The St Leonards cakes that look too good to eat
Sylvia Tippett sees herself more as a cake artist than a baker.
So how does she feel when people cut into her masterpieces?
“Luckily I am never there when they eat the cake which I think helps,”
“But I see what I do as temporary art, a bit like a drawing on a pavement – it is beautiful but is easily washed away.”
Art of Cake by Sylvia was started in St Leonards on Sea in 2012.
“I have been in business for about seven years now, working from home in my 5* health and hygiene certified kitchen,” she explains.
“As well as creating edible art, I enjoy teaching cake decorating skills to students.”
Sylvia studied art and her first job was as a primary school teacher, but when she had children she decided to take a break and do something creative that could also be a business.
“I have always made cakes for my kids, family and friends and I just thought ‘I could do this’,” she explains.
Sylvia bakes cakes for birthdays, celebrations and weddings from the sculptural to beautiful painted creations.
“Geo cakes, where you carve out the middle and it looks like the inside of a rock, are really popular as are the painted cakes,” she explains.
“But I love doing the sculptural ones such as animals, I did the plant from Little Shop of Horrors and I created a gnome.
“Each cake is unique as I talk to the couple find out their loves, their memories and what they share.
“One couple loved walking so I did a cake that featured the view of Seven Sisters and models of hiking boots.”
“I love meeting with couples to discover their story, wedding theme or style and any details of their wedding plans which can help with designing their unique and stunning cake.
“The design could be inspired by the wedding stationary, flowers and colours, bridal wear and any set theme.
“Following a design consultation appointment with a wedding couple, I draw up coloured design sketches of options for their consideration.”
The geo cakes are made from sugar crystals that Sylvia breaks up, paints and then repositions.
Another bespoke cake featured a number of tiers, the bottom was a hexagon terrarium covered with sugar craft ferns.
”The cakes are part of a memory and you have an emotional reaction to them,” she smiles.
“The couple will have the pictures to look back on but I frequently get people coming to me and saying how they still talk about the cakes I have made now.”
Alongside the traditional flavours of chocolate and fruit cake Sylvia has some interesting combinations up her sleeve such as treacle salted caramel and cherry Bakewell.
“Really popular at the moment is the chocolate orange,” she reveals.
“But once people have tried the ginger treacle with lemon they love it, when I say what it is they aren’t sure but everyone enjoys it when they try it.”
Sylvia sees part of her job as creating the couple’s vision and helping to guide them as to what they want.
“When I do wedding fairs I always take the rose quartz geo cake to show people what they can have,” she explains.
“Some people just don’t know what is possible or may have a vague idea but this is about pushing people to think outside the box.”
Sylvia is an award winning cake artist, having won Bronze at Cake International in Birmingham last year, for my sugar crafted and hand painted passion flowers cake.
Sylvia shows that you can have cake that not only looks good enough to eat, but looks almost too good to cut into.