Sketch to Cake: Joann Finlayson’s Versace Inspired Wedding Cake

Joann Finlayson

of Jo Takes the Cake in Singapore designed a breathtaking wedding cake for the Fashion Issue of Cake Central Magazine Volume 7 Issue 4. Joann’s ravishing wedding cake was inspired by a corseted, delicate Versace Haute Couture Paris dress. Read on to learn how Joann was inspired by the clean lines and flowing florals of this elaborate Versace gown.


When I received the inspiration photo from Cake Central Magazine, I was initially drawn to the lean beautiful model, the print on the dress and her flowing headband.

I knew immediately I wanted to use the deep rich colours of the dress and hence emphasized these colours in my florals which would eventually be the star of the design. 

Lovely Floral

There was something about the model’s headband that really drew me in and I wanted to capture this free flowing effect in my floral arrangement. The rest of the design pretty much followed the dress, the corset top and the abstract leaf print.  

I originally planned on using a lace stencil for the lace effect on the bodice part of the design. However after applying the stencil it did not match the effect I had in my mind, so had to erase it and switch design method. Eventually had to hand pipe the lace effect which took much longer than anticipated.

I tend to always start with the hardest elements first so it’s out of the way, so spent a couple days making the flowers. Then coloured my base fondant and covered my cakes. The hand painting and bodice work was then completed.

High Tech Sketch

I used the free Cake Sketcher tool on BakingIt.com to sketch a basic outline of my tiers. All my design elements were all handcrafted, including the hand painting, hand piping of lace effect and handmade gumpaste florals. 

The sketch is just a guide, as I always tend to change slightly while I work on a cake based on what I feel looks best.

I initially had an issue matching the base colour of the cake to the dress as I use a very manual process of doing it., but eventually was happy with it.

The cake came to life exactly as I imagined it, I really wouldn’t change anything! And I must thank my friend and photographer Sandra Macheroux for her outstanding work in bringing my cake to life.

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