There is nothing more indulgent than taking time-out from life’s busy schedule with a hot drink and slice of cake. Our love of baking at home has raised the stakes for hospitality operators who now find their offerings marked against their customers’ capabilities, but with so many businesses rising to the challenge, the market for those with a sweet-tooth, has never been so plentiful! In this months Melting Pot, our experts share their best bakes and ideas to keep customers coming back for more.

KARIN JANSSEN – Bakery Expert and Business Development Manager, Henley Bridge

As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes, and that’s never been truer than when talking about cakes. The trend at present is for ‘loaded’, hand-finished cakes, piled high with edible décor. With so many options available, it’s an easy way for operators to put their own stamp on their products and create something that is truly unique.

From chocolate rizo curls in a wide range of colours, to rosettes, stars, roses, batons, marbled twister rolls, petals, coffee beans, the sky is the limit. Also consider tailoring your décor to suit the season. Pink chocolate flamingos, flowers and butterflies are picture perfect for the summer months, whilst Halloween and Christmas themed designs will give you the edge in the autumn and winter.

ROB MACKLIN – Desserts Category Lead Nestlé Professional

At Nestlé Professional®, we are passionate about helping to create exceptional experiences to excite and delight customers. Our famous brands have strong appeal as consumers know and love the iconic flavours and textures. With our mix-ins, sauces and spreads, you can create delicious cakes that add variety and excitement to your menu. Our products make great cake decorations, bringing brightness and creativity to your desserts. Experiment with bubbly AERO®, iconic KITKAT®, smooth caramel ROLO®, vibrant SMARTIES® or our white chocolate MILKYBAR®. Our fantastic portfolio is sure to add value, give your desserts a premium feel and make your cakes a hit!

FLEUR & PAUL – Owners, The Retreat

Every week we make sure there is a new cake or bake for our customers to try. We have made towering 4 tier sponge cakes lovingly filled with cream and fresh strawberries, decadent brownies and luscious lemon and coconut slices. Our customers love popping in to see what’s new and we always make sure we harness the power of social media to share the latest cake fresh from the oven.

DANIELLE MAUPERTUIS – Vegan Executive Pastry Chef and Author

Plants, flowers, herbs are some of the new flavours that I explore in my cakes and develop in my classes. Forgotten plants that I bring up to date, such as angelica and known flowers, but whose use is unusual, such as poppy syrup. I also use herbal teas with surprising combinations, such as nettle and blackberry elderflower. Infused in a plant-based cream, they can flavour a pannacotta, a cupcake topping or a macaron filling. I like to present some of my desserts and cakes in individual jars, ideal for picnics and BBQs (no risk of them collapsing due to the heat or getting squashed!)

YOUSIF ASLAM – Managing Director, Heavenly Desserts

Our best-selling cakes are without a doubt our unique selection of milk cakes – a soft sponge soaked in a delicate three milk syrup. The key for us at Heavenly Desserts is giving our customers flavour options that tap into current trends, so we created it in signature saffron, Lotus Biscoff, and vanilla, pistachio and rose. As committed dessert innovators, we wanted to go further than the classic vanilla gelato accompaniment, and now offer popular chocolate cakes alongside hazelnut mochi, a salted caramel cream shot, or even brownie tapas tasting plates. By never sitting still and ensuring our cakes appeal to modern audiences, we’ve carved a path as a trendsetter in the dessert dining space.

RACHEL GREEN – Chef and Author

I don’t have a sweet tooth, so a lot of my cakes are made with vegetables and fruit to reduce the need for refined sugar. Some of my bakes include courgette, lemon, basil and vanilla layer cake, a pea and vanilla cake with lemon frosted icing (that I created for the Yes Peas! Campaign) and a parsnip, apple and cinnamon cake. In my house however, Granny Green’s lemon drizzle cake is most definitely an award winner.


We know a thing or two about cakes – from the nostalgic classics such as Victoria sponge, to the more unusual flavour pairings such as the chocolate orange cake. We truly believe there is a cake for everyone, including those following a free-from diet. As we move into the summer, cafés and restaurants should showcase their ‘fresh flavours’, displaying all things bright, refreshing and most importantly – delicious. Our summer special, the Lemon & Blueberry Sponge is a zesty layer cake, with vibrant pockets of blueberries smothered in creamy blueberry buttercream and white chocolate. Best enjoyed in the summer sun with an ice-cold refreshment.

They say variety is the spice of life, so alongside stocking as many delicious flavour combinations as possible, caterers should offer a variety of cakes suitable for dietary needs, including gluten-free. The more delicious dessert offerings you can give customers, the greater the chance they’ll come back and ask for another!