Belfast Telegraph

Co Down baker crafts life-like creation of Harry and Meghan wedding

By Mark Bain

At first glance it looks to be just another snap of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - but all is not as it seems.

Look more closely and you will spot that the royal couple have been turned into a life-sized cake - and it's all the work of an artistic Northern Ireland-born baker.

Lara Mason, from Newtownards in Co Down, has previously produced award-winning cake versions of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, pop star Ed Sheeran and royal heir Prince George.

And now, to celebrate Saturday's royal wedding, she has crafted a life-size cake of the royal couple.

The final cake was revealed after being commissioned to become the main attraction at this year's World Cake International festival, which will take place in the NEC Birmingham in November.

Lara, a former pupil at Regent Prep and Strathearn Grammar, now lives in the West Midlands in England.

She described the complex task of turning Harry and Meghan into an edible creation.

"There is enough cake to feed over 500 people and it has been made using 300 eggs, 15kg of flour, 15kg of butter and 15kg of sugar," she said.

"Over 10kg of buttercream was used to sandwich the layers together.

"To decorate, I used around 20kg of modelling chocolate and roughly 50kg of fondant icing. The whole thing took over 250 man hours to make over the last six weeks."

Lara had to get it finished before the royal wedding and managed to do so, despite giving birth to twin baby girls, Lily and Lyra, recently.

She isn't working at present but took on the commission as a special project.

"Family took over for a while, but I couldn't turn down the opportunity to make a cake of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle," Lara added.

"The main bulk of the time is spent designing and creating the custom-built frame which the cake stands on but the most challenging part of this project was sculpting the very recognisable faces from modelling chocolate.

"Even the eyes are edible and are made from poured sugar.

"I just enjoy making cakes that look real.

"The reactions I get from people are amazing so I keep getting asked to do more and more.

"So far I haven't turned down any requests.

"I'll give anything a go, as long as it's a cake.

"It's never easy to produce something like this as the people I'm trying to recreate in cake form are instantly recognisable but I'm delighted with how it turned out."

Indeed, Lara's cakes have become so popular since she tried her hand at baking for the first time in 2013 that she has turned it into a business with 'Lara Mason Cake Art'.

She added: "I always make my cakes to taste as good as they look.

"So here's hoping this one turns out okay when someone finally cuts into it."

The official cake for the royal wedding will be made by the owner of a bakery in Hackney, London.

Kensington Palace said Prince Harry and Meghan chose American Claire Ptak to create their wedding cake, which will be lemon and elderflower.

It will be covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.

Claire started her own business as a stall in Broadway Market, East London, cooking from home, before opening her organic bakery in 2010.

Prince Harry and Meghan will marry at St George's Chapel in Windsor on Saturday.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby - who baptised Meghan in March - will officiate the service.

Approximately 600 guests have been invited to the ceremony.

In addition some 2,640 members of the public are to get access to the castle grounds for the wedding.

Belfast Telegraph

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