Sketch to Cake: Erika Young’s Louis XIV Bernini Inspired Wedding Cake

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Erika Young

of Strossner's Bakery in Greenville, SC designed a lovely wedding cake for the Bernini issue of Cake Central Magazine Volume 8 Issue 1. Erika’s delightful wedding cake with ruffles and architectural borders was inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's bust of Louis XIV.


The first thing I noticed about the inspiration photo was the shapes that surrounded the sculpture, from the pedestal it was sitting on to the architectural borders surrounding it.  Then, at a closer look, I was drawn toward the textures of the sculpture itself, especially the ruffle around his neck, the armor on his shoulder and the flow of fabric at his base.

I started by determining the size and shape of my cake.  Once I decided how many tiers and the shape of each tier, I drew a close to scale outline of the whole cake.  Then, I concentrated on each tier separately designing each with different elements of inspiration.  As I drew each tier the concept evolved.

Since my cake had two tiers that were odd shaped, I started by shaping the styrofoam accordingly.  Then I covered all four  tiers in fondant.  For this cake I found it easiest to work with one color at a time. Therefore, I did all the ivory colored work, then the brown marble, and finished it off with the gold.

I make my sketch with the intention of staying close to the design.  I always leave room for fine details and embellishments to be added as I complete my cake.  

Thankfully, I had minimal complications with this cake process.  One thing I struggled with was the base covering.  I was hoping to achieve the marble look through painting and adding texture but, after several attempts, I accomplished the desired look by marbling different shades of gray fondant together.

For the ruffle on the large round tier I used the "chantilly lace" stencil by Designer Stencils to emboss the pattern on the fondant before pleating it.  On the top two tiers I used part of Wilton's "Romance" mold set to make the bottom borders.  In order to mimic the sculpted hair texture, I hand piped swirls with a tiny leaf tip on the small square tier.  After the cake was assembled I hand painted the trim with gold luster  to give the cake a regal look.

Luckily my design did not waiver from mt original plan.

I was pleased with my finished cake.  I wanted to ensure the inspiration was obvious but not too literal.  I enjoyed working with different shapes and creating an unusual silhouette.