Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Royal Wedding: A Lemon and Elderflower Cake to "Incorporate The Bright Flavours of Spring"

It has been such fun to see details of the Royal wedding trickling through since Harry and Meghan's engagement. With officially less than two months to go until the big day, the Palace released an update on a very important aspect of the day...the cake! 


The couple have asked pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of London-based culinary gem Violet Bakery, to create a lemon elderflower cake to incorporate the bright flavours of spring. It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. 


California-raised, Ms. Ptak formerly worked as a pastry chef under the legendary Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Upon moving to London she worked at The Anchor and Hope and staged at St John and Moro. Ms. Ptak then started her own business as a market stall on Broadway Market, East London, cooking from home.


She opened Violet Bakery in 2010, with a focus on using high quality, seasonal and organic ingredients in her cakes, and works as a food stylist and food writer.


A peek inside Violet Bakery.


Meghan had previously interviewed Ms. Ptak for her former lifestyle website The Tig where she celebrated food and travel, and featured interviews with friends and role models to discuss philanthropy and community.


A thrilled Claire Ptak said:

"I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be chosen to make Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s wedding cake. Knowing that they really share the same values as I do about food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and most importantly flavour, makes this the most exciting event to be a part of."

Adding floral decoration to cakes is a staple at Violet Bakery.


Ms Patak says she finishes off her custom wedding cakes with "super deluxe satiny Swiss meringue buttercream icing".


How eye-catching is this one?


I suspect Harry and Meghan enjoyed the tasting element of the process :)


Claire wrote on Instagram "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."


And a look at a vegan date and cashew wedding cake the bakery made last year.


The Telegraph reports:

'It is believed to be the first time a Royal couple have eschewed tradition by not serving a fruit cake to their wedding guests. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose Fiona Cairns to make their 2011 wedding cake, a traditional multi-layered fruit cake with a floral design.

Violet Bakery, in Wilton Way, is described on its website as serving cakes that are "baked with organic flour, sugar, milk and eggs." It adds: "Many of the other ingredients are organic as well, like our Madagascan vanilla pods and pure cane molasses.
"Limited edition buttercream icings that adorn our birthday cakes, cupcakes, and fill whoopie pies and biscuits, change with the seasons."
Tatler, the high society magazine, described Violet as an "East London hotspot" that "serves the best American-style bakes around". It added: "The rustic cafΓ© feels a bit like stepping into your cool auntie's kitchen. We could quite happily waste away an entire Sunday afternoon here." 

Claire Ptak has written several books including the very popular Violet Bakery Cookbook. The description offers this insight: "The baking is done with simple ingredients including whole grain flours, less refined sugars, and the natural sweetness and nuanced hues of seasonal fruits. Everything is made in an open kitchen for people to see. Famed for its exquisite baked goods, Violet has become a destination."


We can safely assume the cake will be both visually gorgeous and delicious. 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."

************

We also have two brief fashion updates to share. I know many of you were disappointed to miss out on Meghan's Marks & Spencer Autograph Wool Blend Round Neck Bell Sleeve Jumper. Due to the demand, the retailer has replenished stock and the piece is available in most sizes here. With thanks to What Meghan Wore for the tip!


And the Jigsaw Sara scarf Meghan wore in Brixton has been restocked.


I'm looking forward to writing more Royal Wedding posts ahead of the wedding :)

206 comments:

  1. Fruitcake may be traditional but who wants to eat it?! Glad they are going with something delicious and different. :)

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    1. Eve from Germany20 March 2018 at 19:20

      Penny, I have to agree!! I like traditional fruitcake in autumn or winter - just not as a wedding cake, LOL!! Thank goodness we don´t use fruitcake for our weddings here in Germany.... We´re more into the buttercream cakes for special occasions like that!

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    2. Annette New Zealand21 March 2018 at 14:01

      Fruitcake is traditional in New Zealand as in Britain, but modern couples are often choosing differently. The top tier was always kept for the Christening! Also it was traditional to have a layer of almond icing covered by a hard icing which could be elaborately decorated. Pieces were easily boxed up to send to guests who couldn't make it to the wedding. Modern cakes look more delicious, but can't be kept of course.

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    3. Funnily Annette, we have a similar tradition over here (USA) of saving the top tier too, but we save it for the 1st Anniversary. We most often have buttercream,whipped cream or fondant frosted wedding cakes. The cakes themselves are a wide variety of different choices of cakes layers with a huge variety or filling choices for Brides & Grooms to choose. Some weddings even have a "Grooms Cake"! How many of you have seen or had that? I think it's a Southern Tradition? We are in The North, but my family is Southern & when we've had them, many of our guests were seeing a Grooms Cake for the first time! I don't truly know the nature of the tradition's origin? Anyone else know? Then the top layer actually can be frozen & kept very nicely (of course if done correctly). I know ours was not & it was like a brick on our 1st Anniversary! lol :) My daughter's (which had lovely live white flowers on top & trailing down the layers, to match her bouquet) had great success freezing hers. (without the flowers of course:) We all enjoyed it as we celebrated their 1st Anniversary. Tho I really like the idea of saving the layer for a Christening Cake! Very Special & Very Cool! :) I love when we all discuss our various traditions from our own corners of the world! It's so enlightening! :)

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    4. 🌸 Becca. I don’t know where the tradition of a groom’s cake started but would also love to know.
      Remember, William had his favorite chocolate and cookie cake as his groom’s cake?
      I also like the idea of sharing the first layer for Christening.

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    5. Becca, I too am originally from the north. I first heard of groom's cakes when some of my college friends got married. Then I married my husband who's from TX! So we had a groom's cake at our wedding, even though it was in the north and a lot of my family and friends probably hadn't heard of that tradition before either. :)

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    6. Aha! I'm back with my research results!:) "A Groom's Cake is a tradition originating in Victorian England, but observed more often in the modern age, in the American South." - Groom's Cake Wikipedia -
      So chalk that up to another new thing we learned today, talking about cake! lol :) xoxo

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    7. 🌸 Becca. Actually, according to wikipedia, groom’s cakes originated in Victorian England.
      Usually it was a heavy cake, like a dense fruitcake, and a recipe for that appeared in “The British Baker” in 1897. The groom’s cake was usually served at the wedding reception, the wedding breakfast or the wedding rehearsal.

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    8. SG, did we cross post??? lol lol lol Tho you found much more about the description of the original type of cake! I wonder if it came to the Southern US, because that's where many English Aristocrats settled & built grand estates to become the new Landed Gentry?

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    9. 🌸 Becca. Oh yeh. I forgot to add that. That is exactly how the custom found it’s way to the South. :)

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  2. Looks delicious, all of them! I have a serious sweet tooth:) Elderflower with lemon sounds amazing what a cake it must be!

    If anybody interested Ms. Ptak offered some recipes online here:
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/18/easter-baking-recipes-cakes-tarts-scones-marshmallows-claire-ptak

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    1. Thank You Anett for the link to Ms. Ptak's recipies. There are two birthdays in May, in my home, and May 19th added for cakes. It will be a sweet month hopefully. Another thing I want to try is tignanello wine.

      http://www.antinori.it/en/26-generazioni/tignanello/tignanello-2013

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    2. You are welcome. I am making the bay chocolate tart for Easter.:)
      And thank you for the link, I have never heard of it before, I will take a look.

      I find it so sad that instead of talking about sharing recipes and cultural things here, we bash the personal taste of an "American" who marries a Brit, and wants her own -"too much I"- wedding ideas or maybe both's implemented into her "second big day". These are the typical backhanded comments given here a lot.

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    3. Anett- I was considering something chocolate too. That link is to the wine Meghan's blog The Tig was named for.

      TIGNANELLO's price is similar to some champagne. I don't drink at all, used to in my 20s. A glass or two of red wine a day, is supposed to be good for the heart. I will see what restaurant sells it by the glass so I can have a taste of it, and have my "aha" moment of " I got it!" feeling Meghan had for Tig-nan-ello wine.
      ---
      I agree with your comment about some peoples' prejudgemental and one harsh reaction regarding the cake.

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    4. 🌸 lol. Anon 15, I hope your Tig “aha” moment comes. Quite honestly though, from your gifted writing and fresh and astute comments, me thinketh you have already had your “aha” moment along the way somewhere before, wine or no wine. xo
      But hey, an inaugural glass of a new brand of wine never hurts. Enjoy. :)

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    5. SG- You make my day with your thoughtfully generous remark. Thank you my dear. Cheers to You!

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  3. Okay, I am not super excited about this. How very very blogger of Meghan to choose the staple blogger fare of an American cake decorated with flowers. You see thousands of these cakes on blogs and instagram and frankly they are so so generic. Typical millennial "aspirational" stuff. My friends have started getting these kinds of cakes for their daughters' birthday parties and frankly they cost an arm and leg taste like sh***.
    And why on earth would you live in London and choose an American baker? The one thing (among many others) that is far superior in Europe is pastry. Cakes and pastries are just far better in Europe. And English fruit cake is just amazing. Funny how taste differs between people. If I were marrying an Englishman the first tradition I would preserve would be the cake.

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    1. Cut back on the salt it’s not good for your health.
      It’s their cake, it’s their wedding.
      I guess you haven’t thought about the fact that Harry might not like fruitcake?

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    2. Outside of England or the UK fruitcake isn't really a thing and isn't loved either in europe. So i can understanded there choose to gow for something they personally like to eat. I don't think they have choosing here because of being american, the blog or anything else but the taste of the cake. It is the couples choose, i'm not a fan of elderflower but if they love it i would say go with it. It is there one an only marriage that will last for the both of them i hope!

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    3. Hmm...An American girl having an American wedding cake! Americans "sometimes" receive fruit cakes at Christmas. It is also considered to be a joke as one bite of THEE most expensive of cakes lays uncomfortable in your tummy all day.

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    4. Wow. That was a very negative comment. It might not be your taste, but your comments don't need to be so strongly worded. She's not just an "American baker." She's an american baker who has lived and worked in London for many years. Also, working under Alice Waters at Chez Panisse is an accomplishment. Regardless of where you were born.

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    5. I am an American married to an Aussie and I said heck no to the fruit cake at our wedding. That is one boring and stodgy cake for a wedding! Good for them for getting what they like and celebrating their new blended life and cultures.

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    6. I agree that European pastries & cakes are better in general but not fruit cakes! Sorry, some people may like them but I have found that most people don't and either way, fruit cake is not at the top of the art of baking either.

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    7. There's also nothing quite as generic or typical "aspirational stuff" as fruitcake for a different generation.

      Of course, there's nothing wrong with cheering for your fruitcake tribe Rosman. I like fruitcake, too. However, I'm not prepared to write off an American baker based in London without first having tasted her cakes or dismiss someone else's choices as "very, very blogger" as that is merely clinging to uniformed prejudice and jingoistic practice. Some would also argue that cakes and pastries in Tokyo are superior to Europe any day. And lord knows a fruitcake can taste amazingly bad, too.

      One of the best wedding cakes I have enjoyed offered a choice of chocolate or white cakes--each baked and decorated individually. The wedding cake for cutting was a modest layer of each and topped with flowers. There are as many ways to be lovely at weddings as there are people.



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    8. I don't find fruitcakes apetizing and maybe the bride and groom feel the same way.
      Ideally, a wedding reflects who the couple's taste and identity. Meghan is an American living in London and maybe choosing an American baker living in London is a nod to that. And its alright, because adding a touch of the bride and/or groom' country of origin is a populaire and acceptable thing to do.

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    9. wow, why such a negative reaction to a cake? lol

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    10. 🌸 Anon. If you had ever tasted a bad one, you wouldn’t have to ask, lol. Be thankful, very thankful. :)

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    11. I am with you Rosman! I'll take fruitcake over buttercream any day.

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    12. "And why on earth would you live in London and choose an American baker?" I agree fictionmama it was a very harsh, negative comment and I will add a very, very prejudiced one at that. Meghan is American, so what is the problem with her and Harry choosing an American to bake the cake? You are on a BLOG called "Mad About Meghan" by Charlotte who is a blogger and a wonderful one if I may say, so if you do not like bloggers then wouldn't it be ironic that you are here on a blog with condescending comments towards bloggers?

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    13. I'm sorry, but I have to just have a moment here..... Anon 22:12 High Five!!!!!! I think where things went sideways here, is that opinions are different that attitude. We can all express our opinions without sass to others, including Meghan.

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    14. Oh Becca USA, I just couldn't believe it when I saw that comment!
      I am okay now though,Lol! Let me go back to enjoying the royal wedding updates:)
      -Anon 22:12

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    15. What's with the put down against millennials? Research consistently shows that millenials are the most tolerant generation yet. Something I would hope more people would consider "aspirational".

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    16. Well, it looks like this Californian lady can bake the most amazing cakes, so why not go for it?
      Some of the most delicious food in the world comes from California, so fresh and healthy. Anyway, I doubt that you choose your wedding cake based on the nationality of the person who bakes it? Maybe it would normally be a French pastry chef who would make it, that might be unsuitable too? This type of cake is modern, a bit different, so go for it. Wasn't it William who wanted his childhood favourite chocolate biscuit cake at his wedding? That could be seen as slightly bizarre also.
      What does surprise me is that the people involved with the wedding are allowed to divulge details about the wedding before the big day. I kept everything a big surprise until the actual day, and it was nice to see and experience people's happy ooohs and aaahs about flowers, decorations, dresses, hair, food, cakes etc. I had a small wedding, but it was lovely. We had an aunt bake the fruitcake as she insisted, and I also had a French Croquembouche cake, that was the modern choice in those days. I would go with that again, it is a most delicious cake I think! Good luck to Harry and Meghan and let them eat whatever cake and as much cake as they want!

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    17. I think it's their wedding and they should do it their way too, and I understand Meghan wants a bit of herself in there. But I must admit I love the way a traditional British wedding cake looks with the iced fruit cake tiers and the little thingys on it. But maybe they'll do one as a groom's cake for the old stodgies like me in the crowd.

      But I do hope they keep one British tradition, and have Meghan walk in before her bridesmaids.

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    18. Okay, this American does enjoy a good, quality fruitcake. Don't knock it if you haven't had a really good one! :-) And I do agree with Rosman regarding European pastries. IMO, they are superior to anything on this side of the pond.

      However, I can understand and appreciate this special element of the wedding being Meghan's choice. And this lemon fan is fond of the combination they've chosen.

      Having said that........I checked the bakery's website before commenting and to be perfectly fair and honest, I did not see anything that would qualify as royal wedding material. And the cakes featured here are nice, but they look better suited to a bridal shower than a royal wedding in Windsor Castle.

      It's quite possible that we will be blown away by the actual wedding cake, but frankly I am surprised that more people aren't asking if this is the best the bakery has to offer.

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    19. 🌸 anon @ 19:32 fruitcake, that is. (I thought that you were referring to fruitcake.)

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    20. I lived in Berkeley and was fortunate to be able to eat at Chez Panisse several times during Ptak's tenure. I can report that her desserts were fabulous there.

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    21. Could you all stop the pouncing please? You might disagree with Rosman and dislike fruitcake but her comment was perfectly acceptable. As was her point of view. More acceptable than many aggressive responses she got. I don't comment very often but I really dislike when people add comment after comment putting a poster down.

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    22. 13.01, I believe Rossman is American. She stated that European *pastries* are superior in her opinion. How on earth does that translate into a feeling of superiority and necessitate any reference to people being enslaved? I honestly don't get that at all. Sorry.

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    23. I don't often comment here but I have to support any baker from Chez Panisse because it's just a delicious restaurant and certainly a feather in one's cap to work there. Once or twice a year we'll go and it's always a treat - especially the desserts which are healthy and usually fruit-centered. I would think that Meghan would want to incorporate some of her favorite things into her wedding and that's fine.

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    24. I say "Let Them Eat Cake"! :)

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    25. Royalfan, with all due respect, that comment was loaded that's why there is push back. Frankly I am happy that this was addressed.Even if she is American, Americans should not put down other Americans, bloggers and millennials.

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    26. 🌸 thanks for the info, 04:58. that helps for those considering putting Violet on their itineraries. :)

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    27. 🌸 Thanks for doing our homework for us rf. :)
      Hopefully they have all the basics down to an art and can upscale that to the masterpiece that I have no doubt that Meghan has drawn out for them in detail, and more detail. :) I don’t think Meghan is leaving anything to chance. :)

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    28. Okay ladies. You win. The toxicity in the comment section is too much. You have successfully driven away erstwhile frequent visitors to this blog like Erika and Julia and another one is biting the bullet. So see ya.
      Btw, I did not insult Americans. I said "pastries" were better. AND IT WAS MY OPINION. So much for millenial tolerance. If my comment was a "loaded" comment then we must indeed inhabit different planets.
      Have fun ladies.

      And Charlotte - I don't mean to be unkind to you as I love your work, but I do feel that the moderation on the MAM blog has been a bit off. Not your fault - I am sure you are dealing with an absolute nightmare at the back end.

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    29. And thanks H and royalfan. Glad to have you guys in my corner.
      Btw I am an American and a millennial. But an older one.
      So there is that.

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    30. Roseman-If you are like some commenters who discontinue commenting, and continue reading, I hope you will read this. If I may suggest, please read your comments and the responses when you are not in your daily hectic busy times. For the most part, people acknowledge your preference or empathized with you, while also giving their opinions in their own styles. May be you will reach a different conclusion more favorable to reconnect the different planets after some pause and reflection. Different planets pull apart when communication discontinues, and I don’t think that is what you want.

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    31. Rosman, I'm sorry that you feel the need to leave, but I understand your decision. I had my own moment in the hot seat not too long ago.

      I can imagine (perhaps!) some of the vile comments that Charlotte must sift through in order to keep the blog going, but I also think it makes her job (and this environment) more difficult to navigate when people manufacture controversy by suggesting that there is more to an opposing comment than an opposing point of view. Frankly, sometimes the eggshell factor takes the fun out of the conversation.

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    32. Anon 15

      Perfect comment!!πŸ‘

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    33. Rosman, I enjoy your comments. They are always well written. If I agree with them then I enjoy them for obvious reasons, if I don't I enjoy reading a different point of view.

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    34. Thank you Anett. I tried to reconnect the way I saw the truth in my views.

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  4. Sounds delicious and totally flavours I would enjoy. What happened to the story of banana cake. Looks like media people also make up a lot of stuff

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  5. Wow! Didn't see that one coming. Looks like such a cool bakery & such a creative gal. This must be a prime example of how this Royal Wedding may hold surprises for us & those attending. I hadn't really given a thought to the cake! I guess if I had to say, I'd have assumed traditional, but maybe more creative & less pomp that past royal wedding cakes? Now this.... is a direction I Never would have guessed!:) So now I'm intrigued about what other unique touches will be put on the day & the experience? Obviously it's very much going to be an expression of Harry & Meghans' tastes & aesthetic. I hadn't taken into account that the wedding would also be an expression of how well versed Meghan's tastes are, based on her travels & things she discovered while running her lifestyle blog! (after typing that, I seem a bit daft!:) This is really going to be cool! I'm sure there will be things we love, things we wouldn't prefer for ourselves & choices we never would have thought of or known about! My interest is definitely piqued! :) Thanks Charlotte for sharing this very fun update! I also think it's cool how the baker is from CA but has made her home in the UK! Can't wait to read what everyone else thinks! ps. I love the flowers on the cakes, especially the peonies! My favs! :)

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    1. 🌸 Becca. “from CA but has made her home in the UK”.
      sound like anyone else we know? lol

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    2. I agree Becca, not something I was expecting and threw me a little!

      An American, living in England, artisan baker !!! She obviously knows of her work having interviewed her for The Tig, and who knows there maybe a lovely connection that has gone on since then that Harry and Meghan share. It certainly throws off the formality of what I was expecting, but looking at some of the recent European weddings they have forgone the traditional iced fruit cake aswell. It's certainly a direction. And we all know the flowers that will be on it (peonies!)

      This wedding is going to be very exciting to see what else is in store, I'm intrigued by what other curve balls may come :))

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    3. Thank you Becca USA. Well said

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    4. Anonymous in Colorado20 March 2018 at 18:41

      Extremely well said, Becca! I have to say, I'm happy that Meghan (and maybe Harry?) can inject more of her personality/aesthetic into their wedding. I feel that Kate was more confined when it came to personalizing her big day or had to adhere to rather traditional choices. Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful wedding but extremely formal due to marrying second in line to the throne....yes, Kate did get to incorporate touches of nature etc. but I wonder if she craved a simple English country wedding, too. All this to say, I'm glad Meghan & Harry are getting the wedding that they want because (one hopes) it only happens once in a lifetime :-)

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    5. Other European weddings didn't have fruit cake because that isn't a tradition in European countries other than the UK and Ireland.

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    6. Fruit cake is not european mainland tradition in the slightest mr D! It's only in the UK

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    7. Eve from Germany20 March 2018 at 19:39

      I´m not surprised that Meghan has chosen something "special" (meaning NOT the traditional fruit cake). Fruit cakes might be traditional in Britan - but in other European countries, they are not. I´ve been to quite a few weddings here in Germany and in Switzerland - and it always was some very nice buttercream cake, with different flavours, depending on what the couple liked best.
      I like that she´s chosen someone who is like her from California and has made her home in London - a nice nod in my opinion to both countries! I was hoping for someone like that to make her wedding dress, maybe a designer who was born in Britain and is now located in New York, for example, just something that would symbolize the two countries & cultures coming together....

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    8. Thanks Eve and et al, it was remiss of me to think that Europe was into fruit cakes as much as we are in the UK for weddings. I have to say I'm a fruit cake kinda guy, but hate icing (lol) and the more recent years in the UK more choice and preference has been for sponge/chocolate or a variety of flavoured layers. William even had his chocolate cake. I even went to a wedding last year which had a tiered cheese block cake ( rounds of stilton, cheddar and brie cheese with fig and grape dressings) as the Bride and Groom didn't like sweet things at all :))

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    9. Mr. D. I had to go back & re-read about the "Cheese" "cake"! lol :) At first I thought you had said "cheesecake", which I love & I thought how brilliant! Then I realized that you were saying they had a "cake" made up of "cheeses"! :) Now that is a "direction"! But hey, why not? :) The best weddings are personalized & as a massive cheese fan (especially UK cheeses) that was actually a Brilliant idea for them to do! :) I just love learning so much from all the little tidbits we all share with each other, from our experiences, traditions & our parts of the world. Where could you go to have such cool conversations with people in different countries about Cake! lol :) Thank you again Charlotte! :) xoxo

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    10. 🌸 It is a true blessing, Becca. We get to talk with people from all over the world everyday 😊 at a blog site that constitutes and creates beautiful and fun conversations as we learn so much from Charlotte’s gifted efforts. ❤️

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    11. I'm going to adopt the cheese "cake" idea for my next birthday. What a delicious (and not sweet) idea. Thank you, Mr. D!

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    12. So well said SG! So Blessed! :) xo

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  6. I love how simple and rustic these cakes are! I Makes me think of an English country garden party. I bet they’re delicious. I’m imaging that this wedding will be of course big and beautiful, but perhaps with a simple, homespun, intimate feel?

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    1. 🌸 “English country garden party”. What a beautiful addition to their wedding. Would love to see the menus for both receptions. Wouldn’t that be fun. Oh. And the wine list too. 🏰

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    2. Anonymous in Colorado20 March 2018 at 18:43

      I think so too, Dayle!
      Me too, Surfer Girl...I bet that wine list is to die for.

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    3. 🌸 Yep. ONLY the world’s very best. 🍷
      Paired by the very best sommeliers to perfection with the world’s very best food. πŸ₯©πŸ€πŸ₯—

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  7. I read about this in the DM. And being the DM, they noted,what can only be described as negative comments from people that have visited and tasted the cakes. I was a little bemused by the choice of cake, lemon and elderflower ! It sounds like something you would serve at afternoon tea,in a bygone time, rather than a royal wedding. But, I suppose if you love lemon and elderflower your tastebuds will be salivating at the thought :-)

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  8. I like it! It's a fun mash-up of American style with British flavor. Elderflower is not a common flavor in the US. I never developed a taste for it while I lived in England but I imagine it would be nice with lemon.

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  9. In America the only time fruit cake is served or sold is Christmas. I think the mix of Meghan’s roots and Harry’s roots is terrific! My wedding cake 32 years ago was decorated with flowers and it was beautiful and tasted wonderful! Lemon and elderberry sounds scrumptious!

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  10. All I know is Violet Bakery just got added to my list of places for my first trip to England this July.

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    1. Florida girl, me too, my sister is married and lives in London with her family, I am planning to visit. I will drag her to Violet Bakery, I love cakes! As for Harry and Meghan, so excited for this wedding and for them, looking forward to reading about all the preparations!!

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  11. Queen of the South20 March 2018 at 16:39

    Those cakes looks awesome. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that they left the beaten royal track when it comes to the cake.
    When people say that H&M will have a non-traditional wedding I always smile. You can’t get more traditional than the BRF. Having said that there are lots of little things where they can personalize their wedding. The cake being one of them.
    Judging by the look of the cakes I am guessing we will see lots of fresh spring flowers. Maybe in a more informal arrangement than is usual at royal weddings.

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  12. Funny, to add some flowers as the family name of Mrs Ptak means a bird in Polish :-). Bird and flowers together sound well!

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    1. Zora from Prague20 March 2018 at 19:48

      Hello Anon 17:13, it means "bird" in Czech as well! :)🐦

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  13. I love that they are going to have the type of cake that they want instead of what is traditional. According to the Daily Mail, Edward and Sophie also didn't have the traditional fruit cake as their wedding cake, they went with Devil's Food.

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  14. Zora from Prague20 March 2018 at 17:44

    Yummy!
    Elderflowers should be in bloom at that time... Hmmm... Perhaps I'll try to bake a simpler cake in their honour, to be eaten in our family circle on May 19! πŸ˜‰

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    1. I adore elderflowers. We make juice and bake them every spring. There is nothing like it.

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    2. Zora from Prague21 March 2018 at 07:00

      I agree about the juice, sofy! We also make it regularly. I haven't baked anything with elderflowers yet, though. This looks like a good occasion!

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  15. Wedding details are a lot more fun when it's not my daughter getting married! ;-)

    What does elderflower taste like? Lemon can be tricky. Done wrong it smells like cleaning products (at least US cleaning products). Done right, with a cup of tea, it can be lovely.

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    1. 🌸 Funny about the details, Mary. And you are right about getting lemon right. Not Claire’s first lemon rodeo though most likely so it’s all good. :)

      Delete
    2. Elderflower has a very distinctive taste that most people either love or hate. Where I live, people usually either fry it or make syrup or lemonade from it. It's hard to describe but it tastes mostly flowery and a little sweet, the way you'd imagine a heady, flowery perfume to taste maybe. It's very intense.
      It has a lot of medicinal benefits, can be used to settle your stomach etc.
      Personally, I prefer elderberries, which taste sour and can be made into juice or jam but are poisonous when uncooked!

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  16. Yummy!! May 19th will be included in my sweet indulgence day with the best excuse, along with major holidays. What a great way to be drawn to the wedding. Love sweets!!

    Throughout reading this cake blog, I have one of the commenters on this blog in mind. About two months ago, I connected to her blogger page to see what is going on with her blogger name. It turns out, it is someone who had conquered the kitchen with sweet delight; hello inthekitchen!

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  17. 🌸 No offense to anyone who likes fruitcakes. But growing up in the U.S. I heard the story that there is really only one fruitcake in the country and people who receive it one year regift it to someone else the next. (No one wanting to eat it.) And as a child I believed that story. :)

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    1. LOL. No offense taken. But I can assure you that it's not the homemade variety I've enjoyed over the years. There's nothing left to re-gift! :-)

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    2. 🌸 thanks, rf. that gives me hope. fruitcake hope, :).

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    3. 🌸 * uh, as in hopes that I will actually find a fruitcake that I #1 would be willing to get within ten feet of, lol, #2 would actually be palatable and even miraculously yummy.

      Delete
    4. Eve from Germany22 March 2018 at 11:39

      surfer girl, you have to travel to Britain! If the fruit cakes are still the same as - ok, I admit it - 30 years ago, I can most definitely recommend them! I´m sure, though, the quality depends also on the quality of the bakery or the person who baked it. I´ve had some lovely homebaked stuff back in the day, often family recipes had been used, very lovely in front of a warm fire with a nice cup of tea (or better even, a nice port, after dinner, lol!).

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  18. 🌸 YAY. So happy she is going for organic, and less refined sugar. Love fresh flowers. I had fresh flowers on my cake, a nod to Martha Stewart’s landmark book, “Entertaining”, lol. Ya know, back in the day, lol.

    Using Claire, who trained under Alice Waters in Berkeley and who is now herself acclaimed in London by Brits like Tatler, etc. is Royal fare, in my opinion. wow. Berkeley comes to Windsor Castle. Who’d have thunk? :)
    Additionally, using the talents of an American transplanted in the U.K.? Has a familiar “ring” to it, yeh?

    I think that Meghan will be forever be enhanced by connections she made via “The Tig”. It was quite innovative in it’s approach and beautifully done. Granted it might have been somewhat self-serving and self-indulgent but for what it was it was excellent.

    No offense to anyone but I was so relieved, very relieved, and excited when I heard it wasn’t going to be fruitcake. I have tasted a really bad one before and
    the thought of a fruitcake gives me the willies.

    Thanks for another excellent page, Charlotte. ❤️

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  19. Woohoo - just scored both the sweater and the scarf! Thanks for the updates.

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    1. 🌸 πŸŽ‰ Congrats, 20:07. You sound so excited. ;)
      Enjoy.

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  20. 🌸 Ya know, how gracious of Harry and Meghan to share these wedding plan tidbits with us along the way. No MI6 secrecy.
    They really do seem to be wanting to include as many people as possible that way. They realize it seems that we all love a Cinderella story 🏰 but only a few can experience it on that level. So they share as best they can. Sweet.
    Although it will most likely make it a little more challenging perhaps for Claire Ptak and her crew. πŸ˜‰

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    1. Eve from Germany21 March 2018 at 14:07

      surfer girl, my thought as I read the news: This woman will not have to worry about having enough orders anymore, LOL!! I bet all hell is going to break loose in that bakery shop of hers! I´m sure the cake will be lovely (although I must admit, I´m definitely not the biggest lemon fan, but surely with organic ingredients it will be superb) - and look lovely, too, for that matter. Meghan will make sure of it!!
      Dear me, just a little bit more than 8 (!!) weeks to go!! And a new Cambridge baby will be born in even less time! Exciting times for us royal watchers!! I keep fingers crossed for both Meghan and Kate, that everything goes well and they´ll be celebrating a wonderful wedding together!!

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    2. 🌸 yep. Claire will need a bigger building fast. and more employees. :)

      Delete
  21. 🌸 I loved that Claire’s shared concerns with Harry and Meghan in culinary things are “food provenance, sustainabilty, seasonality and of course, flavor”.

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  22. I despair of the state of journalism today. A simple google tells me that The Telegraph is wrong. In fact Sophie and Edward didn’t have a fruit cake:
    ‘’Even their wedding cake bucked tradition: a seven-tiered Devil's Food cake topped by tiny tennis rackets in a nod to where they'd first met.’’

    http://royalcentral.co.uk/blogs/history/onthisday-in-1999-prince-edward-marries-sophie-rhys-jones-61790

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    1. Eve from Germany21 March 2018 at 14:11

      An interesting article about that wedding cake:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/375498.stm

      It looked like a "traditional" wedding cake - but in fact it wasn´t! LOL!

      Delete
  23. Who cares about anything except the cakes look GORGEOUS! I was hoping she would find a way to bring colorful lowers into the wedding, and these cakes are just incredible. I also read The Tig when i read about the budding romance, and I enjoyed it a lot! It seemed more mature and artistic than some blogs. Can't imagine what difference it makes if the owner of the bakery is or was American---Meghan is American and she's allowed at the wedding. And I remember reading that Harry liked a lemon cake of some sort in his childhood.

    i do wonder if there will be one tremendous cake or several merely large cakes. Cant wait for the photo of the finished product. I think the bakery is going to be very popular now and well deserved.

    How can a cake be controversial It's not like they're having 12 kids before they get married---just choosing a cake.

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    1. Allison you are so funny your last comment made me laugh, I agree with you!

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    2. Yep, who'd of thought a cake would stir up so much controversy?

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    3. It is just people who do not approve Meghan for Harry, they do not like what she wears, how she talks, walks or who she picks to bake the cake, this is my opinion. So they just try to make controversy out of nothing,, I wonder how they will take it when Meghan walks down the aisle to Harry in a beautiful gown.

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    4. HA! lol :) "Let Them Eat Cake" (& then go feed their 12 kids!) lol lol lol :)

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  24. These cakes are beautiful! I much prefer this aesthetic to the one used for William and Kate's cake, though I know that couple perhaps felt constrained to the 'classic' options due to their situation.

    If I were getting married again I'd definitely go with something like this. Thank goodness I'm not, wedding planning is a pain and I'm fond of the husband I have ;) I have a feeling that we're going to see a lot of flowers and a very 'romantic' English garden vibe.

