The Lambeth Method
The Lambeth Method is derived from a style of decorating that was popular in England where chefs and decorators would use a lot of intricate piping to create 3-D scrollwork, leaves, flowers, and other decorating on a cake. The Lambeth Method is still popular today and is frequently one of the methods used by wedding cake designers and decorators to decorate ornate wedding cakes. A cake decorated in the Lambeth Method and accented with fresh fruit or flowers is the wedding cake of choice for anyone who wants a traditional looking, elegant wedding cake.
In 1934, Joseph Lambeth put out his own book on decorating cakes using the Lambeth method. The book was a how-to book and included many tips and lessons on using the Lambeth Method to create ornate scrollwork, flowers, vines, and specialty figures.
The Lambeth Method’s unique use of overpiping to create lacey, floral and ornate patterns on top of a fondant covered or marzipan cake is easy to recognize and often, people add embellishments to the ornate piping work, such as pearls or gems, lace, fresh flowers, or a bit of embroidery.
Because of the detailed instructions in the book and the popularity of the book, the Lambeth Method became extremely popular and the ornate scrollwork patterns originally designed by Lambeth became associated with American Sugarcrafting. The most common American cake decorating style is derived almost entirely from the Lambeth Method.
Examples of the Lambeth Method in American cake design can be seen most clearly in the designs of the 1950’s when women had competitions to outdo each other in creating the most unique and ornate cakes for every occasion. The Lambeth Method is great for writing on cakes, so many cake decorators will use the Lambeth Method when creating cakes that have poems, songs, or other words running through the design.