Holiday Tastemaker Interview with Mary Huddleston of Mrs. Southern Social

Our favorite time of the year is upon us! The holiday season is a special time here at Caroline’s Cakes. The bakery is abuzz with holiday spirit as we prep, bake, and ship holiday cakes nationwide. Not only are we delivering dessert this season, but we’re serving up entertaining expertise courtesy of our dear friends and colleagues. 
Mary Huddleston, also known as Mrs. Southern Social, shares her favorite traditions and hostess know-how– from setting the table with her mom to topping our signature layer cakes with fresh, seasonal florals. After all, no tablescape is complete without cake (or candlelight, according to Mary!). 
Read the interview below, and follow Mary on Instagram @mrssouthernsocial for more. Make sure to check out her new book, A Piece of Cake, at!

What is one of your favorite holiday traditions when it comes to entertaining or celebrating with loved ones?

My favorite tradition when entertaining family and close friends is setting the table with my mom. She’s an amazing self-taught florist, and we love making centerpieces together for our tables. We both enjoy entertaining, so between the two of us, we own a massive collection of tablecloths, china, glassware, and silverware to pull from. It’s like we get to “shop” before every dinner party. We mix and match new pieces with older items, and so we never get bored hosting together over the holidays.



Please share a few tips for making a tablescape feel special?

In my opinion, the most special tablescapes are those that feel personal. I love incorporating my grandmother’s sterling silver flatware and candlesticks, especially around the holidays, as our family has so many memories of those same pieces on her table before she passed away. I also think candlelight is the best light to use at dinner parties, so while I don’t often style and shoot tables by candlelight, that’s the lighting I prefer to use when hosting family gatherings.



What are 3 of your favorite songs to set the mood for a festive holiday/winter party? 

Three of my favorite songs to use on a festive holiday party playlist are: “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams, “Winter Wonderland” by Bing Crosby, and “White Christmas” by Michael Buble with Shania Twain


It wouldn’t be the holidays without ____ 

Turkey and Twinkle Lights. We serve turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we put up our holiday lights in early November, so we can enjoy them the entire holiday season.


What is your favorite Caroline’s Cakes flavor for the holidays and why?

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with Caroline’s Caramel Cake. I served caramel cake at my wedding, and I think there is something extra special about Caroline’s Caramel Cake. It’s not too rich but is hearty enough for the cooler temperatures we have around the holidays in the South. A good caramel cake isn’t easy to make, so I especially love ordering from Caroline’s Cakes, as there’s no way I’d even come close to recreating it at home myself. Their caramel cake tastes and looks divine!


Pictured: Caramel Apple Spice Cake


Please share if you have a special way that you decorate layer cakes, have a favorite cake stand, or how you dress up a cake stand…

If you follow my Instagram account, you will see that my “signature move” for decorating one of Caroline’s cakes is to add fresh flowers to the top. Whether I’m styling and shooting for a magazine or serving up a cake to friends and family at home, I always cluster a few fresh blooms together on top. I use flowers that coordinate with my tablescape, so that the cake becomes part of the décor as well. The best part is that they look great prior to serving, but when it’s time to cut the cake, the flower heads are easy to remove and discard.

Photography by Lela Fain @lelefainphoto 

1 comment

  • Do you have a sugar free or low sugar cake?
    Thank You

    Vickie LaLonde

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