Chi-chi cupcake purveyor Blossom blooms downtown

Blossom project director Melissa Stock (left) with founder Ruth Larwill.
Blossom project director Melissa Stock (left) with founder Ruth Larwill. MIRANDA GLASSER

Chi-chi cupcake purveyor Blossom blooms downtown

Fans of Phnom Penh’s Bloom café, purveyor of ‘edible art’ in the form of beautifully designed cupcakes, will be delighted to hear that its sister café Blossom opens in Siem Reap on September 2.

Like its big-city counterpart, Blossom is a training café and, when Insider visited, trainees were busy learning how to create icing sugar ‘wrapping paper and ribbon’ for gift-shaped cakes. They were also working on tiny sugar butterflies and intricate hand-painted flowers.

“The girls do three months training,” says Australian owner Ruth Larwill, “But I feel like it’s a bit like learning to type – you know where the keys are but you get faster and better and better. So they’ll increase their skills over the next year or two. We’ve bought six girls up from Phnom Penh to train them.”

Larwill says she made the decision to expand to Siem Reap to create more job opportunities for Khmers.

The caramel macadamia tart is a much sought after item.
The caramel macadamia tart is a much sought after item. MIRANDA GLASSER

“Cambodia needs more jobs,” she says. “We just figured we’d keep going as long as there’s demand from the public.”

Blossom will sell cupcakes in 24 mouthwatering flavours. Larwill says the most popular flavours in Phnom Penh, where a big part of the customer base is Khmer, are red velvet-topped numbers with a cream cheese frosting, and chocolate hazelnut. And if cupcakes aren’t your thing, the bakery will also sell tarts and cookies.

According to Larwill, a lot of people who think they don’t like chocolate simply haven’t tried the good stuff. The Phnom Penh patisserie uses only the best quality ingredients, and Blossom will do the same.

“Now there are so many Khmer coming back from having lived overseas and when they try it, they all really like it,” she says. “We use Belgian chocolate, proper cake flour and excellent local free-range eggs.”

Never one to shirk from responsibility, Insider duly tried a caramel macadamia tart with vanilla cream cheese icing, which came complete with an impossibly realistic-looking pink sugar flower on top.

Another Blossom favourite: shortbread cookies with a difference.
Another Blossom favourite: shortbread cookies with a difference. MIRANDA GLASSER

Verdict: sugary deliciousness.

The miniature tart is almost too pretty to eat, and this is something that makes Larwill chuckle.

“Well that’s our saying,” she smiles, “‘Too beautiful to eat, but too delicious to resist.’ You can’t stop yourself.”

The final look of the café remains a mystery but project director Melissa Stock promises something “beautiful, clean and fresh”.

Vintage-style, mismatched upside-down cups and saucers which actually turn out to be lights, are the only hint of what is to come. The display cakes will be made in August by the trainees as part of their exam assessments

“Right now the girls are working on some of the pieces they’re going to use for graduation, and they’re doing all different tier cakes – each student will have a different one,” says Stock. “And then we have shoes that they’re working on, and handbags.”

The duo expects a lot of trade from tourists in Siem Reap looking for a sugar hit after a day out at Angkor Wat.

“We think it will be quite a nice little afternoon event after you’ve done the temples,” Larwill says.

Blossom will be open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, but from January next year it will also open on Saturdays.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong