A Stratford cake maker has the right recipe to win, winning a prestigious award for the second year in a row.
Annette Dudley, owner of A love of cakes - by Annette has won the cake category and the overall category at the Taranaki wedding awards.
The awards have been going for four years and Annette has won awards every year. In 2017, Annette won the wedding cake award and in 2016 she received a highly commended.
Annette says she is overwhelmed to have won both categories a second year in a row.
"It is absolutely fantastic to have won. I was overwhelmed to have won last year but this year I was blown away to have won a second year in a row."
Annette says she is in the biggest wedding season of her career, with an impressive 42 cakes made this season.
"Sometimes I am doing five for the same week. I start making cakes on Tuesdays, on Thursdays I ice them cake and Friday I decorate and add the final touches and then deliver to the venue on the Saturday."
The current trend for cakes, Annette says is the half-naked rustic looking cakes.
"People aren't wanting fruitcakes anymore. People also aren't wanting fondant anymore. The popular flavours are the dessert flavours such as the chocolate mud cakes."
Despite Annette's cake making business being located in Stratford, her cakes have been delivered to weddings as far away as Whakatane and Ruapehu.
She says she gets some repeat business from families.
"I did a wedding cake for a bride and groom this year and they've asked me to make a birthday cake as well."
Annette says she has always been creative.
"I learned how to bake cakes off my grandma and Mum. I adapted recipes to suit my style. I have Mum's chocolate cake recipe which I've adapted."
Annette says she loves being able to create things that people appreciate.
"I love being part of someone's special day."
Annette says she loves making cakes where she has a little bit of freedom.
"One of my favourite cakes I have made was for my friends. They gave me free rein on the cake. They ordered a three-tier cake and ended up with a five-tier cake. The groom is an avid hunter so there was a stag on top of the cake. It's a great feeling knowing you've hit the mark."
The knife used to cut the cake has its own story.
"The handle of the knife was used from a pair of jeans that the bride's late father used to wear."
Annette says lighting and flowers can affect how the cake looks.
"I work closely with a lot of florists and photographers who I have gotten to know well over the years."
Annette started making wedding cakes after she went to Auckland to find a cake for her wedding in 2005 as she couldn't find someone local.
"Anita Sutton from Auckland Cake Arts made my wedding cake. We are still friends to this day. She's the reason I became interested in making cakes."