When planning a wedding, many people concentrate first on the dress, bridal party, the photography, the venue, invitation list, flowers and so on. What is just as important, and the crowning centerpiece of the whole reception, is the wedding cake! Cakes by Cliff cakes are the most wondrous creations. Each cake is individual and designed especially for you. From first sketch, to oven, to final presentation, the care taken is something you won’t see in a commercial bakery, and the end result shows why.
Clifford from Cakes by Cliff never started out to be a master cake artist. He acquired a bachelor of Design an Architecture at The University of Sydney and then went on to work in administration in the building industry. Born and raised in Sydney’s west, in a traditional Asian family where food preparation took center stage, Cliff tells us a little more about his journey into cake creation and making a vision come to life.
Q: Although you describe yourself as “a Sydney office worker by day, a Cake Decorator by Night”, you have a lot of fans who love your cakes so much. Can you share your story with us? Why you decided to become a Cake Decorator? What’s the magic about “Cake Decorator” to you?
A: When I was younger, I had no real interest in cooking, baking or experimenting with food because I was too heavily focused on my studies. But a couple of years ago, I was down in Berry at my partner, Tim’s family home. I joined Tim’s mum in the kitchen one morning as she was making some mouth-watering Lemon Friands and you could say it sparked my interest. I started investigating baking blogs and got my hands on a copy of the Meringue Girls Cookbook.
I had a lot of fun playing around with different meringue designs and progressively ventured into baking other sweet, dessert-like foods. I shared these treats with friends and family and discovered I had a knack for baking. But it wasn’t until I jumped on social media that I realized how creative baking and cake decorating could be.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from when you create your work?
A: I’ve been privileged enough to work with talented photographers, bakers, videographers, social influencers and great brands. But my main inspiration comes from my clients – co-designing their perfect cake is such an exciting and rewarding experience for me. Bringing their vision to life, and seeing the joy on their faces is so amazing.
Q: What are your 5 favorite cake decorations from your career?
A: There are definitely too many to choose from! Each cake often carries a different story – be it a first birthday or a wedding cake or even a cake to celebrate the launch of a product. Every cake is custom made, no two cakes are the same and I think that is special in it’s own right.
Q: What was your most challenging job and why?
A: Creating a 4 tiered wedding cake, something that I haven’t attempted before, especially as the venue was outdoors – this created an element of difficulty!
Q: Any tips to the couples who’re looking for wedding cake style.
A: The number one tip that I can give to brides is to do your research. Pull out ideas from different magazines and blogs. Think about what colors, features and designs you’d love to see be brought to life. Even if you don’t think what you have in mind is do-able, write it all down and even mock up some little drawings yourself. Most importantly, ensure you connect with your baker on some level so that they share in your cake vision and aren’t just telling you what your wedding cake should look like. You need to be able to trust your baker to create your vision.
Q: You have clients and fans all over Australia and internationally, do you have any future plans to run workshops or classes to pass on your knowledge and expertise?
A: I’m very lucky in that I have been asked to run a few classes in KL and Bangkok in May which I am really excited about.
I am currently working on a few things to run some classes in Sydney and Melbourne, which I am really looking forward to.
Thank you Cakes by Cliff. This has been a beautiful preview into your world of creations. Any body else feel like some cake now?
Images Provided: Cakes By Cliff