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    1. It's always nice to hear when someone's fond of their husband! lol :) xoxo

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  25. The cakes look gorgeous and actually edible which is the opposite of a lot of wedding cakes that look far to perfect to eat. I'm glad that in spite of objections from the UK media that Harry and Meghan just like Sophie and Edward chose outside of the box. Like Sophie and Edward who included tennis rackets on their cake, I hope that Harry and Meghan continue to make this wedding their own personal statement.

    People who are upset that Meghan is bucking tradition where also livid when Meghan was baptised and confirmed. They also put down Meghan for singing the UK national anthem. Harry and Meghan should not be concern trolled into a wedding that they do not want. Meghan has shown nothing but respect for her new country. She should not allow the bullying press to steal her joy and her identity. Carry On Harry and Meghan!

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    1. Totally with you Mimi, Carry On!!

      Delete
    2. Eve from Germany21 March 2018 at 06:38

      Definitely, Mimi, definitely!!!
      And since when should the national anthem be reserved to UK or Commonwealth citizens only? If I was at an official event, I would GLADLY join in! Why? Because "God save the Queen" is LITERALLY what I think every time I see or hear something about HM!!!! :-))))

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    3. 🌸 And Meghan is marrying into the Royal family and is going into Royal service for The Queen as a Senior Royal as in “I will be on the balcony of Buckingham Palace lots”, being curtsied to as Her “official” representative who is about Her business, so of course she is going to sing “God Save The Queen”. And she is reportedly working on British citizenship. She herself has said publicly that she now has a new country. She has publicly declared her allegiance to Britain.
      And she is now an “official” member of the Church of England. It would have been rude of her not to honor the Queen in singing “God Save The Queen” because for all intents and purposes she is a British citizen, not a traitor at all.
      The paperwork is in process. (Even with the financial considerations, ie taxes, disclosure, etc., I am confident they will work out the kinks and secure stress free British citizenship for Mrs. Wales.)

      Delete
  26. Wow! Lots of opinions on the cake! In the US its traditional to have a wedding cake or “brides cake” that is usually white cake and then a “groom’s cake” in another flavor usually chocolate, or the groom’s favorite, to give the guests an alternate choice. Do they do this in the U.K., have two cakes? If so, maybe they will honor the British tradition of fruit cake as the groom’s cake?
    -Jessica from the US

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  27. I found it interesting that a couple of Royal reporters Victoria Murphy and Omid Scobie tweeted about having enjoyed the bakery previously and how good it is. The cake choice has so many aspects. The baker also being from California and building a life and business in London is symbolic. It shines a light on an independent business that is also owned by a woman and shares values concerning food that not only Meghan, but also the Royal family through Prince Charles's interests believe in. And it almost certainly more to Meghan and Harry's tastes than a fruit cake given what they both have said about their food preferences. I also liked the palace directly acknowledging the Tig.

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    1. 🌸 Yes. I was surprised that they acknowledged “The Tig” but I was happy about it. The Palace definitely seems to have a soft spot for Ms. Markle. It isn’t their first “out of the ordinary rhetoric” release they have made concerning Harry’s fiancΓ©. Me thinketh she has won their hearts. :)

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    2. Seems to be very few whose heart MM has not won. apparently she is a really nice and kind person and funny and fun to be with. I also thought it unusual that they mentioned The Tig. And hasn't the quiet from the "distant relatives" been great?? There are two nieces that MM is close to (daughters of the half-sister)---one in particular is a lawyer and is very fond o MM, and she is just about 5 years younger. I read that MM said she based her character in Suits in part on this niece's life as a lawyer.

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    3. 🌸 I read that also, Allison. I wonder if Meghan invited the niece who is an attorney to her wedding if she will invite the other. I read that she gets along with both of them and, sadly, that neither one of her nieces get along with their mother at all. It is apparent as to why but it is still very sad. I am sure that Meghan will be a generous host to her nieces if they are invited. And I just know Doria is going to have the time of her life.

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  28. Charlotte why are you this repeated permitting bullying of me? This is not the first time on this blog. I wrote a comment asking posters to be kind and respect opinions - which you did not publish yet you published another comment criticizing my comment as "negative and harsh". This is not the first time someone has picked on me this way and you have permitted it. This is also the second time that you did not publish my response yet you published more critical comments of me.
    Can I ask why? Are you asking me to leave this blog through this kind of editorializing?

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    Replies
    1. Rosman, I do not condone bullying. I deleted seven replies to your original comment because they were either a personal attack or quite aggressive in tone.

      I would have happily published your comment last night but it contained a personal attack on another reader at the very end.

      Over the past couple of years, I've made a serious effort to be a better moderator. It's always a tough choice to delete a comment because I really do appreciate the time it takes. I just have to weigh up whether it's fair/constructive and where it's going to lead in the comments. When I saw your original comment yesterday, I knew instantly there was going to be a pretty strong reaction as your comment was very strongly worded.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I hope we can agree to disagree.

      If you consider any of the comments published above to be a form of bullying, please do let me know. I'm very sorry you are upset.

      Delete
    2. All the replies posted in response to Rosman's comment @15:10 might have spoken for many people including myself. I found it prejudging which she concluded based on "similar cakes" Rosman tasted at birthday parties. No one had tasted the very wedding cake yet; for all we know, it may be different from what you tasted. While sharing a planned cake looks appetizing, and in general there is good will towards any wedding, to label a cake in comparison to s... is not expected. Otherwise constructive criticism is allowed as it should be, and that is how commenters learn from each other. By now, I am used to how you comment and accepted it as your way. This time, as a community, it is ok to give you a feedback on the 15:10 comment. None of us are perfect, sometimes feel strongly about one thing or another, and other times might be in bad mood when posting a comment.

      Delete
    3. In one comment you have insulted American cake, American bakers, Ms Ptak, bloggers and millennials. Then you're surprised when there is pushback. This comment here as well as other comments you have written before have been provocative, which in my opinion is fine but if you're going to be provocative, you always need to expect & be able to handle the pushback.
      Maybe take another look at your comment and then consider again, if the responses are really harsher than the comment itself.

      Delete
    4. Rosman, I'm so sorry you are sad & probably hurt. Perhaps you were not meaning to do so, but the result was you firing darts on all cylinders & hitting a wide array of targets!

      Delete
    5. Rosman, while I do not believe that you were intending to be offensive with your comment, your choice of words came across as targeted and offensive. More often than not your comments are provocative and can be offensive to other commenters on these two blogs, myself included. Everyone's voice, thoughts, and opinions matter, but I would hope that all of us choose to carefully express them in a way that is not offensive, hurtful, or bullying to either other commenters or to a member of the Royal Family.

      Delete
    6. Rosman, keep commenting. I don't agree with your opinions often, but I do value them and want to keep seeing them. You always make me think harder about my own opinions. I believe this is what is needed in this world.

      As a former professor of English at a university, may I say that if you are wondering why your opinions provoked strongly worded comments, some of which I agree are over-the-line attacks, look at your adjectives. It is mostly adjectives and adverbs that provoke strong reactions.

      Take heart and keep commenting!

      Delete
    7. ShrΓΆdinger’s cake... it looks like it doesn’t taste good. But nobody knows how it tastes, because they haven’t tried it. Tears are rolling down my cheeks. If you cannot take the heat, get out of the kitchen.. or in this case (cake lol) if the heat in the oven is too hot, and the cake 🍰 might burn, turn down the heat.. I’m glad you do not mean to offend Rosman, but you have an explosive manner with words, that unfortunately comes across as aggressive. Maybe read through your posts once or twice before hitting publish.. is it kind? No? Don’t publish. Life is too short.. live and let live 🌸
      By a cake eating princess

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    8. Marci, what great advice to us all regarding adjectives! Especially online, when the written word is all we have. In lieu of facial expressions or intonation, adjectives truly are very powerful & we must remember to be aware! I know you've given me lots to note, as I express myself in future comments! Thank you. :)

      Delete
  29. The flavours of the cake sound absolutely delicious, light and refreshing, and the fresh flower decorations would be exquisite. Perfect for a May wedding. I think there would be a wonderful spring, English country garden vibe about the whole thing. I wonder, though, for my own edification, if butter cream icing would require special care if it is a warm day, although I'm sure that would be taken into consideration. Any bakers here to comment?

