The three main aspects guests look out for at weddings are the dress, the flowers, and the cake. Therefore it is of vital importance that your cake stands out from the crowd. Deciding on your wedding cake can never be easy, there are so many designs and flavours to choose from it can often be as complicated as choosing your wedding dress. Worry no more beautiful brides to be, I found the most spectacular baker in East Sussex, tucked away in a village called Ditchling. Creating bespoke wedding cakes that will surely stand out in the crowd.
On a gloomy afternoon, I was invited over to the Willow & Bloom headquarters to meet with the lovely Donna Ayto her self. Oh what a splendid afternoon that was, although I have just met Donna she has such a lovely bubbly personality we hit it off straight away. I found my self drifting in conversation from cakes to my own personal wedding planning experience, as well as hers. Surrounded by the most beautiful designed cakes I have ever seen, I could tell that Donna had a great eye for detail. Offering me a warm cup of tea, and a chance to taste 4 different kinds of sponges, I felt like a bride all over again.
Brides have an endless menu filled with different cake flavours to choose from, unlike any other bakery I have visited before Donna offers a wide election of exotic flavours such as:
- Passion fruit.
- Coconut & Dark chocolate ganache.
- Orange with orange cointreau.
- Salted caramel.
But if you’re not feeling adventures then Willow & Blooms cakes will happily bake you a cake that is more traditional using chocolate, lemon, and vanilla flavours.
More about Willow & Bloom:
Willow & Bloom cakes is a family run business, supplying bespoke wedding and celebration cake throughout Sussex, Surrey and London and pride ourselves on attention to detail, not only with the stunning finishing touches but also the taste. We offer a bespoke design service and complementary consultation. At your consultation we will discuss all of the design requirements, flavour and taste to name but a few.
We work closely with our clients and offer a friendly, professional service from design to delivery. All of our cakes are individually handcrafted to the highest standard.
We use only the finest and freshest locally sourced products. We have supplied cakes to many corporate companies in Sussex, from 1 year anniversaries to 100 year anniversaries, a cake can make a celebration extra special no matter what the occasion, Our aim is to deliver a show stopping centre piece that will wow your guest’s at your special occasion, the sky is the limit.
As all of Willow & Bloom cakes are bespoke, I was curious to know what was the most unusual/unique cake design she ever had to bake? I was stunned by the results, She showed me two spectacular cake designs, one was a mask for an 18th birthday party, and the second was for a vintage circus wedding.
If you could bake your own wedding cake, what flavour/design would you choose?
“My own wedding cake nearly 25 years ago was awful so I would love to have the opportunity to make another one for myself! If I were to do this it would be tall, elegant very pastel with delicate sweet pea and maybe a touch of silver here and there but nothing too over the top. Simple elegance! The flavour would definitely be almond and morello cherry,my favourite.”
What recommendations would you give brides to maximise their budget?
“To maximise your budget I consider having dummy tiers to give height, don’t cater for all of your guests unless you are serving your cake as desert as some people won’t want cake after eating and drinking all day. Choose a simple design to keep the cost down, for example using pretty lace and ribbon is a cost-effective way to add detail without blowing the budget.”
As the tradition goes, most couples save the top tier if their wedding cake for their first anniversary, I asked Donna if her cakes can be preserved for such an occasion?
“Cakes are all baked to order and can be frozen for up to three months, having said that, I recently received an email from a couple who’s wedding cake I made in August 2015. They froze their top tier and saved it for their first anniversary over a year later it was perfect!
Obviously if you have a fruit cake these can be kept for much longer if stored correctly.”
Donna is much more than just a talented baker, her dedication to her work leaves a sacred memory in all of her customers hearts. She was so happy to express that clients send her Thank you cards after the wedding is over. Building strong relationships with clients is one of the fundamental rules of a successful business, and Donna does that effortlessly.
Discover the secrets of Willow & Bloom’s exquisite cake designs and learn how to create them yourself.
They run a wide variety of cake decorating and sugar craft classes at the studio in Ditchling, East Sussex that are suitable for all abilities, whether you are an enthusiastic beginner or a professional cake baker. You can enjoy learning to decorate simple cookies or maybe take a master class in intricate piping and flower making techniques. All classes are intimate, with a maximum of four people to ensure that you get the best possible teaching experience.
Keep your eyes peeled ladies, Willow & Bloom cakes are launching a new product soon, that will truly enhance your wedding day experience. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Willow & Bloom cakes as well as Donna for having me at their headquarters. It was truly an enjoyable experience, and I loved every moment of it.