What will prince harry and meghan markle’s royal wedding cake taste like – the washington post

Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have asked Claire to create a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring. It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 20, 2018

There wasn’t a whole lot to go on, but I figured if I wanted to eat a royal wedding cake, I was just going to have to make one myself. (Alas, flying across the Atlantic to sample the 8 pound (about $11) interpretation that will be sold by the Iceland grocery chain the week that Harry and Meghan tie the knot wasn’t an option either.)

Ptak’s media silence of course also means that she’s not sharing any recipes.


So, when coming up with my own riff on a lemon elderflower cake (see the recipe here), I was more or less left to my own devices, save one authentic starting point: “The Violet Bakery Cookbook,” which Ptak published in 2015. I adapted a vanilla sponge cake from a loganberry-flavored dessert and a simple sugar-and-butter icing to which Ptak had added violet syrup.

I wanted multiple iterations of lemon and elderflower throughout my creation. To start, I used lemon zest as a fragrant addition to the batter, which I baked in three thin layers to avoid the hassle of cutting one large cake into even parts. Zest also makes an appearance in the frosting, along with a generous pour of lemon juice. I decided to get even more citrus in by sandwiching the cake layers with lemon curd, but on the advice of the queen of baking — Mary Berry, the former beloved judge of “The Great British Bake Off” (“The Great British Baking Show” to us Yanks) — I mixed it with whipped cream. Only in the course of writing this piece did I come across a line in Ptak’s book recommending the exact same thing. Kismet.

I was slightly more cautious with the elderflower initially, hoping to avoid a cake that smelled and tasted like potpourri. At first I dabbled with St-Germain elderflower liqueur, but I didn’t use enough, and it was too subtle. Next I turned to a lemon-elderflower cordial, which, when brushed several times over the sponge cake tasted — well, tasted what I imagine a warm spring breeze over the garden at Windsor Castle might taste like. I held onto the St-Germain for extra fortification — leave it out if you abstain — in the cake batter and frosting.

Rachel Jane Eardley, left, and Diane Pallett, part of Fiona Cairns’s team, put the finishing touches on the eight-tiered wedding cake for Prince William and his wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, inside Buckingham Palace in 2011. (John Stillwell/Pool/Reuters)

The wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a. Prince Harry’s brother, Prince William, and his wife, nee Kate Middleton) in 2011 featured an eight-tier fruitcake clocking in at 220 pounds and measuring a little over three feet wide and three feet tall. It was made by a team led by pastry chef Fiona Cairns.

That creation is downright modest compared with the cakes of some of the princes’ ancestors. Their great-grandparents, the Duke of York/future King George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later the Queen Mother), had a nine-foot, three-tier, 800-pound cake from McVitie and Price biscuit company in 1923. When the future Queen Elizabeth II and Philip Mountbatten (now Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh), the princes’ grandparents, married in 1947, they, too, had a nine-foot McVitie’s wedding cake, though this one was spread over four tiers. It was the official wedding cake among the 11 the couple received.

Similar to other long-held traditions — wearing a white wedding dress, Christmas trees — the showpiece wedding cake was popularized by a pair of legendary forebears, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, says British food historian Annie Gray. (Many previous royal weddings were small, even private, affairs. See: Henry VIII.) Their 300-pound, nine-foot-wide round cake featured foot-high sugar models of the royal couple . . . wearing togas. Tiers began to evolve with the weddings of Queen Victoria’s children, as did vases of flowers on top. When Prince Harry’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, were married in 1981, their five-tier cake was topped with roses, lilies of the valley and orchids.