Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/joelvis_photo/
I always encourage couples to be a little adventurous in their design aspirations, and love nothing more than being able to add additional angles and edges.
We had the privilege to interview Simon’s Bakery about his amazing and delicious bespoke wedding cakes. With features in the British Vogue and various wedding magazines his creations won’t go unnoticed! Read the interview to find out more about his delicious cakes.
What was it about cake making that attracted you in the first place?
I haven’t always been a wedding cake designer, but I have always had a love for cooking and baking.
I was fortunate to be brought up in a family where my mum was a keen cook and was always trying out new and delicious recipes. Some of my earliest memories are whipping up butter and sugar and dolloping cake mix into tins (half of it ended up on me). These experiences led me to go to catering college and work professionally in restaurants when I was younger, picking up skills and a curiosity in flavour and texture combinations.
My dad trained as a dentist, but also picked up a paint brush and became a landscape artist, so I also grew up around lots of art too. Through a combination of nature and nurture I’ve managed to combine both my parent’s passions and become a cake designer.
I love the creative process involved in taking client’s initial ideas and creating a piece of edible art. Similarly, when I’m given free reign to take inspiration from modern design, architecture, fashion etc to design a cake that will be unique to a client.
I studied human biology at university, and then became an accountant (go figure) so I have quite a logical mind. As people say, baking is a science, so it’s really satisfying that I can apply some of that training to the process of experimenting with ingredients and creating delicious new recipes.
Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/joelvis_photo/
For a large group, how do you please everyone with so many dietary restrictions? Do you suggest different flavor choices or types of cake?
Most of the cakes I create contain all of the ‘normal’ ingredients, but I’m always happy to work with clients who may have dietary restrictions.
For example, substituting wheat flour for GF flour can be done very easily in all of the cakes that I make. A lot of recipes can also be made with dairy-free substitutes without affecting the taste, and I have developed my own Swiss meringue ‘buttercream’ which incorporates cocoa butter.
Of course, with tiered cakes it’s easy to have a ‘free-from’ cake in one of the tiers. Alternatively, wedding couples may choose to have a separate cutting cake to cater for those with dietary restrictions.
What’s the most elaborate cake you’ve ever created? Tell us about it and how you make it work?
Working in the world of cake design, I’m always blown away by what other cake artists are making and intricate details that they achieve.
As with any other creative profession, it takes time to find a style that is something you feel comfortable with and is an expression of your own personality. For me, I definitely lean into my love for abstract art, brutalist architecture and minimal design.
I don’t design overly ‘elaborate’ cakes in the traditional sense of the word, adorned with intricate sugar-flowers or decorative piping. My cakes are characterised by their clean and precise finish with super-sharp edges. I like to include the bold addition of colour whenever I can (who says that a wedding cake should be white?!) and a contrast of textures with the use of moulded chocolate and wafer paper.
I always encourage couples to be a little adventurous in their design aspirations, and love nothing more than being able to add additional angles and edges. With my more ‘unfussy’ style, it doesn’t leave any room for mistakes, so everything has to be finished perfectly.
Adding extra height creates a more impact, therefore the cakes I design are taller rather than wider than traditional cakes. This can be more challenging when transporting and setting up, but the result is worth it.
Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/gomes.photos/
Can you tell us a little more about the process of creating one of your wedding cakes from start to finish?
The process starts with initial contact with the client. Ideally they will include information relating to the venue, the number of portions required, whether the cake is being served as dessert or after the breakfast, and an idea of themes, colours based around my style of modern abstract minimal cakes.
From there, I can give an initial ‘starting from’ quote based on the size of the cake, including the delivery and set up costs.
The most delicious part of the process is the tasting! I don’t have a design studio I can conduct consultations in but send out mini cakes and then arrange a video call to discuss ideas and flavours.
From these discussions I’ll create some sketches with an idea of prices, which I email out. Based on the feedback, the design might be tweaked a little until the client is happy with the final look.
I will also get the details of other relevant parties, e.g. the venue and florist (if flowers are being used on the cake), so that I can liaise with them about delivery and set up. The weeks and days leading up to the wedding are stressful enough for a couple, so I want to do everything I can to minimise this. Every wedding cake I make is delivered and set up by myself to ensure that it arrives in perfect condition and positioned correctly.
Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/martailardo_photos/
Where can readers find you online?