Sketch to Cake: JoAnn Maguire’s Holiday Wedding Bells Cake

In the latest holiday issue of Cake Central Magazine (Volume 4, Issue 12), we asked cakemakers to create holiday wedding cakes that combined traditional imagery with modern motifs. We loved JoAnn’s holiday wedding bells cake and wanted to take a closer look! Read on to learn about JoAnn’s design process.

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CAKE CENTRAL: What elements of the inspiration photos attracted your attention?
JOANN MAGUIRE: At first sign I picked up on the curves in the bell interior and the lines in the texture mat background.  The flow of the bell interior design set the idea of creating a cake having a flowing elegant design screaming “Winter Wonderland”.

CC: Where did your ideas come from (if not from the inspiration photos)?
JM: My ideas were based from the picture however I used some of my favorite design methods to bring together an exquisite gorgeous cake.
CC: What was your design process like? How did you create your cake concept? 
JM: When I started to sketch the cake all I could think about was the beauty of snow and thinking winter wonderland.  I wanted to include techniques I have used and loved.  I began to sketch away as I put my ideas into creating a cake that was all white with silver details, diamonds and everything that I thought would flow together into an elegant unique design.
CC: How did you begin making a cake from your sketch? What were your first steps? 
JM: In order to put this cake design in action it was time to make all the hand cut and shaped petals that needed to dry.  So many petals, I thought, but worth every one to create a tier of petal elegance.  I then started on the wrapped ruffle frills with silver lining.  I love this technique, it is a popular design as it is just so beautiful.  From the sketch to putting together the cake it was like taking the sketch on paper and bringing it to life and making it a reality.
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CC: How closely do you like to work from your sketch? 
JM: I worked very closely to the sketch as I wanted to create an idea that when you looked at the sketch on paper you could see the cake come to life.
CC: Were there any complications in making your cake? 
JM: The sanding sugar… making it stick to the cake it was a funny sight to see but in the end I loved the look of it.  The sash and buckle completed the tier making it beautiful and allowing me to forget how much of a pain it was.
CC: Did you use any special techniques on this cake? 
JM: Throughout the cake I was able to use techniques using modeling tools.  I used the embossing method to create the lines, bell definition, the buckle details, and branching design.  The ruffles design is the frill method, I also hand cut petals, shaped and thinned out using a ball tool.  The top tier of the cake I was able to use the wrapping method and ruching the top of the cake.   To complete the cake I hand rolled fondant beads & added different size and color dragees.
CC: Did you have to make changes to your original plan when it came to execution? If so, what did you have to compromise? 
JM: No I felt I executed the cake how I envisioned it turned out beautiful nothing more nothing less.  It sparked and was gorgeous just as it was on paper but better when brought to life.
CC:  Do you have any final thoughts on the finished cake? 
JM: I loved the finished cake, adding the diamond bands gave the cake the finishing touch…. after all aren’t diamonds a girl’s best friend?

For more holiday wedding cakes, download your copy of Cake Central Magazine Volume 4, Issue 12!

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