On naked wedding cakes from The Cakeri…..

Naked wedding cakes are a relatively recent trend, but a trend we think is here to stay.  Here at The Cakeri, we absolutely love naked wedding cakes and find they are increasingly popular with our brides and grooms.  We always make one up for wedding fairs and invariably it is the naked cake that receives the most interest.  So here is a collection of images of some recent naked wedding cakes we have done and some answers to the most frequently asked questions about how they work.

Naked Cake – Swallows Nest Barn, Warwick

 

1. What is a naked wedding cake?

Simply put – a naked wedding cake is a cake without icing! So it is ‘naked’ because it isn’t covered with a layer of ganache and fondant.  The cake itself is the same as all of our other cakes and is split and filled with frosting and preserves.  However the top and sides of the cake are simply dusted with icing sugar to give an inviting, rustic effect.  The cakes can then be decorated with fresh fruit and flowers to create a gorgeous centre piece for your wedding. 

Naked Wedding Cake, Warwickshire

Naked Cake, Shutstoke Farm Barns, Shutstoke, Coleshill

2. How do you keep a naked cake fresh?

The cakes are baked fresh and then split and filled at The Cakeri immediately prior to delivery.  Many of them are kept moist with drizzles or syrups, and of course the fillings contribute to this also.  We always arrange with your wedding venue to set up your naked cake as late in the day as possible so that the cake and the fruit are kept fresh.  We have found that this ensures that both the cake, and the fresh fruit stay at their best for your wedding day.  As with all of our cakes, we would advise against them being in direct sunlight or particularly warm locations.  The British summer is almost always on the side of the cake, and ensures we never see too much sun! ūüėČ 

Naked Wedding cake northamptonshire

Naked Wedding Cake, Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens, Northamptonshire

3. When do you bake the cakes for a naked cake?

We bake as early as we can whilst also as late as possible to ensure freshness!  This means the sponges are baked the day before the wedding as they need to fully cool overnight before the fillings can be added. 

Naked Cake Warwickshire

Classic vanilla sponge with vanilla bean buttercream and raspberry conserve

4. Why doesn’t it fall over?

As with all of our wedding cakes, each tier is placed on its own cake board.  Dowels are placed in all tiers of the cake which act as pillars for the next tier to rest on.  Therefore the weight of the cake is distributed through the dowels and the cake is fully supported. 

Naked Wedding Cake Warwickshire

Naked Wedding Cake at The Pump Rooms, Royal Leamington Spa

5. Can a naked cake be moved once it is set up?

We would generally advise against moving a naked cake once it is set up.  This is simply because of the amount of fresh berries which we place on the cake.  If you have a design which just has fresh flowers on then moving the cake will not be a problem.  For weddings where the space used for the ceremony is turned around into the reception venue or the location of the cake, we arrange to deliver and set up your naked cake after the ceremony while you are busy having photos taken, so that no one needs to move the cake. 

Naked Wedding Cake West Midlands

Naked Wedding Cake, Crockwell Farm, Daventry

6. What flavour choices do I have for my naked wedding cake?

Anything you want from our cake flavours list! The only thing to bear in mind is aesthetics – obviously because its naked, you can see what colour it is! The only cakes which are very obviously different are any of the chocolate options or fruit cake.  For those of you who (like Keri) can’t bear the thought of a wedding cake without chocolate, we think it works well as the base tier.  This means the cake doesn’t look stripey.  The difference is even less noticeable if you choose to have caramel or white chocolate frosting as the filling of the chocolate layer.  Fruit cake is slightly different again because it is not a cake which is filled with frosting, it looks different to all other tiers.  If you would like a naked cake but want fruit cake to feature, then we recommend having a small fruit cake to the side, as part of a dessert table, which can be adorned with cherries, nuts, and fresh flowers and will compliment the naked cake.

Naked Wedding Cake Warwickshire

Lemon Drizzle Naked Cake, Kenilworth

7. Which is better; a naked wedding cake or a semi naked wedding cake?

Semi naked wedding cakes are the same as naked cakes but have a thin scraping of vanilla bean buttercream over the outside of the cake.  However because the frosting layer is so thin, the cake layers still show through but in a more opaque and subtle fashion.  It is a slightly less rustic option and one which is suited to being adorned with fresh flowers.  We will always liaise with your florist to coordinate which flowers are needed for your cake.  Both styles of cake are beautiful and it really depends on your preference and what works best with your venue and the themes of your wedding. 

Semi naked wedding cake, Warwickshire

Semi naked cake, The Baraset Barn, Alveston, Stratford upon Avon

Hopefully that answers all of the main questions we get asked about naked wedding cakes.  Let us know if you have any others! For further details or to book in for a wedding cake tasting and consultation get in touch with Keri today. ūüôā 

On The Cakeri’s 2017 Wedding Cake Collection….

We would like to introduce you to our 2017 Wedding Cake Collection. Current wedding trends see the introduction of metalics and marble effects coupled with the vintage influences of sugar lace, pearls, broaches and ruffles. As ever sugar flowers have a central role to play in our wedding cakes, but these move towards simpler, larger whimsical statement flowers. Hand painted designs, quotations, names and dates add lovely personal touches to any design. The Chalkboard cake continues to be popular as it provides a larger ‘edible canvas’ for vintage styling and personalisation and works well with festival or vintage themed weddings.

 

2017 wedding cake collection

The Grace

(Top Left) Marble Effect, copper metalic, hand painted message and statement sugar flower finished with lace and a simple bow.

 The Emily

(Bottom Left) All over brush embroidery lace effect finished with a vintage broach and oversized bow.

The Olivia

(Centre) Edible ruffle features, sugar beads, vintage broaches and statement whimsical roses.

The Alexandra

(Top Right) Double height chalkboard tier allowing personal messgae, vintage roses and pretty hydrangea flowers, lace ribbon.

The Pippa

(Bottom Right) Sugar lace over a pastel colour cake, statement vintage rose, lace ribbon and bow details.

As always, our wedding cake collection acts simply as inspiration to help us work together to create your own personal wedding cake design. You can pick and choose the elements you like from any of the cakes. All icing can be coloured to match your wedding colours and themes. We can also work on a bespoke design based on the details of your dress or the work with themes at the wedding venue. The possibilities are endless. Get in touch today to book your tasting appointment with The Cakeri.  ūüôā

 

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On the fabulous Vintage Chic Wedding Fair at Ettington Park…..

Its been a busy week here at The Cakeri in Warwick as we are getting ready for our first wedding fair of 2017 at Ettington Park this weekend.  We have been working with Charlotte and the amazing team at Vintage Chic Wedding Fairs for a little while now. They put together truly beautiful wedding fairs for couples who want stylish, chic local suppliers with a vintage twist for their big day.

Check out their website here –¬†http://vintagechicweddingfair.co.uk/

Ettington Park Fair Details….

It would be¬†lovely to see you on Sunday between 12 and 4 to talk (and eat!) cake and look at all the fabulous options for your wedding cake. ¬†We will be showcasing two of our brand new 2017 wedding cake designs at the fair, along with our very popular chalkboard cake and naked cakes. ¬†Join the event on facebook here –¬†https://www.facebook.com/events/1102194723229153/

See you in Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday! In the meantime here are some photos of our stand at the Vintage Chic Wedding Fair in Leamington last autumn….. Kx

Lace and Brush Embroidery Wedding cake Leamington Spa

‘The Emily’ Vintage Lace Wedding Cake at The Midlands Vintage Chic Wedding Fair, Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa

vintage rose wedding cake Warwick

“The Rachel” Rose and Blossom¬†Wedding Cake at The Midlands Vintage Chic Wedding Fair, Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa

Naked Wedding Cake Leamington Spa

“The Anna” Naked Wedding Cake at The Midlands Vintage Chic Wedding Fair, Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa

Vintage Chalkboard wedding cake leamington spa, warwick

“The Alexandra” Vintage Chalkboard¬†Wedding Cake at The Midlands Vintage Chic Wedding Fair, Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa

 

On individually designed wedding cakes….

About this time last year, Lesley and Andy and their children came to The Cakeri for a wedding cake consultation.  We sat around the dinning table on a cold winters day drinking tea, trying lots of different flavours of cake, and dreaming up their perfect cake design.

They had seen some cakes I’d made where children had been the designers and then and I’d either brought their designs to life, or helped the kids to make up their designs. ¬†Lesley explained that all 5 of them had ideas for the cake that they wanted to include in the design.

As a general rule I am a fan of simple designs, clean lines and a few bold details, so naturally I was a little apprehensive about where this design might go. ¬†But designing and making this cake was a reminder that it’s never just a cake; it’s a symbol of what is being celebrated at the wedding. ¬†What really stuck me about Lesley and Andy and their family was that this wedding celebrated all that they were together; the 5 of them. ¬†Therefore of course there were going to be many elements to incorporate into the cake. ¬†How could they choose anything else!?

In the end we went for a double-sided design. ¬†This enabled the front to be based on our vintage chalk board design, but incorporating quotes from Harry Potter both on the cake and the topper. ¬†Then on the reverse of the cake the children’s ideas came into play. ¬†We incorporated a Lego man, sugar figures of the children sat in front of a countryside scene, and then hand painted logos and images of interests the family share.

