As part of my spotlight blog, I am speaking to some of my all-time favourite wedding industry suppliers. For bespoke wedding cakes, my friend and incredibly talented cake maker Charlene from the Cherry Tree Cakerie in Buckinghamshire is top! Charlene has worked at some of the most beautiful wedding venues and her knock out cakes can regularly be seen featured in top wedding blogs. If you are after a beautifully crafted bespoke wedding cake then Charlene is your girl! I picked her brain over a cuppa, and a slice of cake of course!
Tell me a bit about you?
I’m Charlene, the owner of Cherry Tree Cakerie based in Buckinghamshire. I am into my third year of business as a wedding cake designer. I have a modern, creative style which is very much inspired by florals, art and the natural world around me. This means that my designs are often quite organic and free-flowing, all bespokely made for the couple in mind
I live in a small village on the outskirts of Buckingham with my husband of 4 years and our beloved tabby cat, Marley. We’re both born and bred Londoners and moved to the countryside so that I could afford to start my business (I have a very understanding husband!). Having studied languages at UCL and worked as a corporate PA for many years, my creativity was stifled and managing diaries and planning conferences lost their shine after a while. Nowadays, I count myself to be lucky enough to live my dream and sometimes have to pinch myself that I’ve created the lifestyle I yearned for so long
Aside from baking, I love to spend time with family and friends (I love entertaining!), I’m always trying to upgrade the house and garden (Homesense is my Mecca!), I have an unhealthy relationship with Nutella and you’ll find me at my happiest on a sunlounger on a Grecian beach with the sun on my face and the ocean in my ears
When did you first know you wanted to make wedding cakes
I was always a closet creative I think and although my job was very much administrative, I would jump on anything that meant I could design or create something different. I spent many a happy hour designing the office Christmas party invite! I’d always loved eating cake of course but it wasn’t until my sister-in-law and I decided to do an evening course in cake decorating for the hell of it that I found something that hooked me in. Years and years of practice and dodgy birthday cakes later, I knew that it had potential
What has been your career highlight so far
As a small business owner, any small success is a reason to celebrate and I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside some talented wedding suppliers but this year, I shall be working in partnership with The Bodleian Libraries in Oxford as one of their recommended suppliers, which was one of the big-ticket items on my business goals. I can’t wait to see what this
What is your favourite wedding cake to date and why
My favourite cake design does tend to change depending on my mood and it’s usually the latest design I’ve made! I have to say though, my hand-painted marbled cake with wafer paper roses and transparent tier is my current squeeze. I did a wafer paper flower course with an amazing cake artist (Yin Cakes) earlier this year. This was the first time I managed to make flowers look so realistic that I had to tell people they weren’t real. I also found my true style in this creation, one which is quickly becoming my signature look
How does the booking process work
As my designs are bespoke. I usually suggest a consultation and tasting, during which we discuss your cake design over a cuppa. You can then also sample some cake! If we can’t meet in person I will send you one of my beautiful taster boxes to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. I will take your ideas and inspiration and create a design that is unique to you. My aim is to make the whole process as enjoyable and easy as possible for my clients. I want them to relax in the knowledge that
everything is taken care of
Ideally you should book with as much notice as possible. Unfortunately, I am unable to hold a date without a booking fee. I’d suggest at least 6-9 months notice (possibly even 12 months for peak season dates) is required for bespoke wedding cakes. I do limit the amount of orders I take. I like to give each cake the attention and time it deserves so early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment
Should we cater for all of our guests or under cater
This very much depends on when you will be serving the cake. If you’re serving cake as a dessert then you’ll need to ensure that you have enough for everyone. You may want to over-estimate slightly to allow for any extra guests that might be invited at late notice. If you’re cutting the cake during your reception then a finger portion is usually adequate, especially
if you’re serving food during the evening and have already had a wedding breakfast earlier in the day. In this case, I would suggest catering for about 80% of your total guest number. This will allow for those who may not want cake or are too full / at the bar / throwing shapes on the dance floor (delete as appropriate)!
What is in style right now?
I am seeing a return to fondant covered cakes (the semi-naked cake has been on-trend for the past few years). This is a gift for me, as it’s that much more versatile. I can also use a variety of decorating techniques with it. Many of my designs coming up this year will include hand-painted cakes and wafer paper flowers
What is your most popular flavour?
I have to say, my couples choose a range of flavours from my menu. Most recently, chocolate with salted caramel buttercream and salted caramel drizzle is proving to be popular and for good reason; it’s delicious and
ever so indulgent!
Beautiful Bespoke Wedding Cakes
For more on Charlene and her amazing bespoke wedding cakes, head over to her website here!
If you would like to discuss your wedding photography then I would love to have a chat over a cuppa. Please contact me here. I look forward to hearing from you!