If you don’t know your Croquembouch from your naked cake you clearly aren’t planning a wedding this year.
Katie Sanderson knows as she makes her living producing exclusive wedding cakes as Couture Cakes.
In fact when she married Ian a couple of years ago a wedding cake suspended from the ceiling of the marquee along with masses of flowers provided a bit of a show-stopper.
But why stop at one cake when you could have three fabulous displays? Katie also had a dessert table and a cheese tower decorated with her signature sugar paste mice.
“It’s becoming surprisingly popular now,” said Katie from her studio at Deeping St Nicholas. “I have had quite a few clients who couldn’t decide so they have a wedding cake, a dessert table and cheese tower. I think because cakes are so fashionable it has become a centrepiece and become part of the decor and a way of giving a show-stopping point of difference.”
It’s not just Katie’s imaginative designs that make the cakes so appealing, though. Many of the ingredients she uses are produced on the farm where she grew up, Vine House Farm.
It was there, in her mother’s kitchen, that the interest in baking was first stirred. However, her mother warned her off pursuing baking as a profession and instead Katie studied food sciences at university.
When her subsequent job as a food technologist didn’t give her the creative outlet she wanted, Katie worked as a pastry chef in the evenings. It was a short step from there – with personal tuition from the cake maker for Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding along the way – to Katie launching her own business.
That was ten years ago when she created her design studio in the old farm office. The Aga in the family kitchen was used for baking until a space below the studio was converted into a kitchen.
Katie says: “When I got back into baking it was just on the cusp of change and the world was starting to realise there is more to wedding cakes than the old fashioned style. It was obvious there was a gap in the market.
“My style is very versatile in that I like to showcase a lot of different styles, taking inspiration from the clients.”