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This unique bespoke 3 tier wedding cake is inspired by the day the groom proposed to his bride on a gondala in the romantic city of Venice.

3 tier sponge gondala wedding cake

Inspired by a Venice proposal

I was supplied with photographs of the bride and groom, flowers for the brides bouquet, colours and an idea of a gondala complete with the bride and groom to sit on top.

At first I sketched out a preliminary design that was 2 tiers for the bride and groom to approve. Eventually they changed it to 3 tiers as the wedding got bigger.

All the decoration was made in advance ready to be applied to the cakes which would be covered a few days before the actual wedding.


Bride & groom sitting in gondala

3D Gondala made of modelling paste

This gorgeous cake topper was made separately from the cake. I like to make it this way so it is detachable from the cake and can be kept as a keepsake of their special day.

When designing this topper, I focused on looking what a gondala really looks like in photographs, and in doing this I found out that if I created one true to an original it would be very large with very small people on it which wouldn’t work.

So this gondala is a stylised version to create impact and therefore characters that are a good size for the cake.

Bride & Groom sitting in a gondala

Making sure the figures and gondala are the correct size for the cake is important


‘Blue Moon’ roses, white roses, Lavender, Gypsophila and ‘Dusty Miller’ silver leaves (all in the brides bouquet) were hand made. The Lavender and Gypsophila were created using florists wire and was removed before the cake was cut.

The bottom tier comprised of an elaborate quilt effect on which the delicate flowers sat.

Roses, Lavender, Dusty Miller and Gypsophila flowers made in petal paste

Roses, Lavender, Dusty Miller and Gypsophila flowers adhorn all side off the top of the third tier

It was safer to take the cake and topper in separate boxes so it was assembled at Woodborough Hall, Nottingham ready for the evening reception.

Wedding cake matching all the brides table decorations

Wedding cake taking pride of place at Woodborough Hall

My original sketch outlining the design for the bride and grooms approval.

Sketch outlining design and colours

A sketch of initial concept


I’ve been waiting to have a go at this creation that’s in my head for a little while now. If you have followed my blogs before you will have seen the square plaques I have painted for my previous demonstrations; now I wanted to have a go on a cake and I know butterflies are in fashion so I felt one large butterfly would complete this dynamic cake.

Purple Butterfly Celebration Cake


I love the pinky lilac colour of this cake and felt it was delicate enough to hold and show off a strong design with a large butterfly.

Now I already had my painting inspiration from my previous designs so I decided to dive in and paint straight on the cake with no patterns to follow, no traced pattern. Basically I doodled this freehand onto the cake then just kept repeating a similar pattern and making it up as I went along – I love this style has it as a vintage feel and looks a bit like a henna tatoo too.



Free flowing doodle

Free flowing doodle


Now to the butterfly…I did not use any cutters in this process. I found photos of butterflies and cut out my own card template to get the wing shapes. It was like producing flowers really; cut out shape, insert wire, use poppy veiner to create wing veins and ball tool to soften edges. The body was more tricky and that was moulded around florist wire too. These were left for 24 hours to dry then painted and taped together to form this striking butterfly.

Lilac Butterfly Celebration Cake


If you’d like me to decorate a cake in a similar bespoke style or something completely different  for your special occasion then please feel free to contact me for a quote. Copper Top Cakes is based in Nottingham and delivers to the East Midlands area. Please leave me an email or a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

This cake was inspired by my beautiful large lilac poppies that I grew from seed in my new garden. In the Summer they burst into these fantastic delicate flowers which only lasted one day before throwing all the petals around the garden like confetti.

Purple Poppy Celebration Cake

I have never made these flowers before and do not have any metal cutters so I cut off a head and dismantled it. Sometimes they only had 4 petals and sometimes 6. I proceeded to make templates in card of the petals to keep for future use and took a photograph to cross reference with as well.

The center was made first and then the stamens were added after that. The white with a hint of pale lilac petal paste was cut and wires inserted to produce four large petal. Finally they were painted to simulate the patterns on the real flowers; I like my finished flowers to look pretty but not altogether too realistic to show they are handmade.

The cake was completed with a frill down the front that highlights the flower.

If you’d like me to decorate a cake in a similar bespoke style for a special occasion then please feel free to contact me for a quote. Copper Top Cakes is based in Nottingham and delivers to the East Midlands area. I am reachable between 1.00pm – 2.00pm in the day and evenings plus weekends. Leave me an email or a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

This cake was designed for my mum who did not want her age on display for her visitors with Birthday wishes.

The delicate pink covered cake contrasts well with the hand made lilac roses and white stenciled royal icing for a vintage feel.

The decoration was complete when ‘Mum’ in a contempory hand made font and little white daisies were added.

If you’d like me to decorate a similar cake for a Birthday or a Wedding Cake then please feel free to contact me for a quote. I will deliver in the Midlands area and for wedding cakes beyond as I am based in Nottingham.