My favorite orders are the ones which award me creative freedom. To attain this freedom requires that my clients trust my integrity, as well as my artistic skills. They must trust that I understand what is important to them, and that I will only promise what I am able to deliver. The clients who trust me this deeply, are the ones who allow me to do some of my most ground-breaking work.
Nora and I have known each other since we were in our early teens. The shenanigan-filled days of summertime theatre performances which founded our friendship demanded a resurrection for a very special occasion.
Little did we know back then how all of those team-building exercises and trust falls from conservatory would serve us in the future when she asked me to make her a Tardis wedding cake.
I am not personally familiar with Doctor Who, but my immediate circle is about ready to stage an intervention to remedy this… And the preemptive strike was apparently to have me make a Tardis wedding cake. I was certainly not about to complain! The Celestial aesthetic is one of my absolute favorites, and I had all the tools at my disposal to create something EPIC for Nora and her hubby-to-be, Allen.
My consultation with Nora and Allen was an interesting one. It involved passing them a to-go box of cake samples while they were literally on their way out the door to move to another state. (And sometime later, a follow-up video conference call.) During my first ever remote design consultation, I sketched out a few different design options for them, holding each one up to my laptop camera, praying the video quality would suffice to give them an idea of what was percolating inside my brain… When suddenly, a new idea hit me, and everything I had shown them so far became a fallback plan.
“Tell me about this Tardis thing,” I asked them.
When it’s on, it spins and travels through time and space.
I inquired further, the lightbulb over my head beginning to flicker. “How does it spin?”
At an angle, why?
I smiled. “I think your cake wants to do the same thing.”
Many a baker has made a Tardis cake. But how many of those are wedding cakes? With special effects?? Which spin on a 45 degree angle just like in the show’s opening sequence???
Since I had never before seen an effect like this in the cake world, I knew better than to promise precise results. But I had a feeling/hunch/burning-idea-seed in my head that if I could pull this off, it would be one for the cakey history books. The couple agreed on a range of design possibilities, and trusted me to make their cake awesome, with whatever special effects options turned out to be available.
Flash forward several months later… I had been in touch with Erin and Joe at Stacked Custom Cakes in Ashburn, Virginia. These two brilliant minds have a division of their business called Cake Tech. These are the people you call when you need a cake to do something which physics does not condone. Ya know, like make sounds, smoke, or spin 12″ of height on a 45 degree axis.
Joe. Made. It. Happen.
Here’s an unboxing video with all the tech-y details of the motorized structure, if you’re into that sort of thing. (Be warned: It’s long, and I’m stupid with excitement. More interesting footage below, keep scrolling!)
Then it was my turn…
Once I had the mechanics figured out, it was time to visit Liz Marek’s Tardis Cake Tutorial. I did not use a light for the top of this Tardis, just a ball of fondant, rolled into a small cylinder.
The tiered cake was airbrushed to create the galaxy effect on the top, and the blue/purple ombre on the bottom. Due to assembly logistics (which you will notice in the time lapse video a bit further down,) the whole unit was covered in a single piece of fondant, rather than covering each tier separately before stacking. Side note: I do not recommend this chaos, but in this situation, it was unavoidable due to the shape and thickness of the internal structure.
I also skipped the full galaxy effect on the cake board (below), because there was already going to be a galaxy on the top tier of the cake, and I didn’t want the two to compete for focus. Instead, I went with black fondant and a few spatters of white food color for “stars.”
Watch the whole thing come together in my favorite time lapse video EVER! (This one is a nice, quick 4 minutes… Much easier to digest.)
The Big Reveal…
Fun fact: This cake actually happened last year, so it’s only appropriate to wish Nora and Allen a Happy Anniversary on this day!
Cheers to you my friends! Wishing you the best of life’s adventures yet to come!