• Danielle Georgine Chambers

Luxury wedding cake designer: Oxfordshire

I’d like to introduce you to an incredible luxury cake maker who, as of late 2022 will officially be based in Oxfordshire! Someone whom I have had the pleasure of personally working with and eating her delicious cake - Giulia, from Cakes In Bloom, is a wholesome creative and an artist at heart: she makes every single creation with so much love and integrity.

I had the honour of interviewing Giulia to try and get a better understanding of who she is and how she works with couples, and to see what tips she has for any couples out there struggling with wedding cake-related decisions!

Firstly Giulia, I have to ask – what’s your favourite type of cake to bake?

My Gin & Lime tonic is probably the most fun to make, because not only does it have a bunch of fresh lime zest in it, it also gets doused with a whole lot of G&T when it comes out of the oven. It’s so moist and delicious and zingy, I think it’s my favourite!

WOW! That sounds incredible. I do love a Gin, so I can’t wait to try this. I see so many magnificent cakes on your Instagram though and I am curious, how many tiers can you make!?

The biggest cake I ever made was 7 tiers! Sometimes with bigger cakes, we can use fake tiers so you don't end up with 200 extra portions of cake, but I can fit anything up to 12" in my oven and they make for real showstoppers.

Most of my 2022 cakes are 3-4 tiers, which feed anywhere from 100-200 people and still make for show-stopping photos.

I guess that leads me to my next question, how many portions do you get from one tier of cake, or how to calculate how much of the good stuff is needed?

Wow, that question can open a can of worms. It truly depends on how many guests you have! Will you be filling up on food during your meal and have room for cake? Are you using cake as your dessert?

On average, a 6" cake will be cut into either 12 slices or 24 finger portions. Most caterers will cut your cake into finger portions to get the most out of your cake.

My average 3-tier 5"/7"/9" cake will be cut into approximately 100 portions, whilst a smaller 3-tier 4"/6"/8" will only be cut into around 70 portions.

That’s interesting! So you touched on your favourite flavour cake to bake is Gin & Tonic, but I have to know, what other awesomeness do you create in your kitchen?

I do a set number of "standard" flavours every year. These are your chocolate, vanilla, lemon, and so on. There are 10 of these on my menu, with another 5 or so less traditional flavours like Baileys, Cherry Bakewell, or Lavender. I also love doing custom flavours that really reflect a couple's taste, so I've made coffee & walnut cakes before, and sticky toffee, and even Guinness.

And do you cater for any dietary requirements?

Yes! I also have a selection of vegan flavours and some gluten-free flavours. They're so delicious and I always get excited when I share them at wedding fayres and guests can't guess the difference. I think there's a big misconception that food can't be tasty and cater to dietary requirements, and that's just not true!

I love this. That is so true! And on a personal level, what’s your personal favourite cake flavour to eat?

I had lemon cake for my wedding, so I think that's my favourite to eat. I could have lemon cake every day. With homemade lemon curd, fresh lemon zest, and lemon buttercream it's less sweet and more tart, and I love it. And my husband would agree, which is nice although it means I have to share.

I also make a delicious vegan chocolate cake, which is so fudgy and delicious. It's really moreish, so I don't think I could have it every day, but it's really good.

Oh my goodness that sounds so good. And I am so pleased you'll be moving closer to me soon because both of those flavours sound incredible!

And so you will be serving Oxfordshire for your 2023 brides and grooms, I’d love to know, what does that entail? Do you deliver?

I deliver anywhere, with delivery priced per mile. I've gone all the way to Kent and Bath and Dorset with cakes. I deliver to London semi-regularly too! Although most of my cakes are within a 20 mile radius, and not all cake designs travel well, I really think it's important that couples in love get the showstopper they want to celebrate their big moments, so I'm happy to travel.

That’s a fantastic answer and I’m sure lots of couples will be happy to know that you might be able to commission their vision if travel isn’t too much of an issue. How do you go about helping couples plan their cake dreams?

I always say that the earlier you start thinking about cake, the better. If the cake is important to you, and you want it to feature as a focal point during your reception, it shouldn't be left to the last minute.

It's really important to me that a cake works cohesively with the other aspects of the wedding, so I love seeing ideas for flowers, colours, and invitations to create a design that complements everything.

My couples and I always put together a Pinterest board of ideas, and from there I really try to home in on what couples want their cake to do: are you looking for understated elegance? Or would you prefer a bold and vibrant design? What kind of photos do you want, and how will your guests interact with the cake?

We also discuss cake display: where it will be displayed, and how? What will it be displayed on, and will the cake table have any of its own decor? I think a lot of the time the cake table can be overlooked, but to really incorporate a cake into a wedding day vision it's important to see everything as a whole. It's why I liaise so closely with florists and caterers. It's wonderful when a team can make a vision come to life.

Yes! I often see cakes shoved in the corner of a room, and it’s a shame – especially when they are so beautiful! I know for my wedding, which was rustic and autumnal our cake fit perfectly with our day. It was in a key place in our reception room and the table was decorated with gourds and pumpkins to fit our vision. It worked so well to have the décor incorporated with our statement cake!

So, you’ve touched on a lot of planning aspects, and it shows how much time, effort and planning that goes into commissioning cakes for your couples, but I want to know what your ultimate favourite thing about making cakes for weddings is?

