My Recipe Box

A Cake Is Her Canvas

by Amy Albert

fromFine Cooking
Issue 64

Ruth Seidler, a painter and art conservator, was a devoted home baker for years before deciding to merge her training in fine arts with her passion for pastry and start up a one-woman custom cake business out of her Brooklyn studio. Wedding cakes are a specialty, and they’re far from your average white edifice laden with buttercream.

Renaissance decorative art is one of Ruth’s inspirations. The bright colors, twisting vines, fanciful flowers, and golden highlights on the cake above are loosely based on illumination from a French Book of Hours. Underneath the lush, handmade ornamentation, you might find layers of lemon butter cake, almond buttercream, and raspberry–black currant purée, or other irresistible combinations of cake and filling.

“I love the chance to be able to make a cake original,” says Ruth, “to express the interests and tastes of the people to be celebrated, rather than just sticking with convention.

For more on Ruth Seidler’s custom cakes, visit www.jollybebakery.com.

Ruth stabilizes the iced tiers with drinking straws and anchors them with a dowel that goes through the entire cake. Flowers, sculpted from marzipan, are both beautiful and edible. Vines and stems are piped with a simple royal icing.

Photos: Scott Phillips

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