Cynthia Stroud, founder and director of business Pretty Gorgeous Cakes, has been recognised in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

Stroud was awarded an MBE her services to business and the community in Hertfordshire. She started her own business from home called Cakes by Cynthia in 2009, but changed it to Pretty Gorgeous Cakes when she moved into a high street shop in 2013.

The baker has taken a number of students into her company and taught them skills needed to help create bespoke wedding and celebration cakes.

Stroud told British Baker that she was not expecting to be named on the list at all.

“When I came home and opened the letter from the Cabinet office, I went into complete shock and I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about it until New Year’s Eve. The only person I told was my mum,” she said.

Stroud added that she has been making the official cake for the music event The Brit Awards for the past six years and is also the resident cake-maker for Queen Charlotte’s Ball.

“I heard The Brit Awards were asking suppliers to bake a cake for the after-party and I sent them my proposal. They asked if I could bring along some samples and I couldn’t believe it when they chose me. They offered me a contract and the relationship has grown ever since,” she said.

“In terms of the Queen Charlotte’s Ball cake, they contacted me two years ago and said they were impressed with my work. When I presented them with the cake, they asked if I could stay on.”

Also on the New Year’s Honours list was Melanie Andrews, who is the director and founder of the Scottish Baking Awards and Alison Swan Parente, founder of the School of Artisan Food charity.

Andrews was rewarded with an MBE for services to baking and the community in Helensburgh, Scotland, while Parentre also gained an MBE for her dedication to services to the charity and education sectors.

Andrews told British Baker she was delighted to have been on the list for 2017, while Parente said that she was pleased that the charitable work of the School of Artisan Food is being recognised.