Chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla cream, meringue, coconut, cocoa, cream cheese, champagne, pear, fig, honey… funfetti? When it comes to wedding cake flavors, the mouthwatering options are oftentimes endless. However, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have narrowed it down to one popular fruit flavor with the help of their designated wedding pastry chef, whose identity was revealed Tuesday, March 20.
With less than two months to go until the nuptials, Kensington Palace made the announcement fittingly on the first day of spring. “For their wedding cake Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have chosen pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of the London-based bakery Violet Cakes,” the statement read.
Ptak is an American pastry chef who was previously based in California. She worked under the renowned Alice Waters whose seasonal restaurant Chez Panisse is based in Berkeley, California. Ptak eventually moved to London, where she initially worked at The Anchor and Hope. She then went on to start her own business—in a stall—at the Broadway Market.
In 2010, Ptak opened Violet Bakery. “[She] focuses on using seasonal and organic ingredients in her cakes. Ms. Markle previously interviewed Chef Ptak for her former lifestyle website The Tig,” Kensington Palace added. “Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are looking forward to sharing the cake with guests at their wedding at Windsor Castle on May 19th.” (Indeed, Markle ran a lifestyle blog that included everything from her favorite books of 2017 to her passion projects, largely centered around food. The site was shut down after public interest in Markle surged following the revelation of her relationship with Harry.)
The palace also shared details of the confection itself. The couple has apparently requested “a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavors of spring. It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.”
In a separate statement, Ptak reacted to the honor of baking the cake of the year. “I can’t tell you how delighted am to be chosen to make Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s wedding cake,” she noted. “Knowing that they really share the same values as I do about food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and most importantly flavor, makes this the most exciting event to be a part of.”
Previously, it was speculated that the couple would commission a banana cake, since it’s Harry’s favorite fruit. The couple’s latest choice breaks from royal wedding tradition of opting for the traditional fruit cake. Prince William and Kate Middleton also went with the historic option–an eight-tier confection baked by Fiona Cairns which included walnuts, raisins and French brandy–for their 2011 wedding.
See Ptak’s other creations below to gather inspiration ahead of the royal wedding.
So much of what we do at Violet is a team effort. One baker makes the cake mixture and another one bakes it to perfection. Another baker makes the buttercream whilst yet another spreads the icing on and arranges the beautiful flowers. Thank you to all my staff who come to work every day smiling and joking around and then focusing and putting their heads down to take the best possible care of our customers. I love these guys!!!
An autumnal birthday cake for that little nugget that is @jamieoliver ‘s son River. Luckily when they turn 1, you still get to decorate the cake for the mum (thank you @joolsoliver)! This one is my favourite new recipe, the Date Dream cake. Sweetened only with dates and totally vegan and gluten free. The icing however was full on buttercream. But we do do a great vegan and free from option too, only it isn’t white… obvs. #vegan #violetweddingcakes