Q&A with Claire from Claire’s Sweet Temptations

Colourful wedding cake by luxury wedding cake maker, Claire's Sweet Temptations in Cornwall

We chat with Claire, owner of luxury wedding cake maker Claire’s Sweet Temptations, about getting started as in the baking industry, the enjoyable aspects of making a wedding cake, and the challenges!

How did you get involved in the baking industry?

I started baking as a child and always carried on with it. When Jamie (our son) was born and I was at home with him I got into it more. I started making family and friends birthday cakes and Christmas cakes etc. When Jamie was diagnosed with his various health issues it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to go back to work. And so I started baking now and then for a local café. From that I got asked to make a wedding cake. I loved it! The rest is history as they say.

What challenges did you face when starting up, and how did you overcome them?

The main challenge was juggling running a business with Jamie and all his appointments etc. Thankfully they got less and less as he got older. It was also hard to push myself to ‘get out there’ and make myself known. Networking and doing wedding fairs terrified me! But I quickly learnt just what a wonderfully supportive industry I had joined. 

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

Making my clients happy and getting the thank you cards and emails. 

Is there a part of the process of making a wedding cake that you enjoy the most?

I’ve got to say sugar flowers. I think they are the thing I love to do the most. And getting to be creative with colour and texture to produce something truly unique and special. 

How long does it take to make and decorate a wedding cake?

Oh that’s a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question! It will depend on a lot of things. Some of the sugar flowers and other sugarwork will have been made well in advance for example. All the actual baking is done as close to the wedding day as possible though. For a fully iced and decorated cake, I’d allow a week altogether to do all the different processes. 

What has been you most challenging cake to make?

It wasn’t a wedding cake. It was a 40th birthday cake many years ago. I did a quarter scale of the birthday boys motorbike. It was huge! I had to get a special frame made and spent all night getting all the little details right. It was worth it though.

How do you help couples create an impressive wedding cake on a budget?

I think be realistic when setting the budget for the wedding cake. Have a look on the price guide pages of a few cake makers you like, to give you an idea of an average price. I will always do my best to give my couples what they want within their budget, whenever possible. Having fresh flowers from your florist instead of sugar flowers can be one way to bring the cost down. And sponge cakes are usually cheaper that fruit cake too. 

What trends do you expect to continue into the next 12 months?

I think the semi naked cakes will be around for a while yet, their rustic style makes them very popular. And buttercream cakes with the combed effect. The watercolour and marble effects on fondant are going to be around a while yet too. I love doing both of these so I hope that’s a trend that stays. I also think dried flowers on cakes will become a bigger thing too. 

What advice would you give to couples prior to your first meeting with them?

It’s always good to know what style a couple have in mind for their wedding. So if you have any mood boards or Pinterest boards they can be very helpful to have with you. Find out from your guests if there are any allergies or dietary requirements that need to be catered for. Then we can discuss the best way to accommodate them.

When not making wedding cakes, what do you do to relax?

I like to knit. Again this was something I did as a child. Any crafts really, I’ll give most a go. I think it’s the creative part of me that never really switches off. 

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