Baker posts snap of lemons as work be­gins on cou­ple’s cake


MAK­ING a royal wedding cake is a big un­der­tak­ing, and the chef be­hind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s has given an in­sight into her prepa­ra­tions.

Baker and food writer Claire Ptak, who is cre­at­ing an or­ganic lemon el­der­flower cake for the cou­ple, posted the words “and so it be­gins” on In­sta­gram on Tues­day along­side a pic­ture show­ing six crates full to the brim with lemons.

Whereas a tra­di­tional rich fruit cake can be made months ahead, this lighter cake op­tion has to be made in the pre­ced­ing days to en­sure it stays fresh.

Kens­ing­ton Palace said when de­tails of the cake were first un­veiled: “Prince Harry and Ms Markle have asked Ms Ptak to cre­ate a lemon el­der­flower cake to in­cor­po­rate the bright flavours of spring.”

The cre­ation will be cov­ered with but­ter­cream and dec­o­rated with fresh flow­ers.

Ms Ptak is the owner of the small, trendy Vi­o­let Bak­ery in Hack­ney, east Lon­don. For­mer ac­tress Ms Markle, who used to run her own lifestyle web­site,, pre­vi­ously in­ter­viewed Ms Ptak for her blog.

Ms Ptak said she was thrilled to be cho­sen to bake the cake, adding she shared the cou­ple’s val­ues on “food prove­nance, sus­tain­abil­ity, sea­son­al­ity and, most im­por­tantly, flavour”. Cal­i­for­nia-raised Ms Ptak was a pas­try chef for cook and food ac­tivist Alice Wa­ters at Chez Panisse in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia.

On mov­ing to Lon­don she worked at The Anchor and Hope, a gas­tropub near Water­loo sta­tion famed for its food, and un­der­took in­tern­ships at St John and Moro restau­rants.

She be­gan her own busi­ness at a stall in east Lon­don, cooking from home be­fore open­ing her or­ganic bak­ery in 2010.

“I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be cho­sen to make Prince Harry and Ms Markle’s wedding cake,” the chef said.

Ms Ptak might draw in­spi­ra­tion from a recipe of her mother’s af­ter writ­ing of Elisabeth Ptak’s “leg­endary lemon bars”.

Baker Claire Ptak and (above) a pic­ture of six crates of lemons posted on her In­sta­gram. Right, royal fans, tourists, po­lice and for­eign me­dia in Wind­sor yes­ter­day

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