I really enjoyed making this cake. I think in the end it really shows how special an individually designed wedding cake can be.  I hope you all like it. Xk

lesley and andy

On beautiful Christmas Hampers…

It’s that time of year again; the weather has gotten colder, twinkly lights are everywhere, you need to do your Christmas shopping but the shops are too busy and you don’t have any free time anyway!¬† Here at The Cakeri we have taken the hassle out of Christmas by bringing together gifts for you from¬†some of our favorite local suppliers.¬†And of course we are also¬†offering our own range of delicious, individually designed Christmas cakes.


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The hampers feature a beautiful bottle of Juan Gil, a delicious Spanish red, chosen by Claire Love, owner of Loves Wines.  It is a gorgeous decadent wine from South West Spain in Jumilla, made from Monastrell, an impressive rich wine that will definitely go down well at Christmas.


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Prescott’s chocolates have put together a selection of 3 of their favorite chocolate bar flavours and¬†8¬†of their most popular truffles.¬†¬†Handcrafted¬†by chocolate expert Victoria Marsh from her kitchen in Beaconsfield, the truffles are universally adored.¬† The selection features flavours such as Champagne, Contreiu Caramel, Blackcurrant, Coffee, Vanilla, Dark Orange, Gingerbread amongst others. A lovely Christmas treat.


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Bella Bougie, literally translated is ‘beautiful candle’.¬† Run by Andrea Jones, Bella Bougie create luxury soy wax candles with stunning fragrances.¬† Once you have tried these candles I guarantee you will not want to use any others. Our hamper features a 20 hour candle called ‘Winter’.¬† Its fragrance uses mandarin and clove carefully blended with cypress oil and patchouli.¬†A must have for any room during the festive system and indeed through out the winter period.


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New for 2016 we have Tom’s Jam providing their fabulous Rhubarb¬†and Vanilla Jam. Tom has been making and selling artisan jam for five years, despite only now being 18!¬†All his jams are hand made in small batches with natural ingredients¬†from the Tom’s Jams kitchen in Warwick.¬†

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And of course, no festive hamper would be complete without a fabulous Christmas cake! Our rich fruit cake is packed with juicy fruits and cherries and laced with Brandy.¬†¬†Keri’s unique recipe is loved by even non-fruit cake eaters!¬† The cake is then finished with natural marzipan and a thin layer of fondant and decorated with our trademark handmade sugar roses and sparkly gold leaves.

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And finally we’ve also added in our classic Cakeri shortbread for 2016. ¬†Sweet and melt in the mouth; shortbread as it should be. We’ve added in real vanilla and¬†delicate spice too, so they make the perfect treat for sharing at Christmas.

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Hampers

“Favorites¬†Hamper”
Festive hamper featuring Bella Bougie Winter 20hour candle, Juan Gill Spanish Red Wine, Prescott’s 3 bar gift box, tom’s Jams rhubarb and vanilla jam, The Cakeri’s classic mini (serves 1-2) fruit cake* and our spiced shortbread¬†presented in a white hamper box finished with organza ribbon.

Favorites Hamper £45

“Luxury Hamper”
Festive hamper featuring all of the items in the favorites¬†hamper but with the addition of Prescott’s 8 truffle gift box, a larger Christmas¬†cake* (serves 9) and an extra gift bag of shortbread.¬†

Luxury Hamper £60

*Christmas cakes can be substituted for gift bags or boxes of rich chocolate brownies on request.

Christmas Cakes

Treat your family to The Cakeri’s rich Christmas cake this year.¬†¬†Choose from our Christmas Rose design or allow Keri to design something unique to your celebration.¬† Or for those of you who are less keen on marzipan or icing there is the option of an un-iced cake topped with glazed almonds and cherries.

Mini Christmas Cake (serves 1-2) £4
Small Christmas Cake (serves 9) £15
Medium Christmas Cake (serves 20) £30
Large Christmas Cake (serves 40) £50

Get in touch with Keri by 10th December to order yours. x
keri@thecakeri.co.uk
07403755750

Hampers and Christmas Cakes can be ordered for collection from Hatton Park between 20th and 24th December.

On pancakes…

Pancake Day!

Pancake day has always been an occasion in my house. Lemon and lots of sugar, nutella and cream, you name it, we have tried it as a pancake topping.¬† However this year we are trying to be a little healthier.¬† It kind of comes with the territory of¬†being surrounded by cake all the time!¬†I don’t want to stop the tradition in the name of being healthy, but I do make a few swaps and substitutions to make pancakes a little better for everyone.

