold-edged watercolour men and place card from EG Lettering and sweet treats from Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium.

THE CAKES

We designed a trio of luxury wedding cakes and sweet treats in black and gold. Black sugarpaste is  tricky to work with as it marks easily and any errors tends to be exaggerated. Thankfully, we only use the best sugarpaste on the market, Massa Ticino, which we are brand  ambassadors for.

The main cake was a tall and dramatic 7 tiered confection in black decorated with baroque detailing and sugar flowers in pink, yellow and orange. The cake was set with a lush greenery backdrop and looked absolutely incredible.

The other two cakes included a one tiered crackle effect cake topped with sugar roses and a three-tiered cake black cake with pink marble veining accented with gold. There were also matching black and gold cupcakes, mini magnums and cookies for the dessert table.

PHOTOGRAPHY

The shoot was brilliantly captured by San Shawe of Sanshine Photography, one of the top wedding photographers in the World. I am sure you will all agree that this unique luxury shoot is simply stunning!

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THE CREATORS:

Venue: Aynhoe Park www.aynhoepark.co.uk

Photographer: Sanshine Photography www.sanshinephotography.com

Floral design: Amie Bone www.amieboneflowers.com

Styling & Coordination: Charlotte Munro Weddings www.charlottemunro.co.uk

Hair & Makeup: Team Glam www.teamglam.com

Luxury Wedding Cakes and Dessert Table Treats: Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium www.elizabethscakeemporium.com

Stationery: EG Lettering www.eglettering.com

Charger Plates & Glassware: Whitehouse Crockery www.eventcrockeryhire.co.uk

Wedding & Engagement Rings: The London Victorian Ring Co www.london-victorian-ring.com

Dress: Chantal Mallett http://www.chantalmallett.com/

Furniture: The Prop Factory www.propfactory.co.uk

Candles sticks, birdcages & table décor: Wedding Day Hire www.weddingdayhire.co.uk

Models: Meg Makin, Michael Gray, Sam

Suits: Tailor-Made www.tailormadelondon.com, Chester Barrie www.chesterbarrie.co.uk

Van Gogh’s Lucid Dreams

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THE CONCEPT

The idea for this Van Gogh’s lucid dreams shoot came to me during a chat with Joanne Fleming, one of the most talented couturiers I know. I love, love doing styled shoots. It’s one of the best ways to test out luxury wedding cake ideas and concepts, build a portfolio and show clients your style.

To me, Vincent van Gogh is unmistakably one of the best known painters in the world. A pioneer of modernism, this master of colour and innovator produced an impeccable oeuvre which continues to inspire many artists today.

As a young painter in Holland, he had loved yellow and used it liberally in his early paintings.

In honour of the major exhibition at the Tate which brings together his dedication and thoughtful art, I came up with the concept of a happy, joyful styled shoot based on  Van Gogh’s love of yellow and blue.

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THE VENUE

Number 10 and No. 11 Carlton House Terrace currently houses the British Academy. The  premises built in 1831 to designs by John Nash, is steeped in history. It was previously occupied by four-times Prime Minister William Gladstone, and was a First World War Hospital for Wounded Officers.

The atrium with its very high ceilings and beautiful light was the perfect setting for this shoot. Whilst the white alcove with the yellow gold baroque detailing provided exquisite framing for a number of the shots, we took the presence of the modern art paintings on the walls in the shoot colours as a sign that our Van Gogh’s lucid dreams shoot would be best presented at the venue!

DECOR AND DETAILS

For this shoot, we tried to capture in 3D form, the textures and vivid tones found in several Van Gogh’s paintings including Cafe Terrace at Night, Irises, Chair,  Girl in White and of course Starry Night. We also referenced the fact that he loved a tipple or two and his pipe.  The tablescape created by Wild About featured their signature tall and elegant floral design. The outstanding overhanging flower canopy ran across the length of the table and featured different hues of yellow flowers from the deepest ochre VanGogh was famous for, to the palest and creamiest yellow. The flowers used included sunflowers, roses, oncidium dancing lady orchids, cymbidium orchids, Craspedia, Fritillaria, tulips as well as assorted greenery.

The texture and tone theme continued with WildAbout using texturised vases  some in glass, crackle glaze and velvet, in different hues of blue, including midnight blue, navy, teal and cerulean.  The vases housed clever groupings of more gorgeous yellow flowers. The gold candlesticks were topped with candles in royal blue and cornflower blue.

Each place setting featured ornate gold charger plates which were topped with yellow plates sourced from Italy and hand carved sunflower ceramic plates. The charger plates, etched gold rimmed crystal and gold cutlery were from Classic Crockery.

