LONDON // Royal wedding plans announced yesterday show an admirable spirit of compromise: the main cake will be a fruity, floral masterwork designed with input from Kate Middleton, but Prince William will get his childhood favorite chocolate biscuit cake too.
When it comes to the future king and queen, two cakes are better than one.
Palace officials said the royal couple have chosen a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake decorated with cream and white icing that will be created by Fiona Cairns, a cakemaker to stars such as the former Beatle Paul McCartney, who has built a thriving business since starting to bake at her kitchen table 25 years ago.
The actual design remains a secret, but the cake will have a strong British floral theme, developed with extensive input from Ms Middleton. The master baker will use the Lambeth Method, a popular English style that relies on intricate piping and scrollwork to create leaves, flowers and other decorative elements.
Ms Middleton asked Ms Cairns to represent about 16 different blooms and types of foliage on the cake, each with a different symbolic meaning, a practice that was popular in the Victorian era, palace officials said.
"She has guided us right from the beginning and has quite strong ideas," said Ms Cairns. "That makes it much easier than a bride who has absolutely no idea whatsoever, which has happened in the past. But she knew very much what she wanted and she brought us mood boards and told us what influences she would like us to use on the cake."
Ms Cairns said a number of flowers had already been chosen for inclusion.
"There is the bridal rose which symbolises happiness; the oak and acorn, which is an architectural detail around the room where the cake will be and which symbolises strength and endurance; and there is a lily of the valley, which symbolises sweetness and humility; and ivy leaves, which symbolise marriage," she said.
A flower known as Sweet William is also on the list, she said.
The information about the cake clears up one of the questions about the royal couple's wedding day, but details about the rest of the menu and the wine and champagne that will be served still have not been released.
Ms Cairns would not say how many tiers the cake would have, but said it would include dried raisins, walnuts, cherries, grated orange and lemon, and French brandy to soak many of the fruits overnight.
"This is exactly the same method you would use at home if you were making a fruit cake - we just use bigger batches," she said.
The cake is expected to be prominently displayed at the Buckingham Palace reception for about 600 guests that will follow the April 29 nuptials at Westminster Abbey. But guests will also be able to enjoy the chocolate biscuit cake, made from a royal family recipe and requested by Prince William.
It will be made by McVitie's Cake Company, which has made cakes for the royal family for decades.