What It Was Like To Design Harry & Meghan's Royal Wedding Cake

For many reasons, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding was a spectacle for the ages. However, in the eyes of the royal monarchy, the event was far from keeping with the traditions that have been upheld by the Crown for many centuries. For starters, the two wed in the month of May, which is considered bad luck and has been looked down upon since the ruling of Queen Victoria (via Business Insider).

Other buzzworthy changes included inviting a gospel choir and an African-American bishop to lead the ceremony, as well as Meghan's solo entrance into the chapel. The couple also opted to hire a London-based florist instead of working with the presumed "royal-warrant-holder." It's also customary for the bridal party and page boys (basically anyone involved in the wedding party) to be of royal descent, which Meghan and Harry also chose not to follow.

But perhaps the biggest rule break of all was their wedding cake. Designed and created by professional baker Claire Ptak, the tiered beauty was flavored with lemon and elderflower. This was a huge departure from the traditional fruitcake, which is expected at British royal weddings. Three years later, people are still talking about it.

The cake heard about 'round the world

A few short months after news broke that Prince Harry had popped the question, Violet Cakes owner Claire Ptak was formally invited to Kensington Palace to speak with the couple about wedding cake planning — and they went full steam ahead. "We discussed that they wanted something very unique and outside the box; they didn't feel that there should be any kind of constrictions, to do something within tradition," Ptak told Town & Country magazine.

The royal couple were offered six different cake flavors to try. In the end, they selected the elderflower and lemon with buttercream frosting, and fresh flowers for the cake's decor, which Ptak had coined as the perfect flavor for a spring wedding. From there, Ptak recalls she had pretty much free reign over designing the cake decorations to whatever she saw fit and she got to work assembling her five-person team of bakers, two of which she recruited. "They absolutely signed off on everything ... I think [Meghan] knew that I would do the kind of thing she was interested in, and that made it easier." 

Once all the details were ironed out, Kensington Palace announced all the details about the cake Harry and Meghan Markle would be serving at their wedding and almost immediately it turned heads.

One mistake almost ruined the royal wedding cake

Many people might forget that the cake served at the wedding reception is not from the same wedding cake you see on display. Of course, it depends on how many guests and the grandeur of the baked good, but typically, there's a sheet cake of the same flavor in the back that's already been chilled, cut, and plated ahead of time. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had 750 guests at their wedding, so cutting that many slices of cake in real time wasn't plausible, Claire Ptak told Town & Country magazine.

When the big day rolled around, Ptak and her team were busy adding finishing touches to the display cake while helpers were preparing the served slices. Then catastrophe struck. "The ones that we cut were nice and cold, and then they're meant to stay out at room temperature until they're served so they go lovely and soft," she explained. "But there was a miscommunication, and they were all put back into the fridge. I had been elsewhere looking at the [decoration] and came back down and saw that they were all in the fridge and so I freaked out."

Luckily, they were already in Windsor Castle at that time so figuring out a solution wasn't an issue. The sliced cake was transported to an adjacent kitchen, which had a designated heating area. And by reception time, the cake slices were back to optimal condition. Said Ptak, "If they had to bite into a cold cake, I would have been mortified."