I was well known for my love of all things cake in my previous workplace. I had to do a 60 second video interview, answering my favourite between ‘this or that’. When I was faced with ‘cupcakes or wedding cake,’ I panicked and screamed ‘ALL THE CAKE!’, so it really makes sense that my first supplier post was going to feature cake, one of my absolute favourites – Gemma’s Cakes!
I have worked with Gemma over the past 3 years and I am so fortunate to have gained such a lovely relationship with her. She is an absolute gem and a real inspiration within the industry, so it was an absolute dream to spend my Saturday morning with her at the ‘Wedding Centre’ in Randalstown to have a chat over tea, and yes, cake! (This catch-up was prior to my hairdresser’s appointment which explains the bird’s nest on my head, Steven Neeson was sneaking!)
Gemma’s business started with a last minute trip to Marks & Spencer’s in March 2012 to pick up a birthday cake she had seen for her daughter Olivia’s birthday – however the ballet themed cake was no longer there – so mummy duties kicked in, the apron went on and the ballet pump birthday cake was produced. The response was a ‘wow!’ and 3 months later Gemma had her first wedding cake booking! After juggling mum life, cake baking and her job as a Wedding Planner – something had to give, it was all or nothing! The bookings were coming in fast, so Gemma grabbed her husband John, taught him the ropes, and together they are the cake baking duo they are today – ultimate couple goals! They have their own workshop nearby their home, do their consultations in the ‘Wedding Centre’ and baked, designed and delivered a phenomenal amount of wedding cakes last year! John has also just launched his new side business ‘John Bakes Cakes’ – to allow us to have the same flavours as celebration cakes – can this award winning baking duo get any better?
How many cake flavours do you offer & do you have a favourite?
The list is endless, we have 17 core flavours which seem to go down well. However we are always keen to try and add new flavours – so if you have an idea, just let us know! Our flavours are a little more adventurous than the norm, including chocolate orange, coconut & passionfruit and sticky toffee cake! My personal favourite is definitely carrot cake, we bake it with fresh orange, so the smell from the oven is just devine!
What are the most popular flavours couples’ choose?
The most popular would probably be raspberry & white chocolate, closely followed by chocolate Guinness, which is such a talking point for your guests. Lemon is also a popular light fresh option, and our red velvet always seems to be a winner!
What are your favourite wedding cake trends?
I absolutely love fresh flowers on cakes, I feel it really brings everything together and really is the finishing touch. I also love buttercream style cakes for a more rustic styled wedding, but you can’t beat a straight edged cake for a more classy sophisticated look. I also love using gold leaf, marble and metallics, they seem to be a popular style at the moment.
So tell me about your ‘dummy cake’ packages?
The majority of my wedding cakes are dummy cakes, sometimes brides would request the bottom tier to be real, but at the moment 90% of brides are requesting 100% dummy! This means that the tiers will be dummy, however we will have cutting slabs in the kitchen. This means you can have more flavours, a more professional finish and more cake for your money!
How much are your cakes & can couples try before they buy?
Our cakes price really depend on the size, style and your venue as we deliver all of our cakes on the morning of your wedding. They start from £350, however we do hold the price for the year you book, so if you’re a 2020 or 2021 bride and book with me now, I will hold 2018 prices. We do also offer a complimentary tasting for two people, so just book in with us at the ‘Wedding Centre’ and we can discuss your style, pricing, and of course allow couples to try our flavours!
Finally, what are your top 3 tips?
- Always serve your wedding cake at the traditional time, with tea and coffee after dessert. You can then serve any remaining cake with the buffet, but do not serve it all at the buffet as it can be easily missed!
- I think it’s nice to include the wedding cake on your menu cards, stating the flavours. This means guests get to know what flavour you have and if they see ‘Chocolate Guinness’, it’s an automatic conversation topic at the table!
- Enquire with your venue when you will cut the cake, I advise to cut it after the main course and prior to dessert – this makes it more of a feature of the day as guests are still seated and can take pictures if they wish.
Gemma & I are collaborating and running a Facebook competition! To be in with a chance of winning a £200 voucher towards a wedding cake with Gemma, check out ‘Jade Alexandra – Wedding Blog’ on Facebook!
Love, Jade x