Is it early morning as you read this? Afternoon? Late in the evening? Because I can’t think of a time it won’t be appetizing.
If it’s late, and your eyes are tired, do read the title Let Them Eat Cake…Violet Cakes, carefully.
I don’t want you fretting about VIOLENT cakes and the implications.
Pay me no mind. I’m famished, running on empty, and have been mindfully eating* clean, healthy, cake-less meals for weeks.
Ask my sister Jo about me and cake.
She’ll say, “…pie brings out the worst in her.”
Violet Cakes by Claire Ptak
You’re gazing at Claire Ptak’s lovely creations and may recall a notable one known as Meghan and Harry’s royal wedding cake. Her cakes also showed up in the glorious A Floral Affair by Rachel Ashwell.
Claire has a way about her when it comes to showcasing blooms on buttercream.
BTW. All four of us in the family read a lot, but I am the only one who rarely reads fiction.
My three men enjoy discussing whatever fictional series they happen to be devouring.
Give Me Nonfiction (and Cake)
I’m a nonfiction girl with a fondness for shelter magazines (Milieu!), design and picture books. spirituality and contemplative Christianity titles, and COOKBOOKS.
Yes, ma’am. Especially books about baking.
They engage the senses, and since I am a serial baker, they influence my baking.
In fact, before I ever read a design blog, my guilty pleasure was cupcake blogs. I think it may still be a thing.
Let Them Eat Cake…Violet Cakes
So when I wanted to learn more about baker/writer/stylist Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery fame, I stumbled upon the cake menus for her East London bakery, Violet.
Heavens to Buttercream. Sweet cozy Moses on a naked cake with espresso.
This is JUST the sort of lick-the-bowl literature in which I adore getting lost:
“Three layers of moist vanilla sponge filled with tart raspberry jam and Madagascan vanilla buttercream. The top is generously adorned with Madagascan vanilla buttercream while the sides are left with a thin, almost sheer ‘naked’ covering of buttercream. “
(Vanilla Jam Naked Cake)
The only thing more blissful than reading the descriptions of layered cakes at Violet?
Seeing images of them with Claire’s signature undone, noncontrived, unusual styling.
Gorgeous Food Styling
What I admire about Claire’s cake styling is the imperfection, romance, and old fashioned embellishment.
They look timeless and as if they were lovingly made at home by a great grandmother who has yet to invest in a clothes dryer and hangs her linens on the line. Her name is Esther. She mixes her batters in vintage bowls purchased from Woolworth’s in the early 60’s, delights in her garden roses, and sets the table with a handmade lace tablecloth for Sunday dinners.
Creations from Violet set my mind at ease and transport it to a simpler time in childhood when in summer we joyfully munched on rhubarb (or clover!) plucked directly from the earth and played kick the can or sardines when the sun went down.
To a season before grocery store bakeries sprayed neon art or photos upon birthday cakes, when strident efforts were still made to spell celebratory messages correctly.
My Cake Style
I love to bake cakes but
am too lazy with no talent for have little interest in: meticulous cake embellishment, gravity defying towers, fondant art, or complex cake decor.
My style is more granny-bundt-happy than cake-boss-couture, and I like to ice my cakes liberally yet simply, allowing the balance of delicious flavors to be the WOW.
In other words.
My buttercream brings all the boys to the yard.
Let’s be inspired and transported to LOVELYLAND with a parade of Claire Ptak’s uncommonly lovely creations from Violet.
(Pssst. I had never seen this image of Violet’s berry topped cake before decorating the flourless chocolate cake I made for my gluten-free husband RIGHT HERE, but it’s very similar, yes?)
Claire Ptak’s Violet Cakes
Beautiful Styling by Claire Ptak
Let Them Eat Cake: Violet Cakes by Claire Ptak
Baking Lovely from a Cake Lover, Not a Boss
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The easiest way I know how to bake someone happy:
I use these for cinnamon rolls, deep dish pizza, and sometimes CAKE…
Mine get used all of the time, and this is what I use for a gooey butter cake and Special K bars:
This saves on cleanup…
I don’t like weeping over broken or chipped mixing bowls…
Here’s the exact cake pedestal I have:
Guys. This simple pedestal can display a range of lovely baked goods or fruit or tea sandwiches or…do people make tea sandwiches? I’m just saying I use mine all the time.