I love being part of someone's special day. I love getting to the venue and seeing everything all setup and coming together. The drive-up is always stressful (even if it's just up the road) but there's something magical about seeing everyone's hard work come to life.

There's a lot of pressure when it's a cake for an important milestone like a wedding. But it's worth it and I wouldn't change it for the world.

So I'm now interested, what has been your favourite commission so far?

There are so many! This year I'm looking forward to making a yellow wedding cake, I'm so excited about it! And last year, one that stands out for me was a baby blue and peach cake; I painted it to match the bride's dress.

Although all of my designs are unique, so everyone has a special place in my heart and I remember everyone I’ve ever made a cake for.

So far this year, I had a cake put on a macrame swing, which was terrifying and exhilarating, and I think one that will stay with me forever. I also made that 7 tier cake, which is my biggest to date, and a few watercolour effect ones that were really fun to make.

On my blog, I talk about why I love square wedding cakes too, which we don't see too often!

They all sound incredible! I’ve seen you also handmake sugar flowers for some of your more intricate designs, I’ve wondered for a while how long it takes to make these, and what type of flowers do you like to make?

Most often, I make roses and peonies. That's not to say I don't make anything else: I've made sunflowers and orchids and dahlias before, with wildflowers like lavender and poppies being a popular option too. Time really varies depending on the flower, which is why all the sugar flower designs are priced individually. A single rose can take up to an hour, whilst something large like a "cafe au lait" dahlia or "bowl of beauty" peony can take several days. Most designs will also have foliage, which takes time as each leaf is individually wired, veined, and coloured.

Woah! That is an intense amount of work. I hope your brides and grooms who choose these designs fully appreciate the time and craft which goes into them. I know that you also hand paint these items, and they look so fantastically realistic. I know they can be very delicate though when it comes to transportation, so something for couples to consider if their venue is a bit of a distance from you I guess. What are your favourite venues you have worked with?

There are some venues that I work with regularly, where the close relationship with the coordinators makes everything run so smoothly. The Randolph has a beautiful events space, and The Perch has the most romantic views of the river. I've also worked at Coworth Park which has the most exquisite combination of both indoor and outdoor space - I think they even have swans!

The Bodleian Library appeals to the bookworm in me, and I do get chills going into The Ashmolean. The history of Oxford is breathtaking and I can't wait to discover more venues in the surroundings.

They sound like beautiful venues, which I will have to go and research and check out for sure. So, apart from the wedding cake itself do you do any extras like cupcakes and macaroons?

I love doing "extras"! My most popular add-on is wedding favours to match the cake. I do iced cookies personalised with initials or dates, but also macarons or chocolate-covered Oreos. They're less likely to be left behind than other wedding favours, and I love the idea of guests munching on a last sweet treat on the taxi ride home.

I also love doing dessert tables! They're a wonderful way of making cake more of a talking point and a more interactive experience for guests. This way, you have cake, but also other desserts like fruit tarts or macarons, or brownies or cakesicles. This option is for the true cake lovers, who want their guests to be able to have a bit of everything.

I’ve seen dessert tables before, and they can look so classy and elegant! I think it’s also a fabulous way of working in pops of your colour theme into your day, in a tasty way which can be enjoyed by your guests. I have personally tasted your macaroons and they are next level. Before we wrap things up with some final tips for couples, I just wanted to ask you something a little bit more personal and off-topic of cake. What is your favourite animal, and what do you do when you’re not crafting cakey masterpieces?

I have pet bunnies! They're my joy and are spoiled rotten. They're really affectionate pets that are so much more high maintenance than people expect, so they're one of the most surrendered pets in the UK. On Sundays I volunteer at my local rabbit rescue, to help out.

I also do ballet in my spare time and love the theatre. My husband and I often go to London for a show, but the Playhouse has put some wonderful shows on over the years and we always take advantage where we can.

So not only are you a top-class wedding cake crafter, you’ve got a huge heart too. Your couples will know that they are in safe hands and working with a fabulous human! So finally, what are your top tips for any couples to be reading this?

Don't let your cake be an afterthought and let a professional help you!

Think about why you want cake and what you want it to "do". Is it only there because you feel you should have cake, or are you really looking for those milestone photos with a showstopper you'll look back on with joy? I encourage you to think about cake in the same way you think about decor: if your cake is going to be out for hours on display, don't shove it in a corner by the fire exit somewhere.

Also, think about how many guests you're feeding. If you're having 150 guests but also having a 4-course wedding breakfast not everyone will want cake, a cake to feed 120 might be enough. If you're having cake instead of dessert, you'll need a bigger cake to make sure everyone has a satisfying piece.

When you book with me, you receive some samples to taste, which gives you an idea of portion size but don't be shy and let your cake maker know how we can help you bring your vision to life.

If you want 6 tiers but only have 50 guests that's okay! A professional will be able to offer a solution to help you achieve exactly what you envision.

WOW! Giulia provided us with so many awesome insights! And I feel like I know her much better. I know I can reccomend Cakes in Bloom to my couples, or any couples, safe in the knowledge that she will look after you and deliver the cake of your dreams. Reach out to Giulia directly if you have any further questions, go and follow her on the socials too!

Website: https://www.cakesinbloom.co.uk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cakesinbloom_uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cakesinbloomuk

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Email: info@cakesinbloom.co.uk