MEGHAN MARKLE'S WEDDING CAKE MAKER
Sheerluxe recently delved into the life of Claire Ptak, the Californian baker in charge of knocking together Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake. So, let’s meet the maker…
She Became A Catering Assistant Aged 12
Sure, she wasn’t a name many of us had heard of before her addition to the royal wedding, but those doubting her credentials should know that Claire’s been in the baking business since she was a pre-teen. In an interview with British chef Anna Jones, Ptak revealed she had her first job as a catering assistant at just 12 years old.
“I lied and said I was a teenager to get the job,” she admitted. “When I showed up she took one look at me and said ‘how old are you?’ I said, ‘I’m 12 but I can do a lot and work hard.’”
She Once Made 500 Cupcakes With Laundry Powder
She may have started her career at the tender age of 12, but that didn’t stop her once accidentally making a massive batch of cakes that tasted exactly like freshly-washed laundry.
“We had bought the icing sugar from a cash and carry in the first year of the [Borough] market stall. It turned out it was stored in the same aisle as the laundry detergent. It absorbed the flavour,” she said. But we’ve all made similar mistakes – sort of. She admitted the experience has taught her to taste everything a bit earlier.
She Gets The Baking Bug From Her Mum
In a 2015 interview with the Telegraph, Ptak revealed her mum had a penchant for making increasingly elaborate cakes – and once even created a Boy George cake, complete with his Karma Chameleon braids.
She and her brother would often come home from school in Marin County, California, to her mum baking brownies, cakes and chocolate chip cookies. Dream childhood? We think so.
She Has Her Own Podcast
A woman of many talents, Claire also runs her own podcast called the Violet Sessions, in which she interviews “interesting women who do incredible things,” with past episode guests including Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine, coder Kim Boutin and Sony Music’s Julie Weir.
She says she started the podcast in order to get the know the women who walk through the doors at her bakery every day.
She Didn’t Set Out To Be A Baker
Despite her early initiation into the baking business, she went on to study film theory and video art at Mills College in California – quite the curveball.
She even became a Hollywood personal assistant, but gave it all up to live her dream baking delicious cakes, and in 2003 was given a job making desserts for Chez Panisse’s café in Berkley, California.
She Started Her UK Career In A Gastropub
Ever the glamorous career, Claire’s first job once she moved to London was in The Anchor and Hope gastropub near Waterloo station, before opening her organic bakery in 2010. She also worked as a freelance food stylist, teaming up with Jamie Oliver.
She Has A Lot In Common With Meghan Markle
We all know that Meghan and Harry are hot on charity work. So it makes sense the couple chose Claire as their star baker, as they have the same ethical stance on a lot of topics.
When the news was announced, Claire said: “I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be chosen to make Prince Harry and Ms Markle’s wedding cake. Knowing that they really share the same values as I do about food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and most importantly flavour, makes this the most exciting event to be a part of.”
She’s Making A Lemon And Elderflower Cake For The Wedding
No Colin the Caterpillar for these newlyweds! Claire’s stepping away from the more traditional fruit cake in favour of something a little lighter for the start of the warmer weather. The lemon and elderflower sponge will be covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. The Kensington Palace Twitter announced the news, adding that the couple had asked for the cake to “incorporate the bright flavours of spring”.