Karen Charles-Teesdale, owner and cake designer extraordinaire of Lady Charles Desserts in Brooklyn, New York, shares her story with us today.
Karen’s favorite quote: “If you haven’t confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.” ~Marcus Garvey
C&C: Why did you decide to become a baker and cake designer?
KCT: I have always had a passion for decorating cakes. Hoping to learn to make cakes one day, I collected pictures from the wedding magazines in the library where I worked at as a teen. After high school, I went to college and became a registered nurse. Every year when I planned my son’s birthday party, I got frustrated with the lack of fresh and delicious cakes, so I decided to bake my own. The first cake came out with a horrible taste and looked even worse, but I was determined to get better at it. Now my cakes are in bridal magazines!
C&C: What is your cake baking style?
KCT: I bake from scratch using gourmet, creative and fresh flavors.
C&C: What are some popular cake trends in Brooklyn?
KCT: Metallic fondants, lots of bling, and flowers. Also, naked cakes and rustic buttercream finishes are popular again.
C&C: Which is more popular, fondant or buttercream?
KCT: Fondant is more popular, because it is so versatile.
C&C: What are popular cake fillings?
KCT: Luscious buttercream, fresh fruit, fruit curd, and chocolate ganache are popular now.
C&C: What is the most unique cake you have made?
KCT: A 7-tier cake for a sweet sixteen party. Each tier had a different shape and design to it.
C&C: How can a couple get creative with their wedding cake?
KCT: Choose interesting flavors on the inside of each tier and use different shapes and textures on the outside. Incorporate hobbies, professions, pets, etc. in the design. Anything is possible!
C&C: What are some different elements that really set a wedding cake apart?
KCT: A great foundation: tall, level tiers with sharp edges. Including design elements like texture, height, and color add wow factors to a cake.
C&C: How far in advance should a couple order their wedding cake?
KCT: At least 6 months in advance is ideal. I have been able to design cakes on two weeks notice, but I don’t suggest it.
C&C: What tips would you give brides when selecting a baker?
KCT: Look for a professional whose work is exceptional, while having great customer service. You want someone who is honest and willing to take the time to answer all your questions.
C&C: What are top tips you would give to brides about their wedding cake?
- Order enough cake for each guest
- Get the cake YOU really want
- Don’t be influenced by too many people
- Make sure your cake looks fabulous by picking a professional cake designer. You don’t want to look back at your wedding pictures to see a leaning cake or a poorly executed design.
- Develop a budget of how much you can spend. Many cake designers are happy to work with your budget if it is within reason.
- Research the cost for average wedding cakes for your guest count in your area
Bring color swatches, Pinterest boards, invitations, or other style elements you are using to your consultation
Thanks so much to Karen for all these wonderful tips and information. Be sure to follow her on all her social media channels Facebook , Instagram , and visit her Website.