Image by Hannah McClune
Cakes are one of the most fun elements of a wedding reception I think. They can be so unique, full or personality and of course flavour. They can make a statement in your décor, be used as an alternative for dessert or just plain decadent. There are endless designs and styles but it’s important you make it YOU and of course choosing the right baker will make a huge difference.
Melissa Woodland Cakes is a phenomenal cake artist, not only does she create spectacular cakes but she can also create striking dessert tables too. Plus if her raving reviews are anything to go by, they taste delicious.
Hi Melissa, could you firstly tell WWW readers a little bit about you?
I’m Melissa, chief cake designer and owner of Melissa Woodland Cakes. Caking is definitely in my blood… I’m the 4th generation of my family to work as a baker! I absolutely love weddings and wish I’d been in the industry when I got married back in 2007!
What do you love and dislike about your job?
I love meeting and getting to know my couples and hearing their stories. It’s a huge honour to be part of their day and it’s wonderful to be able to bring their dream cake to life! My biggest dislike is the mess icing sugar leaves behind… you have to clean surfaces about three times before they’re squeaky clean not sticky! Sadly icing sugar is a necessary evil in cake making!
Image by Dasha Caffrey
How did you get into the wedding industry?
Cakes are a family thing. My mum had a wedding cake business when I was tiny, so I think some of my knowledge came from watching her piping royal icing flowers when I was 3 or 4 years old! We always had fabulous cakes for our birthdays!
I started making birthday cakes for fun when I was working in PR. Soon the number of “you should do this professionally” comments from very kind friends made me register with the local environmental health department, get insured and get a website. Several friends got their wedding cake as their gift when they tied the knot and then I felt brave enough to start selling wedding cakes! I discovered that was where my passion lay and three years ago I began exclusively offering wedding cakes. I’m now a preferred supplier at some of the finest venues in the South East, including Blenheim Palace, Hedsor House and Rivervale Barn and make dozens of beautiful bespoke wedding cakes every year.
Image by Guy Hearn Photography
Tell us about your typical working day.
My days are incredibly varied, as making a wedding cake has to be spaced out over several days to allow elements to settle and dry. On a baking day, for example, depending how many weddings I have that week, I may have up to 12 different flavours to bake! Each tier is made up of 2 cakes, so I could be baking 24 cakes in one session. There’s a lot of washing up and waiting for oven space, even though I have two ovens!
I’ll also prep the buttercream fillings and make up a decadent white chocolate ganache which I’ll use to coat the cakes before icing them. While the cakes are cooking/cooling, I’ll be at the computer, replying to quote enquiries, finalising contracts and updating my website and social media. Some days I’ll have to make hundreds of petals to create just a handful of sugar flowers or mould dozens of pieces of lace to cover a cake.
Image by Hannah Mcclune
If you could choose another role in the wedding industry what would it be?
I’d be a florist for sure! I love playing with flowers, arranging blooms from my garden and doing arrangements for special occasions. I don’t think I’d cope with the early mornings at the flower markets or the cold hands though!
What do you aim to achieve for your clients?
I want to create their dream cake. The cake is a centrepiece of any wedding reception and it has to exceed their expectations in both taste and design.
Image by Ilaria Petrucci
What style is your work? How would you describe your style in three words?
Eclectic, beautiful, luxurious.
My portfolio is ever changing. Whilst I have a personal style that tends towards pretty, timeless cakes, it’s hugely important to me that my couples get the cake that reflects them. So whatever is their style becomes my style while I’m working on their cake.
Image by James Davies Photography
Could you tell us some information about your packages/prices?
Each cake I create is bespoke, so prices vary dramatically. A three tier to serve approximately 100 people would start at about £430. A five tier to serve 250 people would cost in excess of £800. Large cakes with lots of intricate piping or sugar flowers could top £1000.
Do you have any tips for couples in selecting their wedding cake?
Choose a cake maker who you believe gets your vision and cares about your day. Make sure they’re insured, have a good food hygiene rating with the local council (we have a 5* rating), and have a contingency in place if something happens to prevent them making your cake. Ask to have a different flavour for each tier of your cake so you have a variety to offer your guests. If there’s a flavour to appeal to everyone, your cake will get eaten and not go to waste! We offer this as standard.
If you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the options, ask your cake maker for their ideas. We have experience of all kinds of weddings so can usually come up with something special that will suit your day perfectly!
Image by McKinley Rodgers
Are you seeing any trends for the year ahead?
Modern, clean lined cakes are popular right now. Either softened with sugar flowers or with edgy gold or silver leaf or geometric shapes. All white cakes are a versatile option too. They can be chic and timeless or cool and sophisticated, depending on the textures added.
Can you give us a teaser about what you are working on now?
This week I’ve got a pretty number with edible lace and pale pink blossoms and a red rose themed cake for two crazy romantic friends who have put together their wedding in just a few weeks!
How can we get in touch with you?
Give me a call! 07739 813659
F O L L O W
WOW. What stunning cakes and a real eclectic array of styles too. Do get in touch with Melissa do discuss your dream sweet treats or pop over to see even more of her work on her website xo Lou
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