We all like different types of pancakes. I will always opt for the French style crepe pancake but lots of people prefer the smaller, thicker American style pancakes these days. I’ve given you my recipes for both, and a bonus easy mini banana pancake recipe which is perfect for little ones and big ones alike!

If you are diary intolerant then use your usual milk substitute. If you need to avoid wheat or gluten then use doves farm free from flours.

On pancake day we just have pancakes for dinner.  Nothing else.  But we do have savoury pancakes first.  So here are my suggestions for both savoury and sweet pancake toppings:

  • Make your savoury pancakes with the crepe recipe. You can put all the fillings out in little bowls for everyone to build their own pancake:
  • Shredded chicken, lean bacon cut into strips, tuna, roasted peppers, avocado, rocket, spinach, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese are all great in pancakes.
  • Have a couple of savoury ones with a big side salad and then you won’t eat too many for pudding.
  • The following make great sweet pancake toppings/fillings:
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries all make lovely sweet toppings. Frozen berries are also great. If you defrost them in the microwave you get a lovely sauce made from the juice too! Bonus!
  • Bananas and Greek yoghurt (or coconut yoghurt if you aren’t great with dairy like me!)
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon or orange and a spoon full of sultanas
  • And if you really have to sweeten them¬† further then stick to honey or real maple syrup.
  • And whatever you do… Step away from the Nutella!

Basic crepe recipe (best for flipping!)

Makes 12 pancakes

125g of plain flour

2 eggs

200ml milk of your choice

100ml water

  • Weigh out the flour and make a well in the centre
  • Break the eggs into the well
  • Pour in the milk and use an electric whisk or a balloon whisk and beat together until you have a smooth mixture.
  • OR if you have a blender or nutribullet throw all the ingredients in there and blend until smooth!
  • Heat some butter or coconut oil in a frying pan and using a ladle pour in just enough batter to thinly coat the pan.¬† Swish the batter around.
  • Once the sides of the pancake start coming away it is ready to flip!
  • Cook on the other side and you’re done!
  • I put the oven on to 100 and put each pancake in until all of the pancakes are made.

American fluffy pancakes

Makes 12 pancakes

150g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

150 mls milk of your choice

1 egg

2 tbs melted butter or coconut oil or olive oil.

  • Weigh out the dry ingredients
  • In a jug combine the wet ingredients
  • Whisk them together to form a thick batter
  • Heat some coconut oil or butter in a frying pan and drop in 1 tablespoon of batter at a time to make 10cm diameter circular pancakes. I usually get three or four in a pan at a time.
  • Flip them once they are brown on one side and cook on the other side. They should be risen and fluffy.
  • Keep them warm in the oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes.

Mini Banana pancakes (perfect for little ones)

Makes 24 mini pancakes

These are really easy and perfect for little ones. Because they are made with bananas they don’t need any topping and can be eaten as they are.

Ingredients

1 ripe banana

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of self raising flour

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz up until smooth.
  • Heat some unsalted butter or coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat.
  • Drop in 1 dessert spoonful of the batter at a time. I usually get 6 in the pan at once.
  • After about a minute flip the mini pancakes and cook on the other side.
  • Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven until all the mini pancakes are cooked.

Happy pancake day. X Keri

pancake

On Michelin starred birthday cake…

So I’m managing to string out this birthday celebration business!¬† On Friday I was lucky enough to go to The Ledbury for lunch.¬† There were many, many courses of food and¬†each was matched with beautiful wine.¬† But most importantly, they made me cake!¬†¬†Amazing.

Keri x

the ledbury

 

On making your best friend’s wedding cake (and driving it 200 miles)….

Last week my best friend got married. From the moment she phoned me a year ago to tell me she was engaged, I knew her wedding would be one of those days in life that are good for the soul. Where family, love, life, and culture are celebrated through laughter and tears, in a beautiful place with amazing food. To quote an Elbow song, “One day like this a year would see me right”.

 

Katy is not just any friend. She has been in my world since age 4, and if I’m very lucky, she will never leave it. She is a quirky mix of beauty, intelligence, positivity and sunshine which is very rare these days. This wedding cake needed to be special. And more importantly it needed to somehow encapsulate Katy and Stu and everything their wedding was going to be.

 

Earlier this year we sat around my dining table tasting different flavours of cake and discussing the plans for their day. We talked of their vision of an ‘English¬†coastal adventure’ which also drew on their respective Mexican and Scottish heritages. It was to be a bright and exciting celebration, or perhaps more accurately “fiesta”. We talked about marriage and what it meant. About how by dispensing with much of the tradition, what you are left with is something a whole lot more meaningful, individual and real.