Ananya Cards, created beautiful deep blue stationery edged in gold which featured a specially created monogram and the most elegant calligraphy. The menus were placed on mini easels, as a nod to the artist.  The table linen was from Just 4 Linen and gold edged yellow velvet chairs completed the look.

WildAbout also created three bouquets for the shoot. Two were  yellow and the third made up entirely of Irises.

THE DRESSES

Reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Girl in White, for the first look, our model wore a high waisted skirt with boned foundation and deep pockets  made in heavy ivory French linen and paired with a silk chiffon and swiss-dot tulle peasant bodice for an informal bridal look. The skirt  embellished with a pair of Victorian embroidered sunflowers from Joanne’s collection of vintage trims, and the luxuriously ruffled sleeve cuffs were made from lengths of unused old stock antique lace.

The look was finished with a pair of Harriet Wilde’s classic block heel ‘Lana’ shoes in bridal ivory, and the hat from Jo’s personal collection which is trimmed with the same Swiss-dot tulle as the blouse.

For the second look Jo wanted to conjure those iconic VanGogh paintings of yellow ochre wheat fields and Provençal sunflowers. The corset waist skirt was constructed in slubby silk tussah for a homespun rustic look, and  embroidered with knee high stalks and ears of wheat. The high ruffle-necked blouse was made from tulle embroidered with little sunflowers that have all been hand tinted in shades of golden yellow and burnt sienna. Again, Jo used a length of antique Victorian lace, hand painted to match, for the collar and cuffs, to provide that connection to the past.

A wonderful flower trimmed yellow straw hat by inspirational milliners Lomax and Skinner references the straw hats VanGogh depicted in several of his paintings.

The shoes are a pair of Kurt Geiger ‘Daisy’ linen platform sandals, with the daisies converted to sunflowers with the help of silk paints!

For the third look, Jo created a more sophisticated look inspired by that glorious yellow ochre shade that glows from so many of Vincent’s paintings of the South of France. Supple shimmering silk satin skims and flows around the body, catching and reflecting the light. A huge stylised sunflower is the only embellishment on this gown, which is paired with Harriet Wilde’s fabulous ‘Arabella’ shoes in midnight blue velvet….. the combination of golden yellow and rich blue evoking the jewel tones of  ‘Starry Night over the Rhone’ and ‘Café Terrace at Night’. A Lomax and Skinner curled feather headdress adds a little Moulin Rouge showgirl glamour to the look.

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BEAUTY

The hair and make up for this shoot was by the amazing duo of Sylwia Kunysz and Stacey Goodwin. For the first Girl in White look, we used a soft and natural palette on the face, the hair in a soft tousled up do with some loose tendrils framing the face, working with the models own natural curls to create a relaxed look. It was good way to pay homage to the painting, giving it a modern twist. For the second look, the hair was soft and loose, the team creating a 30s inspired look with bold lip to complement the gorgeous silk ochre dress.

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THE CAKES

For this shoot, I created four luxury wedding cakes, cupcakes, cookies and mini chocolate magnums. The main cake was a 7 tiered Van Gogh mottled deep blue baroque confection. The baroque detailing gave the cake grandeur and the yellow sugar flowers adorning the cake were in different shades of yellow. The handcrafted sugar flowers included tulips, roses, dahlias, peonies and gold leaves. The second cake was a blue gravity defying split cake  with hundreds of yellow sugar flowers seemingly cascading out of the centre. This cake was created to reflect the prolific art that poured out of  Van Gogh despite the darkness that often over took him. The other cakes were distressed and decorated with bas relief, gold leaf, wafer paper and crackled effect and symbolised the fact that art is often never perfect!

PHOTOGRAPHY

We were honoured to have one of the most sought after luxury fine art photographers in the UK, Roberta Facchini capture this shoot in all its glory. We can all agree that she has succeeded in showcasing the essence of Van Gogh’s Lucid Dreams.

