Cakes By Yolk – The Wedding Spotlight
Happy Bank Holiday Monday, world!
Being self employed doesn’t really allow for bank holidays… Jesse is off with his dad for a few days so after a brief lie in I’m straight onto the IMac to catch up whilst the rest of the UK have lazy days or the beginnings of their half term holidays. Hope you all have a lush time!
Anyways, I’m literally drooling at Cakes By Yolk today. The diet needs to officially start (sitting in my gym gear as I write…) and Laura’s incredible creations are making it very difficult to not run to the nearest shop and just buy beautiful cake goods!
Take it away, L !
First things first, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Hi there, I am Laura of Yolk. I make bespoke wedding and celebration cakes. After years of being based in London, I am now based in Cheshire. I love making wedding cakes, it is the best part of my job. I love receiving that first wedding cake enquiry email from a bride or groom. I get so excited and already my head is buzzing with ideas about what I could create for them. It is really nice to have a tasting with a couple when they are also really excited about their cake and we can bounce ideas around. I usually leave with such a good feeling, with a solid image in my head of what they want and how they want it to look and am often itching to make the cake!
What inspires you to push yourself creatively or further in business?
I am really inspired by nature and the natural movement of flowers and foliage. The curly fronds of asparagus fern, the curious enquiring tilt of a ranunculus head or the sheer range of colours you can have on a single hydrangea stem.
I really love floristry and get to work with some really fantastic florists, who often just let me loose on their vans or studios and allow me to pick and choose what I want, which is amazing. A cake is a blank canvas, or a naked mannequin on which to play with and dress up – depending on the style of the cake, it can either be a super elegant and over the top, or really minimal and delicate. So for me, it is all about the flowers and the finishing touches that really make a cake.
Recently, I have been really inspired by some amazing cake artists such as Jasmine Rae (@jasmineraecakes) and Maggie Austin (@maggieaustincake), they are really pushing the boundaries of what a cake should look like and taking cake decorating to a whole new level. Both of these ladies push me to be creative and inventive and not be afraid to try new and interesting ideas and techniques.
What does your daily routine look like?
My days are either ‘office’ based or they will be baking days. If I have a lot to get through, or if it is a wedding day, baking days are planned with military precision. A wedding cake is usually a two day job, I will make the sponges a day before, then pop them in the freezer overnight, so that the next day, I can cut the sponges while they are still cold, for a nice clean cut, and then begin stacking them together. In between this, I will check emails coming in, reply to those that require immediate attention, or post a picture to social media.
In the afternoon, I might pop to a florists to pick up a few bits for the various cakes that need decorating. Or if it is a wedding, I will drive (slowly and carefully!) to the venue, where I usually meet up with the couples’ florist to collect the blooms to finish decorating the cake. Once that is completed, I am either done for the day, or I have to finish off other bits that need doing. This might be finishing decorating a celebration cake, or an order for a cafe, or baking samples of a wedding cake tasting.
If I have the time/energy/inclination in the evening I will try and fit in a Zumba class. Then dinner, maybe a stroll to the pub and then bed.
What’s your favourite memory from working in this field so far?
There are so many amazing memories, as there really are so many wonderful aspects to my job. I love collaborating with other wedding industry folks on styled shoots, and then maybe seeing these in print in glossy magazines or on fancy wedding blogs. Also, it is wonderful to exhibit at wedding fairs and get to meet so many happy couples and discuss their dream wedding cake! I recently had the chance to create a three tier cake for a reception at The Gherkin in London, I set up the cake as the sun was setting on a beautiful sunny day and the setting was really magical. It was quite a challenge, as I had to drive the cake down to London from Cheshire, so, quite a nerve-wracking journey, followed by a tense transfer up to the fortieth floor, but when I got there, I was greeted by a 360 degree view of London at sunset while I finished decorating the cake.
What advice would you give to couples to make the most of their wedding day?
- Plan ahead of time. When ordering your cake, it is good to give about 6 months notice, this means there is plenty of time for tastings, organising the flowers, cake stands etc… Also, it ensures that your cake maker isn’t fully booked up.
- Use wedding blogs/Pinterest/Instagram. They are a really fantastic sources of inspiration. Also, this means you can easily share with your wedding suppliers images of the kind of look/style you like. But, beware, and don’t let yourself get carried away by wanting everything that you see on there!
- Rely on the expertise and experience of vendors. Your venue will have done tons of weddings prior to your own, so they will have a wealth of knowledge and be able to answer questions about the running of the day, where the cake will go, timings etc.. Same goes for all your other suppliers really, we can advise and should be able to answer your questions. Don’t worry about spamming your suppliers with questions!
- Don’t get bogged down in the detail. There is no set way to have your wedding. Have it as simple, or elaborate as you like – it is your day, so make it about what you want and what you like. Also, a wedding can be as stressful as you make it. Take it easy, make a list of absolutely everything that you need to plan and slowly methodically work through it.
- It is ok to say no to a supplier. If you decide that actually, a certain cake maker, florist, photographer isn’t quite right for you, that is totally fine. It is always better to just send a quick email to say thanks, but we’ve decided to go with someone else, so we can then free up that date for other bookings that may be pending. It is totally fine, we understand – it is your day and you should have everything exactly as you want – but don’t leave suppliers hanging!
Thank you so much Laura for being part of our series. If you think she sounds like the cake maker for you then you can find her on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK and PINTEREST.