Wedding Pro Spotlight: Gateau Wedding Cake Boutique, Dazzling and Delicious!

Owner and Pastry Chef Lora Gookin had a fantastic year in 2015.  In her Warrenton, VA bakery, Lora and her team designed more than 100 wedding cakes for Northern Virginia couples.

With a strong background in engineering and architecture, Lora Gookin’s part-time hobby and passion – creating elegant wedding and special-occasion cakes – turned into a full-time business venture in 2008.   It was while vacationing in Rocky Point, Mexico that Lora first had a sort of revelation regarding her future.  Fueled by the belief that she could turn her fervor for baking and designing cakes into a business, Lora enrolled in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she and her family used to reside.

After relocating to Virginia, Lora started building her clientele through friends and acquaintances.  She also attended bridal shows and joined professional organizations to put her name on the radar – the rest, as they say, is history.


I asked Lora what sets her apart from others and she confidently responded: “The quality of ingredients.  I don’t use bleached flour or shortening in my recipes, and all the fruits I use are organic.”  Aside from the fact that Gateau’s cakes are simply delicious, Lora enjoys design challenges.  Her latest creation was a roasted-pig cake (a special request from a client for a groom cake).  For the rather unique project, Lora and her team managed to create a very realistic-looking swine adorned with greens and vegetables made of fondant. Incidentally, Lora’s favorite part of cake design are the minute details and the final assembly. In Lora’s view, “When you put every tier of cake and every decoration in place, that is when you have a final design.”



How does the experience with Gateau start?  “When I book tastings with the bride and groom, I offer them three different cake flavors, and then we go over design ideas.  I love working with couples who trust my experience.” Because a wedding cake is the second focal point of the party (after the bride and her wedding gown), Lora takes pride in telling the couple’s story through the cake design.  The creation could include elements from the wedding gown and venue to the wedding theme and even the couple’s love story.  How many months in advance should you book your cake order?  According to Lora, “Six months to a year is perfectly acceptable; without sufficient lead time, it may be more difficult to accommodate your order, especially during the summer and fall season.”


For a couple who may be undecided about having a wedding cake, Lora recommends being open to ideas and to attend a tasting. “The tasting is an educational experience for the bride and groom and it helps them figure out what they like.”  Lora is absolutely right! After all, the wedding cake is most likely the biggest (size-wise and in terms of significance) dessert that you will ever order.

Ready for more eye-candy?  Scroll down to see more of Gateau’s wedding cake gallery!

Happy planning!


PS. Here’s Gateau’s contact info:
Gateau Distinctive Cakes
Lora Vennettilli Gookin

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