SUPPLIER CREDITS

VENUE   

10-11 Carlton House Terrace SW1 5AH htttps://10-11cht.com@10-11cht

CONCEPT, PLANNING, STYLING AND CAKES

Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium https://www.elizabethscakeemporium.com 

@elizabethscakeeemporium

FLOWERS AND FLORAL STYLING

WildAbout https://www.wildabout.co.uk/ @wildaboutflower

DRESSES AND BRIDAL STYLING

Joanne Fleming https://joanneflemingdesign.com/@joflemingdesign

PHOTOGRAPHER

Roberta Facchini https://www.robertafacchini.com/@Roberta Facchini 

HAIR and MAKE UP

Sylwia Kunysz http://www.sylwiamakeup.co.uk/@sylwiakunyszmua

Stacie Goodwin www.staciegoodwinhairdressing.co.uk@staciegoodwinhairdressing

STATIONERY

Ananya Cards https://www.ananyacards.com/@ananyacards

CHARGERS, CUTLERY AND CRYSTAL

Classic Crockery https://www.classiccrockery.co.uk/@classiccrockery

RINGS

The Exquisite Collection http://www.theexquisitecollection.co.uk/ @theexquisitecollection

SHOES

Harriet Wilde https://www.harrietwilde.com/@harrietwildeshoes

Kurt Geiger https://www.kurtgeiger.com/ @kurtgeiger 

HATS

Lomax and Skinner Bespoke Millinery https://www.lomaxandskinner.co.uk/ @lomaxandskinner

Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium collaborates with luxury brand Fendi 

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Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium is immensely honoured to have been commissioned by renowned Italian luxury maison Fendi to create 12 Peekaboo luxury handbag cakes for both their Peekaboo Handbag Bar and their Pop Up Caffe in Harrods.

Fashion, food and Fendi is one of Italy’s greatest exports and all three have come together in glorious harmony at Harrods.

The late legendary Karl Lagerfeld first sketched Fendi’s first Double F logo back in 1965, in all of  three seconds, no less! The iconic insignia of the Fendi brand  has since been through hundreds of variations. It has been emblazoned on everything from BMX bikes to Kanye West’s head, and now, for the first time, the acronym of the famed fashion house has been placed on cookies, cakes and foam latte.

Fendi invited LA-based streetwear designer and street artist Joshua Vides to design both the Peekaboo Handbag Bar and Caffe interior in his trademark black and white illustration graphics, creating a contemporary monochrome dining experience . He cleverly made it sleek and Fendi monogram heavy and it delivers the most stunning visual impact. Everything,  from menus, floors, walls and plates to palette has been branded with the “FF” logo. Even taxis in the area got in on the act and they also display the distinctive black and white branding.

On the menu in the Pop Up Caffe are delicious breakfasts, cappuccinos and  filled focaccias for lunch. Larger appetites can indulge in full-course repasts of antipasti, insalate (the beef carpaccio is a house special) and mains of lasagne, aubergine parmagiana.

The one of a kind, Fendi themed wonderland pop up cafe, set to run till the end of August, has been deemed the coolest and most instagrammable pop up cafe ever by Vogue.

The pop-up Peekaboo Bar, located on the ground floor of Harrods, features a vibrant and glitzy array of handbags in bold colours and enables you to customise your own Peekaboo Mini bag with an array of mix-and-match bodies, handles and straps. There are more than 20 different handbag bodies, 25 handles (some with glitter finishes) and seven straps to choose from, epitomising customisation at its best.

The Peekaboo Handbag Cakes by Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium

After we had calmed down from the excitement of being selected to create a range of mini Peekaboo handbag cakes by Fendi, we were understandably very nervous as the enormity of the task we faced hit us.

We knew it was important for the handbag cakes to look chic, realistic and stylish, and they also had to be presented beautifully since they were to provide the only source of colour to the monochromatic colour scheme.

After a few visits to view the beautifully crafted Fendi bags at their flagship Bond Street store, we produced some drawings and our fabricator produced a prototype form. This was experimented with, and after a few trials, we produced the 12 mini Peekaboo handbag cakes, matching the vibrant Fendi colours as closely as possible.

As you can imagine, the handbag cakes were delivered to Harrods in time for the opening of the bar and caffe on the 1st of July with great care and excitement! We were very honoured and proud to see our stylish handbag cakes make their debut lined up along the length of the breakfast table for press and influencers, with most, including the photographer, assuming our hand bag cakes were the actual Fendi Peekaboo handbags.

Even the Peekaboo Bar and Fendi Cafe customers were not left out, as many often tried to pick up the handbag cakes thinking they were the actual Peekaboos! This has led to on going repairs to the handbag cakes but it gives us an excuse to keep visiting Harrods.

The Harrods Fendi Caffe is a must-visit for anyone who likes fun fashion with a side of hearty Italian food. Buon appetito.

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We are very grateful to have been given this unique opportunity by one of the most iconic and best known fashion brands in the world.

