Global Wedding Awards 2023

46 | LUXlife Magazine awn McCabe always loved spending time in the kitchen. Whether that was studying Home Economics at school, or shadowing her aunties at home, Dawn wanted to learn. Naturally, when she left school, Dawn went on to catering college, later putting her talents to good use in restaurants and pastry kitchens around Belfast. She tells us, “I love the creative side of catering, and I also love cake, who doesn’t? When my husband Alan and I planned our own wedding I made our wedding cake. That was 35 years ago.” After the wedding, Dawn and Alan moved to Bermuda where Dawn worked in the busy pastry kitchens of The Fourways Inn and the Elbow Beach Hotel. It was here that Dawn got to rub shoulders with talented chefs from around the world and began to hone her craft, winning multiple medals and trophies from the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique of New York for her work. On returning home to Northern Ireland, Dawn took up a post as the Pastry chef at The Cuan in Strangford before taking time out to raise the couple’s two daughters. She says, “In 2012, I started thinking about going back to work. Alan was a wedding photographer and he suggested making wedding cakes from home. I loved the idea and began attending wedding fairs with Alan – Wedding Cakes by Design was born.” Eleven years later Dawn’s business has gone from strength to strength by creating cakes that are perfect down to the tiniest detail. Adorned with sugar flowers so lifelike you’d be persuaded she’d picked them straight from the garden, every cake is unique. Each flower is handmade and matched to the bride’s bouquet. Wedding Cake Designer of the Year 2023 (Northern Ireland): Dawn McCabe On the shores of Strangford Lough, close to the picturesque village of Strangford, Northern Ireland, you’ll find an artisan cake designer with a difference. For over 10 years, Dawn McCabe has been handmaking her stunning creations to grace wedding tables across the land. From her home-based studio, Dawn creates bespoke cakes with legendary attention to detail. We take a look at her company, Wedding Cakes by Design, in more detail. She explains, “A cake can take almost a week to complete, but it gives me a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that each homebaked cake is truly special.” The first bite may be with the eye, but the proof of the cake is very much in the eating. Dawn is not only passionate about the design of her cakes, but she’s also determined to get the flavours spot on too. Every cake uses only the finest and freshest ingredients – many of them locally sourced. She says, “A wedding cake should not only look beautiful, it needs to have an amazing, memorable taste too. Of course, there are the obvious crowd-pleasers like lemon drizzle, chocolate with salted caramel and white chocolate with raspberry, but to set yourself apart it’s important to offer something different. I've found orange blossom and pistachio is a winner, and in the Autumn, spiced apple with caramel is popular.” Dawn is currently working on some new flavour ideas including plum and cinnamon and pecan and maple syrup. She’s even begun experimenting with herbs, pairing chocolate with rosemary, and thyme with peaches. She’s also developing a line of gluten-free cakes. To find out more about Wedding Cakes by Design, or to make an enquiry, please visit the company website. Contact: Dawn McCabe Company: Wedding Cakes by Design Web Address: D