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    1. Eve from Germany21 March 2018 at 14:28

      Anonymous, my birthday is in mid-May, and my mother used to bake the original "Frankfurt crown cake" (I hope that is the right translation!!), with lots of buttercream - my favourite cake!! Each birthday, we were either sitting indoors and the heating was on as it was freaking cold outside (with the cake on our table) - or we were sitting in our garden under a huge tree and whoever wanted another piece of the cake had to go in the kitchen - it was in the fridge because it was so hot outside!! Otherwise the buttercream would have melted like snow in the sun, LOL! We never had any "in-between weather", so we´re still joking about that to this day!
      To cut a long story short: Yes, if it´s very warm outside and the rooms are not cool, you either have to store the cake in the fridge or you have to add something to it - which I won´t think so here because of the "organic" Mrs Ptak prefers. So maybe they have to do the "running to the fridge for another piece"-thing, too, LOL!!!

      Delete
    2. I know I always order buttercream because it offers a bit of leeway. As opposed to a whip cream frosting. I can pick it up from the bakery & put it right on the table & it's good all the way through the entertaining & even so, for sending friends home with extras. So I'm not an expert, but that's been my experience. :)

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    3. Eve, you raise good points! To clarify my response.... I have never served a buttercream cake outside or in a warm environment. It's only been indoors, in a temp controlled environment. :)

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  30. Just learned something new today--that fruitcakes are the traditional wedding cake in the UK! Shudder. I really really don't like fruit cake and can't imagine having one as my wedding cake. I can't think of a single friend who likes fruit cakes, and I've lived in 6 different states around the US, including the northeast, the deep south, the midwest, TX, and FL. My dad will make fruit cakes at Christmas, but he's just about the only one who eats them. I think my grandma used to eat them when we were growing up. If I ever make it over to visit London, I'll be adding a visit to Violet Bakery to my itinerary! I love supporting restaurants that use organic and local ingredients.

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    1. Eve from Germany21 March 2018 at 14:31

      Rebekah, UK fruit cakes usually are quite delicious, it´s just that I wouldn´t see them as a wedding cake, either. I spent one year in Britain and loved them during the cooler months (autumn and winter). But here we go - different cultures, different traditions!! :-)))

      Delete
    2. Lol I learned about that when Kate & William got married! :) Where I live, people only have fruit cake around Christmas time but not everyone likes it and I certainly never have.

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    3. Eve, I suppose if I ever make it to the UK I'll have to try some fruitcake there and see if I like it any better than the various ones I've had here. :)

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    4. Fruitcakes are traditional wedding cakes in Australia and New Zealand. They are also made as Christmas cakes too. If made well, they are lovely, moist and delicious. If not, they are dry and a bit hard to swallow.

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  31. What gorgeous looking cakes well done Prince Harry & Meghan for a different feel to your day! Fruitcake is traditional for weddings in Australia as well although we are branching out into the more exotic these days

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  32. So much up roar over a cake! Every bride should be allowed to incorporate things she likes and wants on her wedding day.

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    1. Yes, I cannot believe how much controversy their choice of cake has caused! And I don't even think this is a controversial choice. I think you could have a lemon elderflower cake everywhere from continental Europe to the US and no one would think of it as controversial. Apparently that's different in the UK?
      Anyhow, it's still going to be a light, pastel-colored cake, there'll be flowers on top... (flowers! how is that strange for a wedding?). It's not like they chose a bright red- or blue-colored cake.
      Personally, I would choose neither fruitcake nor lemon elderflower (though between those two I prefer the latter) but what's important is that they chose a cake they like, as each of us would, that it is not an outrageous choice and that THERE WILL BE CAKE :)

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  33. I happen to love fruit cake, but fully accept that many people don't. So a change for the wedding cake is a choice the couple make. Fruit cakes at weddings are usually cut into small pieces to take home, or to be sent to people who are unable to attend. I'd venture to say that the style of cake Meghan and Harry have selected, becomes dessert.

    While these cakes all look beautiful, with the flowers, I'd call them a rather lazy way of decorating. There have been works of art done in cakes with elaborate ornamentation of the icing. That attention to detail can make them very special. I can honestly say, that I could produce a cake to look like these ones…smear on a rich icing and plop on some pretty flowers, using basic design elements of colour, composition and proportion. While I don't dislike these cakes, I'd be far more impressed with something that showed elements of decoration that highlighted the icing skills of a master pastry chef.

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    1. I also think that people should do what they want at their own wedding and pay us no mind at all, but I agree with everything you said, Laura. I don't think the flowers everywhere looks that great either, but I also recognize not everyone likes my stodgy ideas of how weddings should be done. Good thing I'm not their wedding planner!

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    2. Bluhare, you and I are likely of the same vintage, so we prefer all things traditional in a wedding. But times change, ideas and customs change also and society therefore evolves. I so love the skill that goes into many things that are old…architecture, jewellery, furniture, art and even cake decorating. But I also look forward to seeing the modern twist that Harry and Meghan put on their wedding.

      Delete
    3. Laura, I agree. I honestly don't see the wow factor in the photos featured here and on the bakery's website. The ingredients and taste may be excellent, but I don't think this qualifies as regal.

      To speculate on the cake, I wonder if we will see the layers tinted in one or more pastel colors?

      Delete
  34. what a wonderful idea a Californian who lives now in London
    these cakes really make me want

    How bad these stories are for a cake
    I hope that Harry and Meghan will have the wedding that suits them and that will please them because obviously Meghan does it is critical

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  35. I love lemon cake. I had it at my own wedding many moons ago. I have no idea what elderflower tastes like, but the overall cake does sound delightful.

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  36. When my friends were married about 30 years ago, they had a Pink Floyd wedding cake (half pink, half chocolate with the PF logo on the top) as they had met at a PF concert. I am not a PF fan but we all thought it was so typically, beautifully, them and man was that cake delicious! When my daughter married in 2002, she wanted a 3 tier cake but one with no curlicues or roses in icing. It looked SO plain that my cousin ran to the local supermarket and bought a bunch of pretty flowers and we put flowers around it and on the top. It was a lovely vanilla cake but no one ate it—everyone had filled up at the buffet. We had two layers left (top and middle) so groom’s parents took the middle for a “welcome back from honeymoon” party they were holding two weeks later for friends who hadn’t been able to travel from California to Utah for the weddIng. And the top was, of course, saved for when baby #1 was born ;)

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    1. Jo I love those stories! The Pink Floyd cake just cracked me up! :) I was a weird melange of preppie/earthie but into Pink Floyd etc too, in the late 70's. I remember at times when I just couldn't sort life out, I would put on headphones in my room at home or at College & just blast Dark side of the moon or The Wall! I don't know how that helped me think? But it sure did block out everything else! lol lol :) xo

      Delete
    2. Zora from Prague22 March 2018 at 07:32

      Thanks for sharing your wedding cake experience, Jo! What an idea, a Pink Floyd cake... I saw a very nice cake decorated with a cycling path and two tiny bicycles - the newlyweds were keen bikers :)

      Delete
  37. 🌸 okay. all this talk about cake made me go up the street to our closest bakery and buy a slice of cake that I paid way to much for, lol. I did walk to and from the bakery if that counts, and, I didn’t bake a whole cake. 🍰 Life’s good. :)

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    1. You just crack me up ! lol :) xo

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    2. And you intend to drive us (okay, me!) crazy by keeping the type of cake a secret? :-))

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    3. 🌸 lol, rf. a very low calorie choice don’t cha know..... oookay. not... :)
      It just happened to be a little six layer (thin layers, thin layers) vanilla almond cream cake with the thinnest, crispiest little thin-sliced almonds on top.
      (and no, I am not talking myself into getting a second piece. the people at the bakery know me. and, my family. 🀨)

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    4. rf, she is so wicked that way! lol lol lol :D xoxo

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    5. You Ate A Six Layer Cake???? You Ate A Six Layer Cake???? ROTFLMAO!!!!! lol lol lol:D Sorry SG I just couldn't resist!! lol :) Seriously though...... Your Very little slice of the very little thinly layered vanilla almond cream cake with the thinnest crispiest little thin-sliced almonds on top cake, sounds Devine!!!!! So hurry up & go get a 2nd slice & say it's for me! :) xoxoxoxo

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    6. Oh, SG, that was worth every calorie!! It makes me feel like pulling out a favorite recipe for Meringue Almond Cream. The filling is made with butter, sugar, finely ground almonds and heavy cream. Heaven!!

      Becca, thanks for the giggle!! πŸ˜€

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    7. SG- I don't know how my comment ended up at 01:11 (skipped this thread). May be too much nyquil on this cold day instead of drinking tignanello which would have enlightened my mind and cleared the cold.