If you would like us to collaborate with you on similar or other projects, kindly contact us at info@elizabethscakeemporium.com or on 07958069116

info@elizabethscakeemporium.com

Award winning author of OPULENCIA available at http://amzn.to/1TLIIBP

10 Wonderful Creative Twists on Wedding Traditions

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Wedding season is among us and love (and planning) is in the air! For guests, this time of the year means hunting for that fashionable wedding outfit and unique wedding gift. But for the bride and groom, it means hunting for ways to make the wedding itself modern and exciting.

Today weddings are a chance for couples to show their creative personality through certain aspects of their big day. Old-fashioned customs are up for debate, and creative twists on old traditions are becoming increasingly popular. If you’re a modish couple looking for ways to give your nuptials a twenty-first-century spin, you’ll find that these next few tricks take old-hat traditions to a whole new level. 

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Putting on the Veil

The veil traditionally symbolizes modesty and a means to prevent the groom from seeing his beautiful bride until the ceremony is complete. It acts as a long sheer mask or the opportunity for the bride to make a dramatic statement. A new take on wearing a veil is not wearing one at all! Brides have moved away from the elaborately long veil, and on to a barrette with flowers and pieces of a veil attached. This creative trend emphasizes the DIY era and shatters the original meaning behind wearing the mask. 

Switching Out the Place Cards

The process of choosing a seating chart is stressful, especially when there’s drama in the family! Once the placement is finalized, getting guests to their seats is the next challenge. Couples have started to use fun and creative ways to seat their guests rather than having place cards. A unique idea is to have some guests arrive and see a sign that reads “Take A Shot and Take A Seat” and below sits a full shot glass with their seat assignment attached. 

Another fun twist guests will be excited to see is a sign that reads “Snap a Photo and Sit Down” with a photo wall and a Polaroid camera. This is particularly creative because the photo taken replaces the seat assignment card on the wall.

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Making Memories Last

A guestbook is the most fabulous keepsake from this special night. It’s where you will get to look back years down the road on the day you tied the knot and see what your attendees had to say. The typical sign-in book is a thing of the past because couples want a more creative way to remember their night. A fun example is using a photo booth, where two copies are printed but one is put in a scrapbook where guests can write a meaningful message to the couple. Another example is a “Words of Wisdom” box, where guests write their marital two cents on a card and slip it into a box.

Dancing in Style

Slow dancing with your partner and all eyes are on the two of you for what seems like an eternity- nothing in the world seems to be more nerve-wracking. To give the crowd a goofy surprise, try an exciting choreographed routine! This is sure to bring laughs from around the room, and give you and your loved one a fun-filled memory you’ll never forget.

Personalising the Bar

Who doesn’t love an open bar? Well, modern couples are adding an even more fun addition to the wedding bar scene. Signature cocktails are an opportunity for the bride and groom to reflect their personal traits or characteristics. The bride’s tipple might be called “Blushing Bride,” and the groom’s might be named “Blue-eyed Groom.” This is a fun way to get the guests to enjoy a drink in honour of the happy couple.

Changing the Food Scene

Steak, chicken, or seafood? It’s that big decision that will be a defining factor for your big day. This crucial part of a wedding will stick with guests for years to come; if you completely change the norm of what is expected for dinner, it’ll be twice as memorable. Popcorn station, a s’mores bar or all-you-can-eat grazing table – the opportunities are endless! Imagine showing up to a wedding and seeing a fully stocked burrito bar in the far corner. This creative culinary twist is something you wouldn’t expect. 

Personalising the Bar

Kicking it off on the sweet side, the most exciting change in the wedding world is how wedding cakes are presented. If you and your bae want to stay up to date with fashion trends, then deciding on a hip wedding cake is very important. A wedding cake on display is the ultimate eye catcher when you walk into reception, and the traditional pure white cake just isn’t surprising anymore; people want excitement. Glam cakes, themed cakes, and alternative cakes are providing the surprise element to most modern weddings.  

Glam Cakes

A glam cake is a simple twist to traditional cakes that has the word “bling” written all over it. This style adds a bit of spice to the plain white base. Glitter and diamond jeweled ribbons line the cakes to make them sparkle and shine. Some couples might even add pops of colored flowers or edible intricate designs to make it really stand out. 

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Theme Cakes

Themed cakes have become all the rage over the last few years. It’s not just kids who get to express their love for fantasy and fiction in their cakes! Whether it be Game of Thrones themed, Star Trek, or even something as simple as a botanical garden, couples have been doing it all.

Alternative Cakes

For all non-cake lovers, there’s plenty of other options for you. Another rising trend in the world of wedding cakes is not even having a cake at all. Not everyone has a desire for an elaborate three-tiered cake, and that’s entirely okay. A chocolate covered strawberry mountain, three tiers of brownies and cookies, or a three-tiered donut cake! 

