I've been incredibly lucky to work with many amazing suppliers over the years, but Elizabeth has to be up there as one of my all time favourites.
Elizabeth is a luxury wedding cake designer, supplying extraordinary cakes to the most prestigious venues in the world.
Her reputation is so well deserved, she is a sugarcraft master, creating bespoke, intricate wedding cakes that are memorable not only for their grand design, but for their sublime taste too - Her flavours are mouthwateringly delicious!
Luckily for me, Elizabeth agreed to participate in a guest blog and answer some questions in order for you to get to know a little bit more about her.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Elizabeth Solaru and I am the founder of the internationally renowned Elizabeth's Cake Emporium. We specialise in making the most opulent luxury wedding cakes. My foray into luxury wedding cakes was actually an accident. I was previously a Biomedical Scientist and a Headhunter. I never dreamed of a career in cake making but happily it seems to be working out so far touch wood.
How did you get into the wedding cake industry?
Although I started baking when I was about 9, it was something I was very passionate about. I never gave up on it throughout my different careers and when the opportunity presented itself, I started making wedding cakes after I left my headhunting job. One of my first clients was Lady Elizabeth Anson which happened by sheer accident and the rest as they say is history.
What is a typical day?
There is no typical day. One minute I could be on a yacht decorating a cake and the next I could be setting up a wedding cake in a marquee in the middle of the Italian countryside. Depending on our bookings, my schedule varies. Sometimes I am dealing with a last minute booking or I could be in my studio baking, working on sugar flowers and other custom pieces for a luxury wedding cake. The first thing I always do is check my emails and my diary. Then I go for a quick run, although some might not call it that as I am the slowest runner on the planet!
After my run, I will then head to our kitchens to see what's on the board and plan and map out the logistics of the cakes for the week. Next, I may take delivery of ingredients and materials (the sheer number of boxes we open have to be seen to be believed), attend client meetings and presentations and also do a number of site visits. Accompanying some of the cake deliveries is the most stressful part of my job (you feel every bump and pothole when there is a cake in the car) and I am incredibly relieved when a cake arrives unscathed. I love the look on the face of a client when they see their cake for the first time is priceless and we hope to exceed expectations every time.
If I still have some energy left, I may teach, attend or speak at an industry event or two. It's important and fun to catch up with colleagues and the latest innovations in the industry.
What excites you the most about your job?
My clients! I never know what they might ask me to make and the sheer variety of what we do is what keeps me motivated. I love that every cake we make is bespoke and personalised, as we want each cake to be special to our clients. Our clients often provide the inspiration and anything from the wedding colours, textures, stationery and even music can be translated into cake. The moment a drawing or sketch actualises into a decorated multi dimensional cake is an indescribable feeling. Creating cake art can sometimes be frustrating but we always get there in the end.
Your most favourite luxury wedding cake to date?
This is a very difficult question to answer! The last cake I make tends to become a favourite, but for sheer size and grandeur, it has to be the gold and white 20 tier wedding cake we delivered to the Palais Liechtenstein a few months ago. The high baroque decor of the Palais was the inspiration for the cake and it was definitely the grandest cake everyone had ever seen.
Five tips for couples looking to book their wedding cake
My first tip will be to make sure the inside of a cake tastes even better than the outside. I would also say to couples not to make any cake decisions until other major decisions such as colour, theme or flowers have been sorted. Do have a budget in mind but if you want a bespoke, handcrafted personalised cake, you need to be flexible with your budget. Match your cake height to the height of the venue and make sure your cake is displayed beautifully on the day.
What are we to expect from you in the future?
I have a lot of projects in the pipeline including speaking engagements, teaching abroad, TV shows and podcasts etc However, I am more excited about developing new cake flavours and pairings so watch this space.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
I have learnt so many lessons in my cake journey the chief being the art of listening to the client. The client is king and their values, opinions and suggestions should be taken on board, as without them, there will be no business.
In order to run any business, one needs to be persistent and resilient in order to survive the different business cycles. It is also good to work with lovely industry friends and colleagues who push each other and build each other to succeed. I am a firm believer in lending a helping hand and I truly believe in building a very supportive business community and environment so we can all thrive.
Name your top 5 venues and what venue would be your dream venue to work with?
One of the things I love about my job is the opportunity to deliver luxury wedding cakes to some of the best venues in the world.
I recently worked at one of the venues on my bucket list, the Palais Liechtenstein, so I may yet get to work at some of the others.
Also included in my top 5 are:
Chateau Vaux le Vicomte
Laucala Island Resort
MolenVliet Wine Estate
Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat
Palace of Versailles
Tell us something funny/fabulous/awful that’s happened whilst delivering/setting up a wedding cake
Delivering wedding cakes is the most stressful part of my job and it's fraught with so many things that could go wrong. Bumpy roads, humidity and hot weather can wreak havoc on a cake.
Recently, I had to make a cake on a yacht. What no one told me was that to get to the yacht, you have to take a tender (a speed boat) as a super yacht is moored quite far from the shore. Considering that I cannot swim, let's say it was a very interesting experience being thrown around on choppy waters! Luckily the cakes and I survived to live another day.
I adore working with Elizabeth, she's incredibly passionate and always goes above and beyond for her clients. She's a perfectionist and quite humble at her outstanding talent. I'm sure you will love her as much as I do.
Elizabeth's website is www.elizabethscakeemporium.com