The art of wedding cake design


Overall winner

Pat Borsato, who runs a cake company called Cakes by Pat, took home the award for best overall cake as well as tastiest cake for his unusual creation inspired by Gustav Klimt’s famous painting The Kiss. She walked away with R12,000 in prize money.

“I took part in the Wedding Cake Challenge because last year I won the best cake and best cake awards and wanted to see if I could do it all over again. Plus, I love competition – it makes you try harder to produce new, exciting, better and more original stuff.

“Gustav Klimt is one of my favorite artists. I had wanted to use his art in one of my sugar art creations for quite some time now and I chose The Kiss because it belonged to the art nouveau category which was one of the masterclass categories at the recent SACDG ( SA Cake Decorators Guild) National Show in Pretoria. This cake was going to be for this show, but since I couldn’t finish it on time, I decided to enter it for the Wedding Expo Cake Challenge.

“Interpreting it as a cake wasn’t easy, but I started with a cake covered in a solid white and got to work with my airbrush to get the bright green background color I wanted. for the upper level.

“I then used royal icing to ‘texture’ it and give myself the ‘brushstrokes’. It’s all trial and error when you create something from an image, and sometimes it works, but very often it doesn’t and you end up at square one.

“It took me about eight days in all, but I decided after a few days that I was not happy with the lower level, so I took it off and changed it completely and I’m so happy with it. ‘have done because it turned out 100 times better.

“Winning means a lot to me because I only started baking again less than a year ago and that’s the boost I needed for my confidence that I was missing.

“Although I started to be interested in the art of sugar and cake decorating over 20 years ago, I had a hiatus of at least eight years where I didn’t. one cake.

“I watch a lot of cake shows on TV. Some of them are great. I’m not a Cake Boss fan and will take it any day.

“These TV shows have definitely influenced what people want. The requests are often very unrealistic because they make everything so simple on TV.

“I was once asked to make a crocodile as a wedding cake, but luckily I managed to change the groom’s mind after I loaned him one of my animal crocodile videos.

“For wedding cakes or any other cake, the look is just as important as the taste and my slogan is ‘Too good to eat, too delicious not to eat’, so I have to live up to that.

“The average bride spends between 3,000 and 5,000 rand on a cake. Without a doubt, red velvet cakes are the most popular choice – all thanks to Cake Boss. Fruit cakes are so old-fashioned that I rarely ask me these days.

“My advice to aspiring cake decorators would be not to rush out and spend a fortune on equipment, as there is so much you can do with very basic tools. My participation in this contest was done with very few very basic tools.

“In the future, I would love to have my own school and cake decorating studio, as I operate from home from a very small, basic kitchen.

“I just started teaching from someone else’s house because I don’t have space at home. I would like to share with others what I have learned myself as well as what I have learned from other very talented sugar artists, some of whom are unfortunately no longer with us.

* Pat can be called on 072 8207 844, or visit for details.

Better decorated

Deon Swarts, who runs The Cake Genie studio in Mondeor, won R4,000 for the best decorated cake, a traditional cake deliciously decorated in a birdcage.

“Recently I had a few brides who wanted birdcage details on their cakes, so I wanted to create something unique in that sense, hence the cake with birds locked in a cage. The cage ‘ protecting ‘the cake is symbolic of the faith, love, compassion, trust, sincerity, respect and loyalty that protect a marriage.

“I am passionate about royal icing work and would love to see this intricate work of art revived. Cake decorating has become simple and commercialized. Everything has to be done quickly, so more cakes can be made. The joy of decorating a masterpiece for each bride is lost.

“It took about two days to decorate this cake, although the flood work, birds and flowers were done in advance.

“I made my first wedding cake 20 years ago for my first wedding. It started out as a hobby, which eventually interfered with my permanent job. Eventually I left to pursue my passion for cake decorating and started The Cake Genie. The business has grown exponentially and we are currently the proud holders of a national ABIA Bride’s Choice award in the Cake Decorating category.

“It is important to participate in cake contests because it helps to improve one’s standards. I like to create trends and stimulate ideas for the bride and groom. I want them to know that there are no restrictions on what can be achieved with the frosting.

“I have won many SACDG competitions in the past and in doing so have reached the highest level of ‘master’ cake decorator. My most appreciated honor was receiving a gold medal at the Squires Kitchen competition in the UK.

“I have a designer cake shop in Mondeor which has a cake gallery of around 30 cakes. Here we also organize cake decorating classes for students. I have three cake decorators who help me out, but I personally make the most detailed cakes.

“I firmly believe in sharing my knowledge with others and I regularly improve my team of decorators.

“On average, brides spend between 5,000 and 7,000 rand. The most expensive wedding cake I made cost R32,000. Red velvet is the most popular flavor locally, but I make a lot of fruit cakes for neighboring countries because they travel well.

“I am planning to expand my premises and would like to write a book on the art of cake decorating. I would also like to make a training video. – The star

* Call Deon Swarts on 083 3075 138, visit or visit his store at 255 Royal Park Drive, Mondeor.

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