The most popular alternative to the cake as of 2019 is a cake pop or cupcake wedding cake. Cupcakes and cake pops are no longer considered children’s treats; they’re now wedding must-haves! This trend snowballed as people began to realize that not everyone wants to take a whole piece of cake, plus grabbing a cupcake or cake pop is so much more inviting. 

Taking the Pain Out of Dancing

The dance floor is arguably the most popular part of a wedding reception. It’s also the perfect place to show off your sexiest dance moves and totally let loose after a few glasses of celebratory champagne. But what’s one thing that puts a big damper on the dancing festivities? For women, the answer is definitely high heels. Couples are now placing a basket next to the dance floor filled with foam sandals for their female guests to wear so they can dance the night away pain-free. This simple fix is extremely creative and a must-have at your wedding.

Finding the Perfect Favours 

Wedding favours have always been tricky. How do you choose gifts to say thank you to your loved ones who attended your wedding? It’s traditional to give a box of candy that has a ribbon attached with a saying of love. Lately, it has become popular to mix it up. Mini succulents with the date and couple’s last name engraved into the pot is a cute way to say thank you. Another option is personalized pint glasses! My favorite example and one I would run to grab is the after wedding snack box. This handmade box comes with fries and a coke, or any food you wish to provide so that guests can have a snack from the bride and groom on the way home.

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash
Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Spicing Up the Send-off

The formal exit of the bride and groom from the reception is the customary way to send off the happy couple on their honeymoon. Traditionally, guests throw rice above them to symbolise prosperity and good fortune. This tradition has taken on new forms as it has become increasingly common to get creative with wedding gestures. Instead of throwing rice, guests have found new objects to throw above the couple. Some objects include confetti, flower petals, balloons, and bubbles. These give a unique aesthetic to the wedding send-off, which will also undoubtedly make for amazing photographs.


For more information on how we can create your bespoke luxury cake contact us at info@elizabethscakeemporium.com or at 07958069116

Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium at The Langham

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THE VENUE

Recently, Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium was commissioned to make a wedding cake for an incredible wedding at The Langham. This luxury 5 star hotel in the heart of London is home to Michel Roux’s restaurant The Landau. With him being a major, major crush of ours,  it was all we could do to stop fangirling when we met him.

The venue holds all types of celebrations, from the lavish to the intimate. The Grade II ballroom has been recently lovingly restored with contemporary features that enhance its period detail.

As you enter the room, the  dramatic neo-classical pillars and sparkling hand blown Murano glass chandeliers will take your breath away. There is also direct access from the  Grand Ballroom to the Courtyard Garden a hidden gem oasis of calm in the middle of a very busy London.

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THE CAKE

Our beautiful bride wanted a tall and elegant show stopper cake  befitting of her special wedding reception. A very positive and enjoyable first meeting and consultation revealed a bride that was right up our street. She wanted glamour, drama and a huge, huge cake different from the norm!

We responded by designing an eight tier luxury wedding cake in silver and white, embellished with iridescent and sparkly cut out scrolls, leaves and flowers inspired by the glittered embellishments on her custom Galia Lahav dress.

We created a bespoke luster dust mix which we painted the cake which gave the wedding cake a pearlised sheen. The cake was finished off with flowers from acclaimed florist Ricky Paul. The delicious cake flavours included Raspberry Ripple, Luscious Lemon and Chocolate.

Our bride was absolutely over the moon with her cake and the day after her wedding we received a lovely message that  read “Elizabeth, the cake blew me away!! It was 10 times better than what I expected. Thank you so, so much”


We would love to create your luxury wedding cake, so give us a call on 07958069116 or email us at

info@elizabethscakeemporium.com

Award winning author of OPULENCIA available at AMAZON 

www.elizabethscakeemporium.com

15 Must Know Baking Tips For  Luxury Cakes

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Making luxury wedding cakes is both a science and an art form and at Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, it always starts with a great bake.

The foundation for any cake design is a tried and tested cake recipe, paired with delicious fillings that not only taste amazing, but also hold up to the rigours of decoration and stacking. Having experienced many a baking disaster in my time, through trial and error, I discovered some of the secrets to good, consistent bakes.

These 15 baking tips culled from my best selling artisan baking and decorating book OPULENCIA will help ensure that you get closer to baking perfect cakes every time.

