Ellie’s Cakery – if you can think it, Ellie can cake it!
I first came across Ellie when she was making cupcakes for children at the Wymondham Festival earlier this year – what struck me was her enthusiasm for baking and her determination to tempt people with delicious cakes on one of the hottest days of the year!
From a quick browse of the Ellie’s Cakery website and Facebook, it is clear that Ellie can bake a cake that is literally too good to eat! I eventually caught up with Ellie and asked her what it was about baking that she enjoyed, whether she had any top tips and what has been the most unusual cake she has been asked to bake.
What got you into making cakes in the first place?
When I was growing up, I always remember my mum making cakes – for the end of term at school or our birthdays, we would also have a beautiful novelty cake to take for our classmates, those were the days when everyone wanted to be in my class!
I always remember for one of my birthday parties growing up, my mum made me a koala bear sitting up all covered in grey buttercream, it was amazing and I felt like the luckiest girl ever; no one else would have that cake and I felt special. As we got older my mum made less cakes but I always had such fond memories of how happy people would be when she made them a cake, or the children’s faces when I took in my special birthday cakes.
When I first started dating my husband, I was trying to think of something special to get him for his birthday and I figured I would make him a cake as it’s one of the most personal things I could think of. I read lots of bits about cake making that advised not to make 3D first and to practise boring square cake first… but I had other ideas in mind! I set about making a 3D replica of his favourite mug – it was an old running joke how much tea his family drank and he always had his from a mug he bought in the airport at the end of a travelling trip to Australia. The mug had the Australian flag wrapped around it, was filled with tea and accompanied by an edible tea bag and teaspoon. The end result was pretty good for a first try and after that every family member wanted a cake as their birthday present. That’s how the Ellie’s Cakery was born!
What is the most unusual cake you have made?
Most of my cakes are unusual – I pride myself in my tagline “if you can think it, I can cake it”. I have all sorts of wild and wonderful requests. Some cake makers like to stick to square and circle cakes with figures on the top. But I love to make the things people don’t think can be made of cake. From dogs to chimpanzees, hobnobs to kettles crisps, Cherry Picker to rock climbing wall it’s hard to choose just one!
What are your top tips for making great cakes?
A lot of it is down to time; you can’t just make a novelty cake in a day, it’s really a three day process, so make sure you have time put aside. If you try to cut corners, it will show in the end result!
Where did you learn to make such great cakes?
I am entirely self-taught. At the start when I made cakes for family members, I tried and sometimes failed with different ideas for ways to make everything edible. I learned quite quickly what I could and couldn’t do with icing. I am always learning new things and new ways of doing things, that’s the exciting part of the job!
What is the most unusual ingredient you have made a cake with?
It always seems unusual when I make vegan cake, I am so used to using butter, milk, eggs and buttermilk when I use none of those ingredients but still make a light fluffy tasty cake it’s amazing!
How many cakes have you made?
I have been making cakes for a while now and I don’t think I could count or remember them all but it is in the hundreds!
What is the most unusual occasion for which you have made a cake?
I have made cakes for most occasions. However, my favourite thing about making cakes is the stories that come with them.
My favourite ever cake story was one I made very early on – the cake wasn’t extravagant but the story always makes me smile. It was a 21st birthday cake, the cake was an exact replica of the birthday girl’s 7th birthday cake. The cake was square with piped edges and a 2D scene of two girls playing football – it was a real throwback to the 80’s! The reason for the replica cake; the girls mum and dad had gotten married on her birthday – they had a wedding cake and she had a birthday cake for the celebrations. However, the birthday cake got cut up and given to the wedding guests by accident and the birthday girl didn’t get a bite, and she never let her mum and dad forget it! So they decided to surprise her with the exact same cake for her 21st birthday and this time she got to eat it too!