Sketch to Cake: Leanne Jones-Starr’s Bernini Inspired Apollo and Daphne Wedding Cake

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Leanne Jones-Starr

of Frosted Fantasy in Hastings, East Sussex, United Kingdom, created a charming wedding cake for the Bernini issue of Cake Central Magazine Volume 8 Issue 1. Leanne’s beautiful wedding cake, complete with laurel leaves, was inspired Gian Lorenzo Bernini's statue of Apollo and Daphne at the Galleria Borghese in Roma, Italy.

Photos By Su Bishop


When I first received the email with the inspiration photos my first thought was, 'wow what an amazing statue, how would you transform it into a wedding cake!' This is what got my attention as I always love to try a new challenge.

My first step of the design process was to research the statue and the story of Apollo and Daphne. This is where I got the concept to design the wedding cake using the statue but incorporating more of the tree element in the figure of Daphne. My original idea was to have a two tiered cake but after doing my initial sketch I realized this would not work as the details on the statues would have been too small. 

From doing my sketch I knew I wanted the statues and cake to look as they were sculpted as one piece. So the first step was to figure out the best way to get the effect I was after. The sketch helps me with my ideas but I prefer to go with what looks best on the cake, sometimes what looks good on paper doesn't always work on the cake. 

Bernini was a brilliant sculpter and to try and replicate and do his statue justice was not an easy task. I found the the small details and simplicity of the faces, hands and feet the most complicated. I prefer not to use molds as I like to create individual models. I used a hobby knife with different blades to carve out the smaller details. 

When I drew my sketch I put the tree wrapping around the top of the cake. Once I had made the cake I realized that this would not really work and did not feel it needed anything extra.

I was very pleased with the outcome of the cake but as probably most cake decorators find it's hard to know when to stop and put down your tools.