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BAKING TIPS

The Right Equipment

Start with the right equipment. Ensure you have a properly calibrated oven that you are familiar with, in particular, its quirks. It is also important to use the right type and size of baking tin for each recipe.

The Right Temperature is Key!

Preheat your oven until it reaches the desired temperature at least half an hour before baking. For some ovens a light will go out, some will bleep. To be certain your oven is at the right temperature though, check with an oven thermometer.

Mise en Place

Practice the method professional chefs call ‘Mise en place’. This is where you assemble all your ingredients and equipment, ticking them off your list before you start baking.

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Accuracy – Weigh and Measure Everything

Be accurate with the weighing and measuring of ingredients to achieve consistent results.

Achieving Moist Bakes

Place a shallow pan of water at the bottom of the oven especially when baking fruit cakes, or if the cake is quite large and requires a longer baking time.

Bring Ingredients to Room Temperature

Butter, eggs and milk should be brought to room temperature before baking to prevent any curdling later on.

The Creaming Process

Cream the butter and sugar together at a very high speed until the colour pales to nearly white and the mixture is light and fluffy. Do not set a time limit for this step. I often advise that you walk away from the mixer during the creaming process, only interrupting to scrape the bowl down once or twice.

Sift the Flour

When sifting your flour, lift the sieve high as this allows more air to be incorporated.

Types of Cocoa Powder

There are generally three types of cocoa powder, natural (more bitter and acidic), Dutch processed (less bitter and alkaline) and black (deep chocolatey flavour and least bitter). If the chocolate cake recipe contains baking powder, use the Dutch processed or the black cocoa powder. If the recipe contains baking soda, use natural cocoa powder.

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Best Kept Secret for Sponge Cakes

You may add 1 or 2 tablespoons of meringue powder to your batter to help your sponge cake rise.

Use Sponge Flour

For Luxury Wedding Cakes, use sponge flour or cake flour where you can. The lower protein, finer granules and extra sifting of the flour makes for a light and airy cake.

Follow the Recipe to the Letter

Follow the recipe as accurately as possible, but keep in mind that the outcome will depend on a number of variables such as your oven stability, quality of ingredients, the process and equipment used.

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Always Line Your Baking Tin

I always line my baking tins before adding cake batter. This ensures the cake is released easily from your baking tin every time without fail. I use greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Cake release sprays also work, but I prefer to line my tins for that added assurance.

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Trouble Shooting

If a cake is too crumbly, this may be a consequence of using too much flour, insufficient moisture in the cake mix or under-mixing. On the other hand, over-mixing can result in overdevelopment of the gluten in the flour, giving the cake a coarse grain or large and uneven holes.

Is My Cake Done Yet?

Test whether your cake is baked using your sense of smell, observing the colour (cakes should be a nice golden brown), using your sense of touch (when pressed in the centre, a well-baked cake should spring back immediately) and lastly, a skewer inserted through the centre of the cake should come out clean.

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We hope that you find these tips useful.

For more fool proof recipes and tips, head over to Amazon, where you can buy our ebook OPULENCIA.

The United Colours Of Massa Ticino

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Our love for creating beautiful luxury bespoke couture cakes knows no bounds and we always ensure we use the best ingredients possible. This ranges from the ingredients used in our bakes to the best the sugar paste and fondant we use in enrobing all our cakes.

For the past 10 years, we have exclusively used Massa Ticino, arguably the best sugar paste in the world. We share a little insight as to why it will always be our go to sugarpaste/fondant below.

The origins of Massa Ticino sugarpaste

Made in Switzerland by chocolate manufacturer Carma, Massa Ticino sugarpaste was invented in the beautiful canton of Ticino, the Italian speaking part of the country by two brothers.

Carma’s founding father Carl Maentler was so taken by the invention that he decided to industrialise the product in 1963 and it quickly earned a reputation for being the world’s best sugar paste.

How I got to know about this fabulous product

Many moons ago, I decided to take a class with the awesome Colette Peters, the originator of contemporary wedding cake techniques that are widely used today. During the course of the class, she used this amazing sugarpaste, Massa Ticino Tropic, which was very elastic, with great workability. It did not rip, tear or crack! It seemed almost like a miracle, especially for such an inexperienced newbie like myself. She even poked a hole in the sugarpaste with a knife and we watched in awe as she smoothed over the hole in no time.

When I came back to the UK, I started a quest to find a stockist for Massa Ticino and with great difficulty, I tracked the only stockist down.  Years later, with the advent of social media, I was able to make direct contact with a Carma representative and introduce them to a number of online cake product retailers. This coincided with the launch of their colour range and the rest as they say is history.   I am now very proud to be the UK’s ambassador for this incredible sugarpaste, a role I have had for 5 years.