      Then you walked a block for every layer of cake. Life is too short, and "a very low calorie choice" with vanilla almond cream cake (ha?) is well deserved. Don't worry about the bakery people knowing you, and may be take the count they take on the calories. For them,the more you buy their sweet products, the sweeter you are to them.

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  38. I had never heard of using elderflowers in baking before, and I got interested in what I found about them--a website discussing the herbal properties says "Elderflower has been used in traditional medicine all over the world in many different cultures due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The most common uses are for colds and flu, sinus infections, and other respiratory disturbances. As a supplement, elderflower also has diuretic and laxative properties and is helpful in relieving occasional constipation. Elderflower has antibacterial and antiviral properties and may also help alleviate some allergies and boost the functioning of the immune system. Topically, elderflower might help reduce pain and swelling in joints due to some forms of arthritis and is used to stop bleeding. As an oral rinse, elderflower can be used for its antiseptic properties as a mouthwash and gargle. Elderflower also reduces blood sugar levels, very similar to the way insulin works."

    It almost makes me think this wedding cake is a form of medicine for their guests, which makes me want to laugh. But of course it will taste delicious, and if the bride and groom are happy with it, that's all that truly matters. I hope we get to see a photo of the actual cake though.

    Note: as a native northern Californian I heartily approve of them choosing a woman from Berkeley to bake the cake.
    Note 2: I love fruitcake! We eat it throughout the year, but only the fruitcake made by my one sister-in-law.

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    1. Eve from Germany22 March 2018 at 11:31

      Marci, you are completely right! Elderflower is a very potent medicine when you have a cold/the flu. It´s often used in Germany in "natural" medicines because of its antibacterial properties and it is also used in case of high fever, coughs and sniffles, etc.
      The flower can also be used to make a very nice "elderflower sparkling wine", something that was apparently very well known even in the Middle Age! The berries are used to make elderflower juice which is used to boost the immune system.
      As we say in German: "Holunder tut Wunder" (nice rhyme) which means "Elderflower does wonders".... There we go!

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    2. Annette New Zealand22 March 2018 at 12:21

      Thankyou Marci. This idea of elderflowers being a laxative made me smile too. It reminded me of the ancient Roman practice of vomiting during a feast so they could fit more in, but then this shaded into thoughts of bulimia which is not funny at all of course. I am so sorry that some people get upset about things which start out as just a small difference of opinion. I come from a mixture of backgrounds- Scots Irish Protestant and English Anglicans from my mother and Cornish Methodists on my father's side. My husband added in Southern Irish Catholicism from his father and Swedish Lutheranism. We have grandchildren with some Italian and Polish in them and one daughter in law is from a South African Boer family who were originally from Switzerland. We also have had a lot of intermarriage into our indigenous population which means we have Maori relations too. It requires quite a lot of tact and tolerance from everyone to cooperate sometimes!
      As an aside, when my middle son got married in Verona in Italy, the wedding "cake" was a delicious tart which we ate for dessert. Variety makes life more interesting and I am really looking forward to reading about other surprises there are in store from our new American Princess. And maybe they can have several cakes for guests to choose from.

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    3. Omg! Marci I am doubled over laughing! You know how we a bludgeoned with all those warnings on the pharmaceutical commercials here in the states? I'm now envisioning a typical disclosure displayed for the cake! "May cause diuretic & laxative effects, but may help reduce pain & swelling in joints due to some forms of arthritis. May be used as a mouthwash to gargle. If any symptoms persist please see your doctor." lol lol lol w/tears streaming down! :D :D :D xoxo

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    4. 🌸 Uh oh. maybeeeee elderberries weren’t the best choice...

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  39. Just read an article that Meghan and Harry are coming to Ireland. I’m excited! It’s not a total surprise as we were due a high profile Royal visit with all the Brexit controversy. Sinead

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  40. I have been lucky to receive invitations to many weddings over the years. Weddings that are casual affairs to more often black tie events. I can honestly say that I have never thought the wedding cake takes on the roll that actually requires as much conversation as has taken place on this blog. At the point the cake has been cut and served guests are more often enough well into dancing and visiting other tables catching up with friends. More often then not, the slice of cake sits at an empty spot at the table next to a cup of coffee. In todays day of one watching the waste line I often hear guests say, no thank you as the cake has been served. A custom that has really become very popular at weddings that I have attended is the Desert Table. A very small wedding cake is provided for the benefit of the couple to keep the top layer for their first wedding anniversary. Desert tables offer guests a wonderful combination of choices that satisfy everyones taste. I have never heard anyone say days or weeks after a wedding, "what a fabulous cake". More often then not talk is of a great band and how beautiful the bride looked.

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  41. I LOVE the T-shirt you have on your Twitter, Charlotte, that says "Stay calm and let Meghan handle it"! Kate's cake had some incredible icing artistry, but nature does it well, too. I hope people actually eat the cake and don't just save a slice as an investment.

    There's going to be a lot to peruse---I guess we all generally love the engagement ring and then had mixed feelings about MM's various engagement clothes. Just saying it could be a long road ahead if everything is so dissected. I had no idea of what wedding cakes looked like other than earlier royal cakes, so the fresh look of MM's choice really struck me as beautiful, even if it's not new. I assume there will be lots of flowers to choose from in May, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the flowers look like. I think we'll see more than we did with, for example, Pippa's wedding.

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  42. SG-Life is a good piece of cake when you take a nice walk.

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  43. Caroline, you’re right. Being from the USA, Christmas was the only time I had fruit cake. I would not choose a Fruit Cake for my wedding, either. And, it is obvious that the Queen has no issue with the bride and groom making their own decisions about their own wedding in these ‘kinds’ of matters. I’m sure some Royal traditions CAN’T be negotiated. It seems, to have Fruit Cake or not, isn’t one of those traditions. If the Queen can accept it, well, I can live with it. Thanks, Charlotte. What you do, to edit, is not easy. I’ve edited books, I understand. So continue to do your best. Your best has served us very well.

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  44. I am on edge with the cake issue. I have no problem with forgoing the fruit cake. I hate it and no one said there will be no fruit cake available for the older generation. Aren’t there normally more cakes besides the wedding cake?
    The taste sounds nice enough and I see why they like the approach of this particular baker (organic products, independent women, American who build a life in Britain).
    But the highlighting of how Meghan knows her through her website pays into negative perception of her. It feeds the prejudice that Americans have no understanding or respect for the traditions and customs of other cultures. That they go to McDonalds when they visit other countries instead of trying local cuisines etc.
    So while there is both wrong with their decision per se it just pays into those lines of prejudices. Sadly I don’t think they could have prevented it while sticking with what they like.
    As someone who married a Brit myself I am often surprised how many in the younger generation are still upholding traditions that in my country are dying out. I love that about Britain. We try to hold up some ourselves even though we don’t live there. The occasional Sunday roast for example and this Easter I will try to bake Hot Cross Buns.
    The BRF is nothing but tradition. They aren’t needed anymore and their biggest role is to be a social clamp to give society a common element (in hate or love). I understand why people feel uncomfortable when such an institution seems to „threatened“ by change brought through new members from the outside. I am unsure how this will play out over time especially with the changes that are already at the horizon with the younger royals. A „modern“ monarchy as from what they already described might very well fail. Let’s hope it won’t come to this.
    In other notes, I cannot wait to find out about all the wedding related stuff. The food, the flowers and the dress of course. Very excited because I love weddings and a royal wedding is such a treat.

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    1. I wonder how much of the cake controversy is due to it not being a traditional fruitcake vs. the very basic style of the cakes we see here and on the bakery's website. As I've said before, Ms. Ptak may stun us with an incredible cake, but what I've seen so far is IMO like a bride showing up for a royal wedding in Carolyn Bessette's wedding gown. :-)

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  45. Eve from Germany22 March 2018 at 07:45

    I must admit I truly enjoy all the stories about wedding cakes, wedding cake traditions, love of fruit cakes (or rather not), the "invention" of the "groom´s cake" (which may be due to the fact that some time ago, one groom - or bride!! - threatened to NOT getting married, should only "the other" cake be served, lol!), Meghan and Harry´s choice, this is what I love about the internet... you are able to communicate with so many people from all over the world, it´s really fascinating...
    THANKS, Charlotte, once again, for giving us that opportunity !!! I can´t wait for the wedding, it´s going to be the first time that I´ll be watching a royal wedding with a live blog where I can post my excitement simultaneously!! How fun it´s going to be - I´m most probably going to have my tv on, watch a different coverage online AND post comments here on the site as well - talk about some very serious multi-tasking skills needed for that day, LOLOLOL!!!
    And then, little old me is looking back to "my" first royal wedding - me hurrying home from school in order to watch Princess Anne´s wedding - in black and white!!

