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Lumpy cakes made with love – How I became a wedding cake designer

Updated: Feb 26

Like many people, my earliest memories of baking were with my Grandma.

I’d stand on a chair at the coal-fired Aga and watch in wonderment as she made golden,

apple pancakes. I think apple and cinnamon are still one of my all-time favourite flavour

combinations. My mum was a dreadful cook – packet macaroni and burnt liver and onions

are childhood meals seared into my memory.

My first solo bake wasn’t entirely successful. I wondered why my coffee cake, baked in a

1950s-style gas cooker, didn’t look like the one in the book. I’d forgotten to make the

buttercream! Two dry, coffee-flavoured sponges sandwiched together – yum!

Baking in the Aga

Fast forward a few years to me having my own children. Sundays were spent in the kitchen

baking on the very same Aga that I grew up with – scones, pancakes, chocolate cakes; every

birthday cake for my girls was baked in that beast. The only cakes I made then were novelty

cakes – pool tables, hedgehogs and a fairy castle birthday cake (it only took 3 bottles of wine

between 2 to complete that one!)

Another memorable one was a pink pig for my then 4-year-old daughter. It was the

lumpiest pink pig you have ever seen, but Fran adored it because it was made with love.

My daughter’s wedding cake

In 2016, Fran announced she was getting married, so it was natural that she’d ask me to

make her wedding cake. I spent the next 12 months taking all sorts of courses – sugar craft,

sugar flowers, modelling, stacking cakes, etc. On the day of their wedding, Fran and Craig

loved their cake.

At this time, I was still working in schools and never considered starting my own business.

However, in April 2018, I left the world of education behind to start Rosehill Cake Studio. It

has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I have continued to learn my craft, studying with some of the best cake designers and sugar

flower masters around: Cake Atelier Amsterdam, Lima Cakes, Maggie Austin and Marina

Machado to name but a few. The skills and ethos gleaned from these masters impact my

work. These days, the novelty cakes are not a part of my repertoire. Instead, I focus on

creating modern, one-off designs influenced by nature, fashion and art, finished with

beautifully crafted sugar flowers.

Making my daughter’s cake meant I couldn’t relax at the wedding

So, having started my wedding cake journey by making my daughter’s cake, would I

recommend having one of your party make your cake for you? My answer is no.

Although the cake was a huge success, I spent most of the wedding fretting about the cake –

Is the table level?

Are the flowers arranged correctly?

Will it be properly cut by the venue?

I spent my day looking after the cake instead of enjoying the day.

In fact, I appear in hardly any photos as it took me so long to set up. Weddings are about

making memories, and mine are taken up with Fran’s cake instead of all the wonderful day

she planned.

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