Everyone, I’d like you to meet Charlene, the fab person behind Cherry Tree Cakerie and all round top cake guru! Charlene is so local to Huntsmill Farm we’re practically neighbours and she has produced some truly incredible cakes for us for weddings, styled shoots, Barnaby’s first birthday and my dad’s 70th birthday! She’s so fun and friendly and love Friends as much as I do! Check out her Q&A and dreamy cakes below.
Tell us about yourself
I’m Charlene and I’m a wedding cake designer based in beautiful Buckinghamshire, only a few miles down the road from the lovely Huntsmill Farm in fact. Cake is my passion and I’m not ashamed to confess that I’m a little obsessed with it. I shall never tire of eating it (I get asked that a lot!), talking about it and creating exciting and unique designs for lovely couples.
Why did you want to become a wedding cake designer?
Being a cake designer was never actually on my list of dream jobs. Cake taster perhaps but not cake designer, although I’ve always harboured a desire to do something creative. I fell into a career as an executive assistant and a few years in, I felt the urge to explore my creative side so I coerced my sister-in-law into signing up for a cake decorating course, just for the hell of it, and it ignited a passion.
Making birthday cakes for friends and family developed into actual orders from strangers and that’s when I thought I might just have a stab at turning it into a career. Trust me, I dreamt about it for a long time but it was finding myself in a job with an awful company and an epiphany that I should stop wasting time being unhappy that finally pushed me past my fears and into a job I love. Oh and the prospect of turning 40 might have also given me a nudge!
What is your style?
My style is most definitely contemporary and very much inspired by nature. I love bohemian, whimsical designs that are free-flowing and natural but on the other hand, I also love vibrant, art-inspired designs. I always try to challenge myself and seek to create something different.
What advice would you give couples when choosing their wedding cake?
I would advise that couples try to choose something that is unique to them and expresses their personalities, after all your wedding day is about you. If that’s a rustic cake with beautiful pastel florals or a modern, vibrant design with sharp edges and pops of colour then it doesn’t matter; just do you!
On a practical note, I would recommend doing some research to find a cake designer that suits your style and make sure you have a consultation and tasting. My favourite part is meeting my couples and getting to know a little about them, it helps enormously with the design process and understanding their vision.
What makes you happy?
Well it goes without saying that the obvious answer is cake but besides that it’s the simple things in life: family, friends, my cat Marley, feeling the sun on my face, sand in my toes and chilling with a good book. I love to travel but I also love being at home. I’m easily pleased!
What do you love most about your job?
Happy clients! When I’ve made a wedding cake and it has been everything the couple has expected and hopefully more. I also value the freedom to create and try out new ideas and learn new skills. Every cake is different and I learn something new with every single one I make.
What trends are you loving at the moment?
Textures! I follow a lot of cake designers around the world and I’m seeing an increasing trend for applying textures to cake from the marble effect to concrete and stone-effect styles. It gives a whole lot of depth and interest to a design and looks beautiful. The trend for metallics is also a favourite with gold and rose gold especially being used on cakes. It adds an element of warmth and bling without being too…..blingy!
What’s your motto?
My motto is that your wedding cake should be as beautiful and unique as you are. I strongly believe that your wedding cake, and indeed your wedding, should be a reflection and celebration of you as a couple and as my cakes are bespoke, I can help achieve that.
What’s your drink of choice?
It has to be a mojito! In fact, I love it so much that it’s one of the flavours on my cake menu.
Who is your dream celebrity wedding couple?
I’m not a huge celebrity follower but the wedding that hit the Instagram feeds last year was Mandy Moore and Taylor Goldsmith’s backyard wedding. It was a whimsical vision of pink with a delicate pink dress and the aisle was flanked with pink pampas grass. It sounds like a pink overload but it was beautiful and right up my boho street!
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