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    1. Eve, you just put such a big smile on my face! Love everything you said! :) xoxo

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    2. 151 Comments on Cake? Wow, we are quite a chatty bunch! :) xo It truly has been a fascinating discussion! Who Knew?? I also popped in to share that I heard on GMA (early morning talk/news show in the states) that Meghan is "coming to NY" in the form of Wax, for the Madame Tussauds in NYC. They are calling the new display "An American Princess". So I of course had to share this with The MAM Gang! :) xoxo

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    3. 🌸 wow. Meghan has her own wax replica already???

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    4. They say it's on it's way? :)

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  46. Now that’s a wedding cake I’d like to eat! Sounds delicious! I’m really not a fan of fruitcake...but luckily, most of the weddings I’ve been to have had chocolate wedding cakes :)

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  47. 🌸 Okay. Here’s my take on the real origin of the groom’s cake.

    You know how during all the wedding planning we girls usually go it into full-tilt-boogie, right? After all most of us had or have been planning our weddings since we could trace our little hands on paper and draw an engagement ring on it, yeh?
    And were the guys any where to be found during our wedding planning whirlwind? Usually not. And, were they often feeling a little mystified and not just a little neglected during the whole process? Be honest. :)
    So, enter the groom’s cake. Not too frou frou so as to not scare them off but just the right amount of TLC and pizzazz to show we care and haven’t actually forgotten about them. A nice masculine cake. Shaped in a cute form or shape they can relate to like a football, etc. In Victorian times a heavy dose of alcohol in their very own groom’s fruitcake probably made up for not having a football shaped cake. (sorry guys)
    And that, a groom’s cake, was really all it took, along with a little sweet talk and some hugs, to reassure them that they were still part of the process.
    Of course guys are often way more involved in the wedding planning process these days I think but still the part they like best is the cake tasting yeh? (And the rehearsal where they get to kiss the bride, lol.) πŸ˜‰

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    1. Ok, Now Who Says We Don't Know How To Beat A Topic Like "Cake" To Death????? We're a Serious Bunch Here & We Don't Just Take Our Topics Seriously Here, We Research Them Too!!!!! lol lol lol lol Just put a fork in me, like a piece of cake!! I'm done!!! lol lol lol :) Phew!! I'm exhausted from laughing!!! xoxo

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    2. 🌸 yep. hey. a little research never hurt anyone. 🧐

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  48. 🌸 “Stay Calm and Let Meghan Handle It”. :)
    Cute, Charlotte.xo

    It would be so funny to distribute those to every member of the Royal family and have them all show somewhere at a polo game or something wearing that shirt. Wouldn’t that be fun. 😊

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    1. 🌸 Although. The Queen might not think it very appropriate. 😳

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    2. Eve from Germany23 March 2018 at 13:14

      surfer girl, she might be relieved.... ;-)))
      Did anyone spot that they misspelled Meghan? (Meagan) I immediately thought Was that on purpose? You never know these days, you might get into legal troubles faster than you can say "Oh, no!", LOL!

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  49. In looking at the reaction to something as benign as a wedding cake; I'm reminded of Michelle Obama and how the American press often overreacted towards her. Today a Washington Post article states that in order to gain the public trust Michelle started with a vegetable garden. The thought behind the garden was you cannot go in with guns blazing until people trust you. Something as innocent as a garden was a starting point that then allowed her to start a more important conversation.

    The British people and the press need to get to know Meghan and Meghan needs to know them as well. Perhaps taking a step back and finding a benign issue to introduce Meghan to the people instead of hitting the ground running is an important step.

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  50. Here’s a try-out for Meghan and Harry’s cake:

    https://www.google.com/amp/people.com/food/prince-harry-meghan-markle-royal-wedding-cake-recipe/amp/

    As a cakeaholic (move over Surfer Girl) It sounds absolutely delicious. But having moved back from Ireland with minimal kitchen accoutrements, I will have to content myself with store bought. And in this Arizona town that means choosing between Safeway, Fry’s or, don’t hate me, WalMart. Youngest granddaughter turned 7 last Saturday (St Patrick’s Day appropriately for Quinn) and insisted on a unicorn tea party with pink, yellow and deep rose macarons and a unicorn cake. The cake looked lovely but the frosting wasn’t real buttercream, it was made with vegetable oil. No, no, absolute sacrilege!

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    1. 🌸 I feel for ya Jo. :)

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    2. Jo, reference my reply to SG's Cake Research Comment Above!!! lol lol lol :) Methinks we're all a little CakeCraaazzzy!!!! lol lol lol :) xoxo

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    3. That said, I truly do feel for ya too Jo! :( Sacrilege for sure! I mean Cake is a Sacred Thing!!.... As we've well established on this here post!!!! To Death!!!! lol xoxoxo

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    4. Eve from Germany23 March 2018 at 13:25

      Buttercream with - vegetable oil? I have troubles even WRITING it (LOL!), my fingers are in shock (lol!)!! On which outer space planet are you living, poor Jo? Your choice of "bakery options" sounds horrible even to my "having never been to the U.S." self, oh dear! ;-)))
      I think you should open your own bakery shop there! I bet people would storm it in order to get a decent slice of cake! We´d be never hearing of you again - you´d be too busy counting the dollars, lol!!
      A big hug over the pond to Arizona!!!

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    5. Yes, Eve, buttercream with vegetable oil. πŸ˜” Why do you think Rosman stated that European pastries are superior? And I agreed with her! I'm not suggesting that there aren't exceptions and we don't have high-end bakeries, but the average bakery or store-bought sweets are not worth the calories.

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  51. I am from Greece,here the wedding cake is 80% made with chantilly cream and almonds,the symbol of fertility and hapiness!The flowers on it are made from sugar.
    Love lemon cakes very much,the princely couple send another positive message:let's eat more fruits and less sugar:)!!!!

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  52. After looking at the photos of her other cakes, I think it makes sense Harry and Meghan chose Claire to be their wedding baker. Not only is it a nod to Meghan's heritage and transplanted life, but the simple but elegant cakes also reflect Meghan's style and their whole approach to life. They are both simple, yet elegant. In my mind, it makes sense.

    Above all, it is their wedding, they should do everything the way they want!

    On the flavors, I have to say I laughed seeing elderflower on the list. It's not much of a thing in America, but Brits seem to love it. I've never tasted it and hadn't ever really even heard of it being incorporated into bakes until I started watching the Great British Bake Off -- my boyfriend and I bemusedly pointed out to one another how often elderflower featured in a bake. I'd love to try it with the lemon. It sounds like quite a bite, that's for sure!

    As for fruitcake, I'm truly not a fan. Buttercreams are more my thing! But again -- I want Meghan and Harry to do things their way for their day. I'm getting so excited as the wedding date approaches!!

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  53. And Charlotte -- thank you for all the work you do. Running such a successful and thorough blog must be work enough in and of itself, not to mention moderating all of our comments. I know we all appreciate the time and care you put into this.

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    1. Becca H, at this point the comment total is 176!!!! Imagine all she had to read to just let this quantity of posts through??? Charlotte you are A Crown Jewel for sure! :) xoxo

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  54. English fruitcake can be so much better than American fruitcake. I am completely confident that their wedding cake - coming out of the tradition of Chez Panisse - will be beautiful and extraordinarily scrumptious. So excited for them.

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  55. 🌸 Diana. I love the idea of fresh flowers on the cake. I had fresh flowers on my cake. I do think though that some form of Royal decorum will HAVE to be on the cake given Prince Harry’s rank as a Senior Royal and Head of the British Marines. It will be exciting to see how they combine the two. The flowers and the Monarchy, Military stuff.

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  56. Oh i love their the cake and the flower

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  57. I wasn’t expecting a post about cake to garner so many comments. Such a shame there were any negative ones as I didn’t think a topic such as dessert could be controversial. At the end of the day only what, 200-600 people are gonna have a piece of that cake so as long as they enjoy it and H&M are happy, what else matters. Lemon and elderflower wouldn’t be my first choice personally but it sounds delicious and refreshing and very much like spring. If nothing else it’s inspired me to bake outside my comfort zone so there’s that :)

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)