Lily Vanilli, the founder of one of London's greatest cake bakeries, shares her inspiration for wedding cakes...
Tell us the the story behind Lily Vanilli - how did you first break into the industry?
I was a self taught baker and I started selling a few cakes to make ends meet in 2008, it was before the cupcake/baking revival had happened and the press picked up on it quite quickly. Soon after I sold my first cake I was stocked in Harrods and baking for the likes of Elton John.
What makes Lily Vanilli wedding cakes so unique?
I have always had a really natural and fresh aesthetic, using things that look like they're going to taste good as well. I use a colour palette and sense of playfulness that keeps it young and modern, while designing very grand, stunning cakes, I think it's a nice mix.
What does the process entail - how do you ensure both the bride and groom’s personalities/tastes are incorporated in the finished creation?
I always work with the bride and groom from the flavour through to the design, my theory is that it's probably the most lavish cake you will ever buy, it should be exactly as you like it. Also, there are often enough tiers for everyone's tastes to be incorporated into the finished cake.
Can you share with us the story behind your most memorable wedding cake?
I made a wedding cake that was exhibited as a sculpture in the V&A Museum the weekend of the Royal Wedding (and inspired by it) - it was exhibited as a sculpture during the day, and then cut up and eaten in the evening. It was enormous, gold, (candy) jewel encrusted and flavoured with made of chocolate cake, grapefruit mousse & bucks fizz curd.
Your cakes really are works of art - have you always been a creative person?
To an extent, but it was really when I discovered cakes and baking that my creativity came through, I had just never felt as passionate about anything else before.
You’ve designed cakes for some major brands - how do you see fashion and food fusing in the future?
I think the relationship has evolved nicely since the cupcake craze was so beloved of the fashion industry. Now I get to work with some really interesting and creative designers who give me inspiring briefs to work with. I'm working with some wonderful new designers this season.
Do the runway trends ever filter down into the baking world?
It's hard to say but I have definitely worked on some wedding cakes directly inspired by fashion houses. Such as one for Elle magazine inspired by a House of Holland runway look last season.
Are there any particular wedding cake trends that you feel are going to be big for 2016?
I think we will see a lot more greens - foliage and herbs on cakes as well as fresh flowers; more rustic and whimsical looks in general, and see flowers and greens cascading off of the cake onto the cake table. Ombre is having a moment too - and gold details!