Linli is destined to pen a bestselling baking book I just know it! I can’t wait to stand at the front of the queue at her book signing knowing I was there at the beginning scoffing her Rocky Road samples. Linli creates wedding cakes (as well as pretty much anything else sweet you ask her!) as part of her small business, Abundance Cakes.
Linli specialises in sugar craft, which make her cake creations reflect pieces of art. They really need to be seen to be believed. I asked Revival Rooms for some extra stems, wired, to decorate my wedding cake as it was Linli’s expertise in icing that was real draw for me, as well as the taste! We opted for alternate tiers of vanilla, white chocolate buttercream, fresh raspberries & raspberry preserve and chocolate cake with buttercream. Our marble effect iced creation fed 60-70 people.
I loved the marble effect that I’d seen already in trend blogs and pinterest and also knew linli had already created something similar from her instagram in pink (image below) so asked her to recreate, in grey and gold, for mine.
Linli got married last year (she made her own wedding cake, check it out below and also on the Abundance Cakes instagram – it really is something!) so she identifies with me on the stresses of organising a wedding. Linli set up her cake business whilst engaged (because planning a wedding isnt enough to do!) and the following is her take on moving your creative hobbie into a business along with culinary wedding trends and advice on choosing something sweet for your ‘i do’ day…
Tell me a bit about Abundance Cakes, how it started and what services you offer?
It all started with a cake…. (of course). I had found a cake which, had I described what I had imagined for my own wedding day, could not have been more accurate. I didn’t want any other, everything else paled in comparison, but then I found out the price….and that it cost more than my dress! Which got me thinking; couldn’t I just make it myself?
Months of researching techniques, teaching myself, practice, practice, and more practice and I finally embarked on making my own cake. We are now over a year old and we offer all sorts of cakes, petit fours and biscuits but specialise in Wedding cakes with sugar flowers.
Where do you find culinary and baking inspiration?
Everywhere! Clothes, art, magazines, just walking down the street and something or someone might catch my eye and I’ll use that as inspiration. I’m working on a really exciting commission at the moment that uses a sample of wallpaper as its main reference.
Are there any current trends within wedding cakes?
People are really getting into architectural & sculptural designs. I’m getting more and more requests for more geometric cakes with razor sharp edges and varying tier sizes than ever before. Marbled fondant has probably been my most requested design over this past year, with couples being very bold with size and colour choices.
What tips do you have for someone choosing a wedding baker or cake?
Take a look at the types of things they have done before and see if it fits into your general idea of what you might want. For example, if they only have pictures of hearts and roses on their cakes, it’s unlikely that they will be able to do that abstract angular gold column with creeping ivy for you. It’s not that they couldn’t, it’s just they won’t be as practiced doing it and the last thing you want is for your wedding cake to be a ‘test run’ for someone else. Oh and don’t forget to taste it. People often forget that taste is just as important as looks, so make sure you do a test run of how your cake will taste.
What advice would you pass on to someone wanting to move their creative hobby into a business?
Make sure you have the time to fully invest in it and make a plan before starting anything. Ask yourself what you want to get out of it, do you want to turn it into your full time job? If so, how much do you financially need to make it work? Think about start-up costs, regulation, certificates. Do you have a time frame in which you need/want to make it work? Set yourself some achievable goals and make plans on how to get there. There’s nothing worse than diving head first into something without having realistic expectations of yourself and what is possible.
What is your favourite pastry or cake to eat and your favourite pastry or cake to make?
So many things….I absolutely love a freshly baked pain au chocolat. Nothing better than the soft croissant dough under the crisp crust with two slim bars of chocolate running through it with a cup of tea. Cake wise it changes all the time! My current favourite to eat and make is a mocha cake. Subtle coffee undertones in a moist chocolate sponge with rich chocolate buttercream and ribbons of salted caramel squashed in-between the layers….hmmmmn there’s nothing better! But ask me next week and I will have changed my mind.
If you could attend a tea party with 5 other guests who would they be and what would be on the menu?
- The Obama’s (that counts as 2 right?)
- Rick Stein
- Tom Stoppard
- Henry VIII (but his younger not-yet-divorced self…!)
We would of course have to have a feast fit for a king with multiple courses. Fruits de mer to start with plenty of lemons and shallot vinaigrette, any white fish covered in butter sauce, Hog Roast with plenty of crackling, fresh bread rolls to stuff it into, potato salad, roasted vegetables, french pastries, Rose & Pistachio macarons, piles of fresh fruit and pavlovas with whipped cream… none of it really goes together but doesn’t it all sound so good?
If you are looking for baked treats for your babyshower, corporate event (or of course your wedding day!) I can unsponsored-nothing-for-me-to-gain-hand-on-my-heart recommend Abundance Cakes (especially the rocky road!)
Small, start-up passionate businesses doing an amazing job at providing fantastic service and products is so exciting so I have no doubt that Linli’s passion and mega talent means Abundance Cakes is destined for great things!