Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Wedding Cake Baker Recalls Their Cake Tasting

Here's how they chose their lemon and elderflower confection.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry riding in convertible after wedding ceremony

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After Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tied the knot in 2018, the newlyweds celebrated with 600 guests at a lunchtime reception in St. George’s Hall. A highlight of the luncheon was the couple’s elaborate wedding cake. In an interview with Tatler on April 17, 2023, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding cake baker Claire Ptak, who owns Violet Cakes in East London, opened up about the experience designing the confection. The royal bride gave the dessert expert complete creative freedom, which the cake baker says was a dream. “Meghan, she specifically said to me, ‘I don’t want to tell you what to do,’” Ptak recalls. “‘The reason why I’ve chosen you is because I love your baking and your work and your point of view and your ethos.’ I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s so cool. The best job brief ever!’”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding cake

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During the interview, Ptak explains that she created six different options for the couple to try during their tasting. "And they did the tastings… and they picked the lemon and elderflower, which was my first choice as well," she says. To whip up the confection, Ptak combined 200 Amalfi lemons, 500 eggs, 10 bottles of elderflower cordial from the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, 44 pounds of butter, 44 pounds of flour, and 44 pounds of sugar. “It's a lemon sponge, a special sponge that I developed just for the couple, and we drizzle the layers with elderflower cordial from the Sandringham estate, so it's really lovely and as local as you can get,” Ptak said before the wedding, The Daily Mail reports.

As for the decorations, the cake designer covered the dessert in elderflower Swiss meringue buttercream and adorned it with 150 fresh flowers, including three different types of peonies—the bride’s favorite flower—and roses. In lieu of the traditional tiered cake, Ptak says settled on a unique display that emphasized different heights and sizes: two single-tiered cakes and one two-tier cake. The entire process of conceptualizing, baking, and designing the cake required six bakers and took five days to prepare in the kitchen at Buckingham Palace, Ptak notes. According to Daily Mail, each slice is estimated to cost about $100 per slice and over $62,000 to make the entire cake.

Ptak describes the flavor as sweet from the buttercream, tart from the lemon curd, and ethereal from the elderflower. The result? “You get a very lovely thing happening when you take a bite, which is to get all of these flavors and sensations perfectly balanced,” she says. Although the baker enjoys the combination of flavors, she’s partial to the taste of the citrus. “We have a lemon curd made from Amalfi lemons, which to me, have the most delicious flavor,” she shared ahead of the nuptials. 

Since Meghan and Harry loved their wedding cake so much, they enlisted Ptak to make the cake for their daughter Lilibet’s first birthday in Windsor. The cake baker created a two-tier cake with an Amalfi lemon and elderflower filling, the same as the one inside Meghan and Harry’s wedding cake. She engulfed the confection in strawberry buttercream and topped the lawyers with pink and white flowers and a gold sign that said “Lilibet.” “It was an absolute pleasure to make this special cake last week for Lilibet’s birthday,” Ptak wrote on Instagram. “Wishing her a very happy year ahead!” 

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