The colourful world of Massa Ticino

Carma invested a lot of time and energy to  develop and produce their distinct colours of sugarpaste that has the same consistency and workability of Massa Ticino tropic. They include three primary colours, Lovely Red, Mellow Yellow and Sailing Blue and also Grass Green, Perfect Purple, Chocolate Brown (which has real chocolate in it!), Pitch Black, Pretty Pink and Vintage Ivory. The colours were achieved using all natural ingredients and they are free of  E numbers or Azo dyes. They are also gluten and dairy free and suitable for vegans.

With these colours they also developed a colour mixing guide (CMG) to help create a variety of tones, tints, hues and shades and the guide can be found at www.massaticino.com/cmg. It is in the form of a comprehensive colour wheel and easy to use. All you have to do is click on the colour you wish to create and the sugarpaste colour combinations and proportions will be detailed.

Using pre-made coloured sugarpaste for mixing, instead of gel or paste colours, gives accurate and consistent results that can be replicated over and over again. This method is less messy and darker colours can be produced without adversely affecting the texture, pliability and consistency of the sugarpaste.

Our colourful cakes

At Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, when designing a luxury wedding cake or a bespoke couture celebration cake, colour is one of our first considerations.  We have been fortunate to attract clients who want something a little different from the norm, and the diversity of our cakes range from our classic baroque designs to more contemporary cakes.

Using Massa Ticino sugarpaste has enabled us to achieve incredible designs over the years and we look forward to create more in the future.


For more information on how we can create your bespoke luxury cake contact us at

 info@elizabethscakeemporium.com or 07958069116

Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium’s Enchanted Easter at The Lanesbough

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Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium was commissioned by The Lanesborough, one of the capital’s best hotels, to create a luxury dessert table of epic proportions made up of luxury cakes and sweet treats for their recent enchanted Easter extravaganza.

Now anyone who knows us knows that as one of the best cake makers, we relish creating luxury cakes with a difference.

We envisioned an Easter egg  luxury dessert table filled with all things chocolate and delicious.

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The focal point of the table was a giant faberge inspired egg cake which stood 42 inches high. The egg cake was decorated with filigree scrolls, hand moulded leaves and a beaded band. It was then crowned with the most divine sugar roses, sugar peonies and sugar blossoms. We also created 14 inch high smaller hanging easter egg cakes in blue also decorated with scrolls and sugar peonies.

We also filled the table with lots of hand moulded chocolate eggs, mini chocolate magnums and cupcakes topped with sugar roses.

The cake flavours included chocolate orange, our famous triple chocolate, caramel, lemon and cookies and cream. The chocolate flavours were milk chocolate, white chocolate, raspberry chocolate and mango vegan chocolate!

We are delighted to say that everything went in under 15 minutes as the children and their parents couldn’t get enough of our sweet treats!

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Another huge success for Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium at the enchanted Easter party at The Lanesborough.

If you would like us to design and create the best luxury dessert table for you, contact us on 07958069116 or at info@elizabethscakeemporium.com

Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium presents Karen Tran’s Floral Opulence at The Savoy London

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It’s spring time in London and for the second year running, the undisputed floral queen, Karen Tran, brings her floral masterclass to another iconic London venue. The most anticipated gala event in the UK events industry calendar, it was held on a perfect spring day.  These  beautiful photos from Stuart Wood Photography and video from Perfect Moment Films perfectly captures the opulence and fun of the incredible event held at  the iconic Savoy Hotel in London.

Jane Riddell of Planned to Perfection was approached by Sasha Cullen and Penny Clements of Savoy Weddings to plan and execute the event, and she was supported by Leanne Roberts-Hewitt of WildAbout and Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium.

The Venue

The Savoy is the only luxury hotel on the River Thames, perfectly placed in the heart of London, one of the world’s most exciting cities.

At the forefront of the luxury hotel scene for almost 130 years, The Savoy has a reputation for the excellence of its unrivalled hospitality.

Overlooking Embarkment Gardens and the Thames, The River Room with its light and airy ambience, chandeliers and grandeur was ideal to showcase the amazing florals created over three days by Karen Tran and her students. The room has the distinction of having the royal seal of approval, being the room where HM Queen Elizabeth was first seen in public with Prince Phillip when they both attended a wedding there in 1946.

