What is it about wedding dresses that make us girls dreamy-eyed? It’s like we escape to some magical childhood place where we picture ourselves as a princess marrying our prince. Maybe I’m just getting caught up in the royal wedding like every other girl in the world.
Ironically, at the same time the royal wedding was taking place, we were in the midst of creating a spectacular bridal cake to commensurate America’s oldest influential wedding gown designer, Priscilla of Boston. Priscilla of Boston, celebrated their 65 year anniversary this past weekend. We were asked to create a wedding cake to honor the special event at their Short Hills, New Jersey location. Priscilla of Boston has been known over the years for their exquisite beauty, timeless designs and unique, handmade bridal dresses. Their founder, Priscilla Kidder, gained fame from designing dresses for the most exclusive clients such as Grace Kelly’s bridesmaid gowns and the daughters of President Johnson & President Nixon.
With such a heritage, I visited the Short Hills location to seek design inspiration for a cake fitting the essence of the Priscilla of Boston brand. Priscilla of Boston is known for their handmade, beautiful lace and modern, flattering silhouettes with a bit of romance. We wanted to incorporate all of above in our design. Their company also now carries other luxury bridal designers such as Vera Wang and Melissa Sweet.
I had passed by this store many times over the years but never realized how beautiful their designs really were until I glanced through their fine dresses, piece by piece. It even made me want to get married all over again, to my hubby, just so I could
prance around in one of their dresses. The staff in the Short Hills store were so welcoming and pleasant. I would definitely recommend this store for anyone in need of a bridal gown looking for amazing customer service, gorgeous gowns and huge, comfortable fitting rooms.
Back to the cake- The manager, Dina, requested that the cake resemble a wedding cake. After seeing all the dresses, I wanted to take it one step further, by featuring a beautiful dress on top. I finally chose a dress to top the cake along with a signature lace on the upper tier. I loved the asymmetrical design of the dress; it was unique and gorgeous but not overdone. For me, it had just the right amount of beading to bring attention to the bride’s face. I was really looking forward to building this part of the cake. As I’ve said before, I love sculpting.
The mannequin form was sculpted from rice krispie treats, then covered in white modeling chocolate. After the feminine form was created, we used photos to make the dress look like the real thing. It was made at 4 times before the fabric drapery looked just right. When you use gum paste, you need to work fast because it starts to dry out and look like elephant skin. It rips from all the weight if it’s not attached properly. This dress had to be made in two layers of drapery. We wanted the dress have movement to it; as it would in real life.
One of the most beautiful elements of the dress was the beading on along the neckline. Our dress was piped with tiny dots of royal icing, then painted with edible silver luster dust. Edible sparkles were painted on top of the raised dots and around the neckline to make to dress appear to be shimmering.
We were given a beautiful lace to emulate on the cake. We made the top and bottom layer have lace elements, rather than just covering the cake top to bottom with piped lace. We wanted it to look more delicate and special rather than overpowering. Dina also picked out a beautiful broach piece that could be used on the cake. It seemed to go perfectly above their logo. Priscilla of Boston’s signature colors are silver and white. We used these colors along with layers of textures seen on various dresses in their store to make up our color and texture palette.
The middle layer was the tallest because of it’s featured announcement with a piped logo, gumpaste numbers and painted calligraphy. I really wanted to incorporate calligraphy into the cake, because it reminds me of the elegance of a wedding invitation. Wouldn’t it beautiful if we wrote like this in everyday life?
Along with the calligraphy, I liked the idea of adding an edge to the bottom tier that was soft and frilly like a piece of ruffled fabric, rather than typically cake-like. The lace pattern was added on the top. The silver ribbon tied all the elements together with an elegant finish.
The two cake flavors selected were, our signature flavor, Raspberry-Red Velvet and Chocolate-Covered Strawberry. Our Raspberry-Red Velvet has a hint of raspberry flavor among a moist red velvet cake and dreamy cream cheese icing. Our Chocolate-Covered Strawberry cake is a chocolate cake with strawberry mousseline buttercream, fresh strawberries and chocolate ganache.
I have to thank my cute daughter who helped me serve the cake to the many bridal parties that day. She fit in just like a little flower girl dressed up in her best dress.