The Secret Garden Cake!

by Nicola Williams


I loved the movie The Secret Garden as a child, I haven’t read the book, but I am now about to order it! I always wished that I could have been apart of that magical world. The scary but intriguing sprawling mansion and those beautiful grounds, finding that ornate key, following the cute little robin and delving into the untouched walled garden. Oh to be a child again…..

So when Emily asked me to make her a cake for her husband Ben whose a landscape gardener, well now, what a wonderful way for me to revert to my childhood reveries of cobbled pathways leading to enchanted nooks and ponds with lily pads and perhaps a few fairies!

Ben spends his days creating beautiful havens for others to while away their time, but he and Emily haven’t their own little oasis to escape the big city. How perfect to be able to build a miniature realm for them merging all the things he loves!

Yoko Ono – their cat, who Emily enthusiastically mentioned wiggles her bottom! Football, particularly Arsenal, being a DJ and also the people who would be gifting him this creation.

So here we go again, not with the ordinary, but with the magical, the fantastical, the extraordinary world of edible art!




I wanted to place the names Dad, Rosie and Will as though they had roamed the place themselves and etched them in the wood and stone.


I really wanted to keep the essence of this cake quite pure and true to the movie so chose an ambiguous reference to football, the stepping-stones in hexagons and pentagons!


I wanted to keep the realism of the world so the only way for me to create the tree and ivy bush was to cut the leaves out individually!


Yoko Ono and her wiggly bottom!



Painting the fondant brings life to the pieces I make, this is my canvas so the layers of light and shade need to be purposefully thought out.



I could just imagine Ben pushing Emily on the swing he made for them right after they carved a message of love into their tree!




Every detail is a moment that could have existed, perhaps somebody labored over a fire, painstakingly forging the iron work to create beautifully unique handles and hinges for the wooden gate leading to this hidden world!


once everything is completed there is but one thing left to do…..


I wonder where this quaint little pathway leads at the bottom of the garden.


Yoko Ono took pride of place on the swing with her Arsenal coloured collar!


Two fish in the pond, one each for Mr and Mrs Pike!


Music notes gently swaying in the breeze, for Ben’s love of being a DJ.


Oh and here is one last extra treat, a time-lapse of me building the delicate garden, filmed by the talented guys at New Road Collective, hope you enjoy!