Cakes that look too good to eat

Wedding cake
Wedding cake

When it comes to cakes it seems anything is possible as Charlotte Harding discovers.

Celebration cakes have come a long way from a Victoria sponge or fruit cake coated in relatively plain icing, now the only limitations are your imagination.

With half-and-half cakes featuring one half traditional wedding cake and other Lord of the Rings characters, or the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter, Emma Wickens admits no two cakes are ever the same.

“People want to put their own spin on it,” explains the owner of WickyWooWoo cakes based in Lindfield.

“It is just lovely to talk to people and design something they will love, I always make the cake with the customer in mind.”

Emma has also seen people getting more adventurous when it comes to cake flavours, with many shying away from the popular vanilla, chocolate or red velvet.

“I think I have only ever made two red velvet cakes,” she smiles.

“I did a tasting the other day and every couple loved the sticky ginger and lemon cake.

“People want cakes that taste like the things they love so I do a Bakewell tart, and I love banoffee pie so I do a banoffee flavour with banana sponge with whipped marshmallow buttercream and caramel.

“One couple loved peanut butter so I created a peanut butter cake which was delicious.”

Fruit cake at weddings is still seen as fairly traditional but Emma says many people opt for it to please the older generations.

Emma set up her cake business in 2013, leaving her career in HR and training after having children.

“I had always made cakes for my kids’ birthdays so when I decided I wanted to do something a bit different I thought why not,” she explains.

“I am completely self-taught. I used to always watch my mum in the kitchen making and decorating cakes and would sit reading her cake decorating books.”

However, before going into HR Emma went to art college, which she says has also helped.

“I did painting and modelling with clay at college so when decorating cakes you use the same techniques but just with a different medium,” she reveals.

“But I think having an art background means my brain is more creative.”

In the world of wedding cakes Emma reveals that while you can have printed wafer, lace details or models most are opting for something a bit different.

“Naked cakes are still really popular,” she says.

“So are semi-naked cakes. This is when you have the sponge and a thick layer of buttercream so you get a smoother finish but you can still see the cake underneath.

“A lot of people are now getting married in barns so are opting for more rustic cakes.

“I have been seeing a lot of people this year wanting marbled icing when you don’t fully mix the colours.

“Also metallics such as coppers, golds and silvers have been popular.”

The cakes are usually made a day or two before, and any modelling decorations such as the bride and groom or any flowers can be made in advance as it can last up to six months.

“Then the only thing I need to do is put the icing on as you don’t want the buttercream to dry out and then the cake is done,” she explains.

From animals on birthday cakes and hobbits for weddings, your cake can be more than just a dessert at your celebration – it can be a centrepiece on its own, even if it seems a shame to cut into it.

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This first appeared in February’s etc Magazine wedding special, pick up your copy now.