If you’re kind of a Betty Basketcase in the kitchen and want to transform your batter making (and smoothie making!), this will surely rise to the occasion…take it from a girl who hates machines, I find this model super easy to use.
If ever you’re in East London, swing by
47 Wilton Way, E8 3ED, London
Monday to Friday 8:00–6:00
Saturday and Sunday 9:30-6:00
SHOULD YOU SUDDENLY BE IN THE MOOD FOR MARIE ANTOINETTE…
Marie Antoinette For No Good Reason
for my flourless cake recipe, SEE THIS. Visit here for my Sugar Cookie Truffles recipe (you can make ’em GF or with regular cookies).
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Peace to you right where you are.
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I love white cake with raspberry filling and white almond buttercream frosting! I am actually getting ready to make a cake in about an hour for a party we are having tomorrow. I love this post and can’t wait to explore Claires cake more. Have a lovely day Michele.
Can I come, Elizabeth!?! Thanks for playing along. You are describing some of my favorite flavors! I once made a memorable white almond cake with buttercream and raspberry filling for friends who were newly engaged. I don’t often make layer cakes, but this was one of those special occasions. It also had white chocolate shavings on top. Time to bake! 🙂
Michèle i hear you on cake, but I have to admit a pie and cake blend sometimes is the BEST of both WORLDS…
lové a good lemon Cheese cake, ( Lemon supreme cream cheese) layered gram pie crust, cheese cake, cream cheese layered with lemon pie filling topped with hand whipped cream and shavings of lemon topping.
As for cake, lemon in the summer and rich dark fudge in the winter.
I have a great decorators spinning pedestal and I even like to use my new set out for baking painters knife. It’s the flexablity in it and sharp edges that handles like a pro decorator.
I love stainless steal and glass and steal mixing bowls, I toss if I get a chip, I love that I can chill nicely in them when need be and creams just whip sooo! Smoothly. You need to do a … hello baker, site and bake your heart out, I love seeing your yumminess and inviting bakers to share is the best.
I feel like putting the brushes and paints away and getting out the baking tools.
I ador violet cakes, the royal wedding put her on the map. As for the floral Affair, could a book as such RA get any better.
Lots of sweet powder sugar kisses to you sweet friend.
You’re a gem, Dore. Claire’s work is so charming and timeless. I could gaze at her pretty ‘unstyled’ lovely all day. If you are callin’ a cheesecake a pie, then we’re good – never met a cheesecake I didn’t want to date. But fruit pies have never done it for me. Give me a crisp or a cobbler with a la mode melting and pooling luxuriantly. I can indeed imagine becoming an imperfect cake blogger and will have to discuss it with my people (translation: my sis). Thx for the sugar, love! 🙂
So much to absorb today! First, cake pedestals: have collected a lovely dozen over time, finding them at random antique shops in whatever city. I cherish them and display them in a lovely glass cabinet, using them as often as possible, even for more than cakes. Wish they could talk to tell me about their past. Second, reading selections: I read what you read. My son is a writer of crime fiction so I have to read his works (he is talented; books out in the Fall) but prefer the LOVELY, be it home, kitchen or spirit. Favorite cake? My mom and I had the same birth date and we both loved coconut cake which we shared each year. Sentimental coconut cake. This was a gorgeous post. Are we all craving “simple times”, in this too-nutso-getting nuttier world? You hit on something important today. Let’s celebrate sweet, lovely, simple…with cake! Be at peace, dear Michele.
How special that you collect pedestals. I have quite a few! Your words have found me at just the right moment. I love that you get it, and I am with you about celebrating with cake…let’s lead the way. Thanks for the peace, friend. xox
This is such a lovely, artistic, romantic post today! Claire’s cakes are just heavenly to look at and I’m sure equally amazing to taste!
Yes! I am sure the taste is transcendent. Thanks so much for devouring this post!