Nearly 365 days after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot, their wedding cake baker, Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes, famous to T&C what it becomes surely like breaking royal subculture and whipping up the most well-known elderflower and lemon cake in history. Meghan had been a fan of Claire’s for years before the royal wedding ceremony.
Raised in California, Ptak by no means had any goal of baking for a dwelling. “I honestly desired to be the next Quentin Tarantino,” she says. But when that did not work out, she switched industries and began her career as a pastry chef. Eventually, she moved to London to launch her very own baking enterprise.
Ptak opened Violet Cakes, her first bakery, in East London in 2010, with a focal point on self-made, seasonal, “aesthetically laid-returned” meals. “My bakes are ingredient-led,” she says, “I’m all about doing truly extraordinary sourcing and looking to make whatever it is—the fruit or that chocolate—to taste greater special.”
In fact, it changed into her knack for growing stunning, natural, and seasonal treats that caught the attention of then-actress Meghan Markle, who interviewed Ptak over e-mail for a submit on her blog The Tig. Several years later, when Meghan began seeking out someone to create a royal wedding cake that no longer seemed beautiful but also tasted good, Ptak became at the top of her listing.
An invitation from Kensington Palace
The former pastry chef changed into invited to an initial meeting with Meghan at Kensington Palace in January 2018, just months after the couple announced their engagement. “During the meeting, Meghan stated, ‘You recognize, we want you to do it,'” Ptak recalls. “I assume they sincerely knew what they desired, and I definitely admire that.”
Perhaps it becomes her sample choice that helped to seal the deal—Ptak took six special flavors of cake with her to the Palace that day. “I notion approximately what I would love and what became right for May,” she shares, “and that they went with elderflower and lemon, which was my first preference, too.” With simply four months to go, Ptak and her group started the necessary preparations. A team of simply five relied on colleagues, including alumni bakers she added lower back to help.
Tearing up the royal wedding rule ebook
The plan for the cake, Ptak describes, changed into constantly going to be spoil from lifestyle. “We discussed that they desired something very particular and outside the field; they didn’t feel that there should be any form of constrictions, to do something within the way of life,” she says.
And on March 20, Kensington Palace launched an announcement announcing that Ptak becomes the chosen baker and that the couple had been to have a “lemon elderflower cake to include the intense flavors of spring. It may be included with buttercream and embellished with sparkling flowers.” Of direction, steering far away from a conventional fruit wedding ceremony cake induced a piece of pleasure with both the click and the public.
“I suppose the toughest component turned into that there has been a lot communicate about us before it befell, so that you’re like, ‘Oh God. I must do it now. I ought to deliver it, and it higher is accurate.’ So that was the frightening part. We just placed our heads down and absolutely centered at the task,” Ptak says. “I just desired to deliver the exceptional possible cake.”
Once the flavor became set, the group decided on the cake’s decorations, a method Ptak describes as remarkably easy. “They actually signed off on everything, and it became truly cool due to the fact this made it a straightforward method. I might advocate something and that they’d say, ‘We adore it.’ I think [Meghan] knew that I could do the type of component she turned into interested by, and that made it less complicated,” Ptak says.
“I don’t assume it was an intention to make a huge statement, but its form came out that manner, so it was surely interesting to be a part of that. Also, to be requested to do what I love in preference to being given a short, it became like a dream job for positive.”
Baking in a grand environment
Since Harry and Meghan had determined on a clean sponge cake instead of a fruit cake that could be made weeks in advance, Ptak wasn’t able to start baking the cake until the day earlier than the marriage. “It’s the manner we bake anyway. We do things à Los Angeles minute, so we knew that and planned our approach and team as a consequence. We had been geared up,” she says. And rather than begin growing the cake in their small and open kitchen, with the eyes of clients looking their every flow at Violet Cakes, Ptak and her team had been invited to the kitchens at Buckingham Palace.