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The Flowers

Opulence was the keyword for this masterclass. The floral palette consisted of an abundance of the most incredible statement florals in classic whites, creams and blush. Karen ably assisted by the incredible WildAbout and  students who came from all over the world, transformed the River Room and painted an unforgettable floral landscape using thousands of roses, hydrangeas, tulips, peonies and phaelanopsis orchids supplied by Rosa Prima Roses and Piet Van Kampen of G Fresh.

The tablescape featured gold mirrored topped tables with Karen’s signature tall cascading arrangements on specially created gold pedestals and floral runners across the length of the tables that cascaded onto the floor. The tables were dressed with tall gold candlesticks which complimented the china, cutlery and crystal from Whitehouse Crockery. Linen from Just for Linen and menus and specially scented paper roses from Ananya Cards completed the look.

The floral tunnel and archway of beauty that framed the middle of the River Room stood at an impressive 14 feet tall and 18 feet wide and was a sight to behold. Decorated with a flower carpet made up of thousands of roses, hydrangeas and orchids, there were also similarly decorated flower walls and even the pillars were dressed with incredible flower cascades.

Luminaire events provided all the event production and support and such was their attention to detail, they even created a special gold floral motif for their gorgeous dance floor.  the gold and white chairs were from Event Decor Hire.

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The Cake

Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium created an impressive cake in gold and white for the event. 8 tiers in total, it stood over 6 feet tall and featured two petal shaped gold base tiers. She painstakingly hand crafted the white sugar rose appliques,  rose bas relief and sugar flowers in blush, cream and white that adorned the cake. The specially created pedestal featured an asymmetrical floral swag of pink roses to finish the look.

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The Gala Dinner

Once the guests had been assembled, the doors of the River Rooms were opened to reveal Karen’s floral wonderland. There were audible gasps as guests took in the beauty of the room .

The guests included a mix of the best event planners, editors of bridal magazines, bloggers, and some of the best influencers in the UK.  They sipped on specially created floral inspired cocktails, the finest Champagne and canapes from the very talented chefs at The Savoy.

During the cocktail hour guests were entertained by performances by Dream Performance and ballerinas from Sophie Adams Ballet Company. Karen was warmly applauded and cheered as she made her entrance into the room wearing Galia Lahav from Brown’s Bride and jewellery from Boodles. The guests were then welcomed and all the partners thanked in speeches by Jane and Karen.

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The 5 course meal started with beautifully presented English oysters and black pearls of the most delicious caviar.

The next course consisted of seasonal English white asparagus with wild garlic hollandaise and Iberico Ham. A particular favourite was the creamiest saffron risotto served with edible spring flowers. The main course was a lotus flower wrapped steamed halibut with park choi, vegetables and a sesame dark soya source. Dessert was a very pretty and delicious mix of strawberries and cream, vanilla pana cotta, elderflower and buttermilk ice cream presented on a floral bed of dry ice.

During the course of the dinner, guests were completely serenaded and captivated by The Function Band who delivered world class entertainment. They had guests on their feet and up on podiums all night with many commenting on what an unforgettable night it was.

Jane of Planned for perfection who meticulously planned the event, said – “Thank you to a wonderful team of outstanding suppliers for helping us ensure that the gala was perfectly planned and to Karen and her team for the magnificent floral designs. The masterclass was a huge success and the gala exceeded all expectations. The memories will live in our hearts forever”

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WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Venue: 

The Savoy

https://www.fairmont.com/savoy-london 

Wedding & Event Planner: 

Planned for Perfection www.plannedforperfection.co.uk

Cake: 

Elizabeths Cake Emporium –www.elizabethscakeemporium.com 

Support Florist: 

WildAbout

www.wildabout.co.uk 

Party Entertainment: 

The Function Band

www.thefunction.band

Stationery:

Ananya Cards

www.ananyacards.com 

Photographer: 

Stuart Wood

www.stuartwoodweddings.com 

Videographer:

Chris Buckley

www.perfectmomentfilms.co.uk

Hair /Make up:

Gemma Sutton Hair and Make up

www.gemmasutton.com

Entertainment:

The Dream Performance

www.thedreamperformance.com 

Lighting, Sound & Production: 

Luminaire Events

www.luminaireevents.com 

Crockery, Cutlery & Glassware:

WhiteHouse Event Crockery www.eventcrockeryhire.co.uk

Jewellery:

Boodles

www.boodles.com

Chair Hire: 

Event decor hire

www.eventdecorhire.com 

Linen:

Just 4 Linen

www.just4linen.co.uk 

Illustrator:

Live Event Artist

 www.liveeventartist.co.uk 

Karen Tran’s Evening Dress:

Browns Bride

www.brownsbride.com —