Some people dream of a traditional white wedding cake on the day they tie the knot. But designer Karen Pemberton specialises in marital sweet treats that are a little more unusual.
During the past four years, the 32-year-old owner of Vintage Cake Fairy in Whitwood has designed everything from edible aquariums with bride and groom sea turtles, to aeroplanes and vintage cars.
But it is her latest creation, a rustic ‘steam-punk’ themed multi-tier cake, that has won her an award.
Miss Pemberton entered the cake into the annual Cake International competition in Birmingham. Her quirky design, mixing Victorian England with the industrial revolution and modern technologies, impressed the judges, who presented her with a gold award in the competition’s wedding cake category.
The cake features a woman wearing a corset, frilled blouse and top hat. Each layer also contains cogs and tools.
Miss Pemberton said: “I was a little bit speechless as this is the third year I’ve entered and every year I’ve pushed myself to get a gold. I was over the moon that the judges had so many positive things to say about it.”
Miss Pemberton initially trained in product and furniture design and worked as a prop maker for theatre, television and film. She decided to try cake design after seeing baking television shows and signed-up to a one day course.
She said: “I never looked back from there. Any excuse I had to make a cake for family and friends, I did. Before I looked into starting my own business, I got a job at a bakery as a cake maker and spent three years there pushing myself to try new designs and techniques.”
Miss Pemberton launched her company in January last year.
Cake International is a sugar-craft, cake baking and decorating show that takes place in Birmingham every year.
Entrants can submit cakes to one of several categories to be exhibited. Judges assess the entries and people are either awarded a merit, bronze, silver or gold depending on the skills they have demonstrated.
Three gold award winners in each category also win a first, second and third place.
And the first place winners in all categories are then judged to pick a ‘best in show’.