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Photo Courtesy of Gillian Bell

Gorgeous Floral Cakes for the Perfect Garden Party

When contemplating cakes for a special occasion– whether that’s a garden party, a wedding, or anything in between, garden-lovers have so many options: pressed flowers, edible flowers, real non-edible flowers, herbs, leaves, marzipan flowers, and more– there are so many gorgeous ways to adorn a floral cake in this age of culinary excellence that it’s almost hard to remember that plants are increasingly used to flavor cakes, as well.  Meyer lemon, lavender, or dark chocolate infused with homegrown kumquats? Can goat cheese in fact tango with thyme? The only solution is to taste them all– and to find a baker who has the skills of master chef and the eye of a skilled florist.

To begin, you must find a cake connoisseur who can both inspire and transcend a euphoric dessert. Here are some of the finest cake makers from California to Melbourne, Australia.

M Cakes Sweets

Rita Nguyen Pham, owner of M Cakes Sweets, is a self-taught baker who spent countless hours musing over her mother’s treats as a child, before eventually honing in on her passion. Based in Orange County, California, Pham aims to create the desert table of your dreams for anniversaries, birthday celebrations, corporate events, and weddings alike. She designs cakes that are classic and inventive both in aesthetic and ingredients: her earl grey cake features an Italian meringue buttercream, her pistachio cake is infused with rosewater, her almond lavender cake combines freshly-ground California almonds with French lavender, and her black chocolate espresso cake with Vietnamese buttercream is sure to pick up the tempo with it’s rich flavor and caffeine content. Hand-painting designs that she adds to macarons and cakes nod to the endless creative possibilities that her sweets can manifest.

GCImage Courtesy of Esther Sun Photography

Gillian Bell

Gillian Bell’s wedding cakes are often bestowed with edible flowers grown in her postage-stamp size garden. Cake ingredients are organic and seasonal, with eggs, flour, cream, and butter consciously sourced from local farmers. Determined to receive the best quality of dairy for her cakes, Bell has even gone so far as to invest in a local herd of Jersey cows that are raised on an organic pasture. She excels in the ever-trendy ‘naked’ cake but often bestows a light dusting of icing, for added pizzazz. All cakes are mixed with hand-carved wooden utensils, in vintage baking bowls. Based in Brisbane, Australia, Bell has spent a lifetime enchanting taste buds with her raspberry & rose, fig & violet, elderflower & strawberry, lemon & lavender, and dark chocolate & cumquats flavors.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 1.28.07 AMImage Courtesy of Gillian Bell

Buttercup

Using quality ingredients to put a modern spin on classic favorites, Kristina Guilbeau launched

Buttercup Bakery. The Houston, Texas based family business will fuel you with strawberry white chocolate scones or pumpkin spice muffins for breakfast, and then amaze guests with maple pecan, champagne, and coconut-cream cakes for your special day. As for fillings, praline (almonds and caramelized sugar) is a best-seller, garnering all caps on their website. Dulce de leche, pineapple, passion fruit curd, and white nectarine compote paired with chai, rose, matcha, honey thyme, chamomile, mint, or simply vanilla frosting will have friends and family echoing ‘I do’. Pies, tarts, cupcakes, macarons, cookies, and brownies are also available in mini sizes– perfect for a gala or tea in the garden. Guilbeau’s charisma and attention to detail with respect to the art of baking shines bright throughout the beautifully-captured photographs of her work and her detailed blog posts about past projects.Buttercup HOUSTON 1Image via Mustard Seed and Alicia Pyne Photography

Cake Ink.

“Where pretty meets playful, and quality and craftsmanship rule,” the Cake Ink., website reads. With Janelle’s sugary creations and Samone’s exquisite manipulation of ink, the two founded a boutique cake studio. Together they specialize in handmade cakes to serve the Melbourne-based area as well as graphically-savvy stationary that ships nation-wide (the perfect pairing if you’re hosting an event). The two draw inspiration from nature, fashion, photography, travel, and one another. Pre-design they discuss with customers everything from florals to décor, and if ordering for a wedding they’ll dive into discussions of venue, dress, how you met, and even your favorite place to travel– all of which will inform the unique personality and energy that they channel into their cake design. Popular flavorings for their cakes include caramel mud, raspberry and white chocolate, orange and almond torte (gluten free option available), and their hummingbird cake featuring banana, pineapple, and coconut. From there the cakes are draped in beautiful flowers, fabrics, and other decorative motifs all of which pair seamlessly with the graphics that weave throughout whatever event the cake is for, from invitations to venue seating.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 1.34.30 AMImage Courtesy of Cake Ink
Love these cakes? Check out our gallery below for more inspiration, and stay tuned as GC brings you the latest in floral culinary trends throughout the season.

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