Royal Wedding Cakes

May 18, 2018

So tomorrow is the big day for Meg and Harry. As a London based cake maker, I’m obviously gutted that I wasn’t chosen to do the royal wedding cake, but I’m already booked up with another just as important wedding anyway!  As it’s already been announced, the royal wedding cake maker is Claire Ptak, owner and creator of Violet Bakery in Hackney. She’s from California, so there must’ve been some bias when choosing her, surely! (Wish I was from California!) I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t heard of Violet Bakery before the announcement and now it’s obviously high on my list of cake research spots in London. Experts speculated on the flavour of the royal cake, saying that instead of the traditional fruit cake, they’d go for something more modern like a banana cake, but Claire has brought it out of the bag with an on-season Lemon and Elderflower cake. While tomorrow will give us the big reveal of ‘the dress’ and set brides everywhere up on a mission to recreate it, I’ll be waiting to see the photos of the cake. Claire Ptak and her team have promised a ‘buttercream cake installation’ but are giving nothing else away. So, while we wait until the cake reveal, let’s have a look at some royal wedding cakes from the past and see what’s changed…
Victoria and Albert's Royal Wedding Cake

Victoria & Albert- 10th February, 1840

This illustration gives an idea of how Victoria and Alberts Wedding cake looked.The confectioner in the Royal Establishment at Buckingham Palace created the Royal Wedding Cake. It was described as “consisting of the most exquisite compounds of all the rich things with which the most expensive cakes can be composed, mingled and mixed together into delightful harmony by the most elaborate science of the confectioner.” The royal cake was massive. It weighed almost 300lb (136kg in new money) and had a 2.7m circumference. That’s a fat cake!
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's Royal wedding cake

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip- 20th November, 1947

This wedding cake was made by McVitie and Price. By this time tall cakes were in- this one stood at over 2.5 metres tall! It weighed in at 900lb (408kg!) It featured sugar badges representing the couple’s favourite hobbies. It was made from ingredients donated by the Australian Girl Guides Association. These were supplied because post war stationing was still in place in 1947. Pieces of the cake were given out to charities all over the UK. Waiting for my slice, Meg and Harry!
Prince Charles and Diana Spencer's Royal wedding cake

Prince Charles and Diana Spencer- 29th July, 1981

Charles and Diana’s wedding cake was made by Belgian pastry chef S. G. Sender and his team. He was known as the “cake maker to the kings.” and this masterpiece took 14 weeks to make! It was actually one of 27 cakes, this being the tiered one on show. It was fruit cake, of course, the top tier of which was saved for Prince William’s christening as the tradition goes. Slices of the royal cake are still doing the rounds between royal paraphernalia collectors. Most recently a slice sold for £2000!
Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding Cake

Prince William and Kate Middleton- 29th April 2011

The most recent royal wedding was a big deal. And it wasn’t just about the dress. It was also all about the cake. Fiona Cairns was asked to create this one. It wasn’t as big or as tall as previous cakes, but the royal couple had a lot of input into it’s design. It took an entire team of people four days to assemble it, so of course, it was fruit cake again. Still very traditional in it’s design with royal icing and flowers, it was then placed on display in Buckingham palace. So what about Meg and Harry’s cake? It certainly won’t placed on display for long as it’s a sponge cake. And pieces of it won’t be auctioned off in 30 years time, will they?!. Claire Ptak has promised us a show stopper that uses ‘very English elderflower’ that will be presented as an ‘installation with a modern twist on the traditional’. The traditionalists are twitching at the thought of sponge cake. The Queen’s cousin, Lady Elizabeth Anson admits that she’s worried and clearly doesn’t understand how you eat sponge cake at a wedding without spilling it on ‘one’s dress’. Wedding experts have said that this is the English wedding cake being modernised by American influence. I thought sponge cake had been popular here for a long time?! I’m looking forward to seeing what a rumoured £40,000 buttercream wedding cake installation looks like, soon!

About the author…

Hi! I’m Katie and I have been fully cake obsessed since, forever…

Malarkey Cakes is built on a mixture of all my passions. My work is inspired by my background in art and design and I’m honoured to make wedding cakes for couples in love in London and the South East.

I’m passionate about blogging to share my knowledge and give guidance on the ins and out of ordering a wedding cake, making the most of it and making sure it gets the attention it deserves. I also share my tips on wedding planning and team up with fellow suppliers I am lucky enough to work with and who I highly recommend.

When I’m not making or eating cake, you’ll find me trying out new foods in London’s amazing restaurants, drinking great coffee, taking in stunning architecture, on long walks, smashing a decent weights workout or exploring the world.