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Taking Cake to New Heights

The Painted Cake’s Artistry & Attention to Detail Exceed Expectations

Photography by: Petronella Photography / Written by: Rachel Coon
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Taking Cake to New Heights

When Sandra Zamarripa and Derek Zubeldia started planning their June wedding at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, their vision was clear—the couple wanted to celebrate in an elegant, classy, breathtaking fashion. They envisioned details entirely in Venetian gold and white, and to bring their dream to life, they hired local wedding planner Diana Boucher. And as the bride- and groom-to-be began working with Diana on pulling everything together, even down to their custom-designed “Z” monogram to represent both of their last initials, they turned to their planner for recommendations on who might be able to design and create a wedding cake that would meet their standards of elegance. So, Diana introduced Sandra and Derek to Tomas Rosales, owner of The Painted Cake, a San Antonio bakery renowned for taking wedding cakes to new heights. Literally. “The bride wanted the wedding cake to be more than 7 feet in height, that everything-is-bigger-and-better-in-Texas kind of look and style,” Tomas remembers. “And that’s what we gave her.”

Indeed, Sandra had visited The Painted Cake online and discovered they specialized in grand-scale, finely detailed confections, perfect for the regal wedding she and Derek were planning. “We got into huge cakes by chance,” Tomas explains. “My wife and I love getting to show our gifts to the world and share those gifts with each of our clients.” The Painted Cake’s menu is also completely European-style, meaning they use butter instead of shortening. “So when Diana brought Sandra and Derek over, they really liked our European style and that the flavors were true to the pastry, plus they wanted to go big and they wanted artwork.”

Tomas took Sandra and Derek’s wedding vision—the elegant and classy white and gold theme—and created three designs for the couple to choose from. The newlyweds-to-be chose their favorite and worked with Tomas to fine tune the details until they had designed the final product—a glamorous 7-plus-foot cake with nine tiers, ornate European-influenced gold and white filigree, elaborate sugar florals, and of course, the couple’s signature “Z.” The couple also wanted to incorporate their two dogs into their special day, and when they saw Tomas’ work, they immediately knew he could help. That’s when the designs for the pair's two dog cakes were drawn up.

“We’re known for our heights and detail work,” says Tomas, who adds that once The Painted Cake receives an order of this magnitude, they essentially stop taking on new bookings so they can devote all of their attention to the design and artwork of that one cake. “It’s not just eight-hour workdays; it’s more like 12- to 16-hour workdays going into the wedding weekend. Any candy work, like sugar flowers, can be done in advance—for Sandra and Derek’s cake, we started two weeks in advance. Then we find ourselves, the last few days, working 20 hours at a time because the cake has to be fresh.”

The couple ultimately chose Tomas and The Painted Cake because of the baker's artistic ability to create beautiful cakes and the choice paid in spades. “Tomas was very caring and listened to our ideas and our vision for our wedding, and we could not have chosen a better wedding cake designer,” Sandra says. “He was absolutely the best, most talented, sweetest, most amazing person we met while planning our wedding. We’d highly recommend Tomas and his team at The Painted Cake. They are amazing!”

And for The Painted Cake team, working with Sandra and Derek was equally exciting. “We’re always looking for a challenge, something different—we don’t like to do the same thing twice—and the fact that they really left the design of their wedding cake in our hands, left the artwork to our discretion, and put their full trust in us, allowed us to get really creative. We were allowed to be free as artists, and we love that.”

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 PHOTOS: Petronella Photography // @byPetronella // www.byPetronella.com

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