 

Over the weeks that followed we explored different ideas for the cake. Because their wedding was so original their cake needed to be too. There were many designs and lots of sketches, but in the end they decided on a 4 tier bright yellow cake with hand painted floral details in the style of the oil cloth table runners they had sourced from family in Mexico.

 

I had a lovely couple of days making the cake. They chose to go for 3 flavours. The first, and Katy’s favourite, carrot cake with zesty orange buttercream; a classic treat and good for those with less of a sweet tooth. Followed by coconut and blueberry cake with creamy coconut buttercream¬†and blueberry preserve; a Cakeri¬†original recipe which is proving to be very popular! This tier¬†was gluten-free¬†too, thus ensuring everyone at the wedding got to enjoy the cake. And finally the top two tiers were dark chocolate and salted caramel cake; a modern-day¬†classic and my current favourite. On the second day, after a busy morning school run and tired children on the last day of term, spending 4 hours in peace, painting and gradually seeing the beautiful design emerge, was the perfect tonic. Once I’d finished I photographed the cake and sent the images to Katy and Stu. And the message back read “SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL! So much better than I ever could have imagined. Thank you so much!!!!!! You’re a complete legend”. Messages like this make for a happy cake maker.

 

And then for another school run and the small matter of packing for the wedding (I have a total aversion to packing so always leave it until the last minute), and transporting the cake 200 miles to the seaside for the wedding. Needless to say the next few hours were not the most fun. My other half drove (so I could be on cake watch/ensure children and cake were nowhere¬†near each other duty) under strict instructions to drive ‘nicely’. With the speed limits¬†I had¬†set, the car achieved a new best mpg! Although after that journey (and the trailing cars behind us) I vowed to investigate the possibility of a ‘wedding cake on board’ sign for the car. None of this ‘baby on board’ business, babies like bumpy journeys; cakes on the other hand, most definitely do not.

 

After a few hours of slightly raised blood pressure and sharp intakes of breath over speed bumps and around tight corners we arrived in beautiful Swanage¬†and all was right with the world once more. The next morning, after waking up to the sun pouring in through the window, the sound of seagulls and the smell of a good English breakfast, I drove the cake its final 2 miles to the reception venue. In the same way that my little boy squealed with delight at the sight of the zip wire and playground for him to use, I was equally excited by how beautifully Katy and Stu had made the room. From the boldest brightest papel¬†picado¬†(Mexican bunting) to the paper flower wall to the potted plant centre pieces, it was all just perfect. Just so ‘them’. The cake was done and in place. Now for the serious business of getting to the end of the pier in time for the ceremony.

 

What followed was nothing short of extraordinary. In amongst the tears, laughter, music, singing ‘It must be love’, prosecco, ice cream, seaside walks, steam train rides, photos, hay bales, charcuterie¬†boards, fairy lights, ceilidh¬†dancing, paella, Jenga, speeches and story telling, was the cutting of the cake outside in the low evening sun. It was a perfect day and I loved every minute of it.

 

And to steal a quote from the mother of the bride’s speech (which was taken from an article in the New Statesman), “…it’s those other weddings, the ones where you can tell that the bride and groom love one another to the point where they want to climb inside one another and reside there forever, those are the ones that make the heart swell…”. This was one of those weddings. I hope you all like the cake. ‚̧ԳŹ

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On making your own birthday cake

So in my world, May is the month of birthdays! By the end of the week I will have made ten cakes, just for friends and family (excluding any orders). However, I must confess that three of those ten were for my birthday.

This birthday was a big one. Consequently, despite this being very un-me, I felt the need to have a party. Which obviously meant there needed to be cake. And a big cake at that.

People asked me a lot in the weeks leading up to my party if I was making my own cake. And when I replied that I was, they all seemed to feel a bit sorry for me. (And some, I think, were also secretly relieved that I wasn’t going to ask them to do it!) I assured each one, just like I will to you now, that I was very happy to be doing it. I love baking and therefore it will be nice to make another few cakes.

However, not being a party person, I had underestimated the amount of work that a party brings with it! I had grand designs for both my party and my cake. In the end, the party was at my home and the cake was a rustic ‘naked’ cake. But I loved both, and wouldn’t change them for the world. Next time though, while I’m very happy to make my own cake, someone else can definitely organise the party, do the decorating, cleaning (before and after), drinks, food and other party related jobs!

I think after all of that, I most definitely deserved a slice of each flavour…

naked cake