All our cakes are made from scratch and then covered either in cooked buttercream, or fondant. Decorations are made with fondant, royal icing colour flow or chocolate. For lettering, we used the Kelmscott font produced in colour flow. Every element has to be edible!
This page is here to highlight those cakes and answer some of the questions that we get on a regular basis. If you have any questions that aren't answered here, let us know at our e-mail address in the right-hand column.
You can see more of the process in this video, and a timelapse video of our 2017 cake just below it.
William Morris's Daisy pattern was next. This is the only photograph we have of it. I think we were all about to go digital!
Edward Burne-Jones' Viking Ship stained glass was the inspiration in 2007. We practiced with different sugars and candies until we found an edible sugar glass we could paint on with coloured piping gel. Laura is an artist so it was her steady hand that painted the main image. I love how the royal icing "leading" dried with a matte finish, giving it a very realistic look.
Our symposium this year celebrated the art of the book... so we made an edible book! We had the least time available to do the cake, just a day, so we kept things simple, printing the page design on edible rice paper. The embossing on the fondant covering the board gave it a sort of leathery feel.
Red House (gingerRED house we called it... heh heh) was built on top. Laura and James sourced the floor plans of Morris's iconic home online and then built a cardboard mock up before we even began baking the gingerbread. This was so much fun, especially making the small fondant figures of Morris and his little family (only one baby at that stage). The grass was coloured coconut flakes and the brown earth was ground-up gingerbread. Again, all edible.
Motawi Tile Works in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a favourite destination for all of us, and many other members of the WMSC. Chocolate is another favourite, so we combined these two into our tastiest cake yet. Rich, moist devil's foodcake was sandwiched with frosting, coated with ganache and then set with chocolate tiles. All in all, 15 pounds of excellent dark chocolate were used, mostly Callebaut 72%.
This is my favourite cake of all. The background fondant was such a perfect red and very bold. This was the first cake I was hesistant to cut into. But we did, and it was yummy!
We chose William Morris's Compton pattern for 2015, This was another bold pattern and it was very satisfying to recreate. This time, instead of a fondant covering, we did two thick coats of ganache, which is always amazing. So chocolately and decadent.
This year we were inspired by Edward Burne-Jones' designs for the "Faith, Hope and Charity" windows for Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, but which have also appeared in other churches. Morris & Co. produced the windows. This was fun, all very new for us and we learned from our mistakes along the way. It's always good to test uncharted waters.
This year we were inspired by C.F.A. Voysey's "Bluebirds" wallpaper pattern. We were a bit short on time and needed something relatively simpler than the last few years. This took us one day less to make. In keeping with the spring like colours, we didn't go with a chocolate cake, but a rich lemon cake (more pound cake than sponge). This was sandwiched with lemon curd, with a crumb coat of lemon/cream-cheese frosting, before the layer of fondant went over the top. We also made a time-lapse video which you can see at the top of this page. And we were lucky to welcome a talented new cake team member: Lera Kotsyuba.
ALWAYS AN INSPIRATION...
Pictured: The edible William Morris from 2011. Just one inch tall and 100% fondant!