There are no limits when it comes to one’s imagination and a good example of that is Lauren Wodnicki, a confectioner from Southington, Connecticut, USA, who creates cakes that look like piles of hand-embroidered pillows or shag rugs. Her cakes are fun to look at and might have you doing a double take because the decor pieces are so realistic!
Fashion Life reached out to Lauren to find out a little bit more about how she started baking.
“I have been baking cakes (and other desserts) for a long time, but didn't know anything about decorating... I would do very basic frosted cakes, for example. I was really just focused on taste and refining my recipes. When we were planning our wedding (8-9 years ago), I decided I would make our wedding cake... because I wanted to make sure it tasted good :) So, our wedding cake was my first attempt at a decorated cake.. and a tiered cake. It was 4 tiers and, in hindsight, very simply decorated. But, it was a big accomplishment at the time!”
We also asked why she chose to imitate the embroidery design on her cakes.
“Over time, I refined my decorating skills and found some styles that I am really passionate about. I just love the texture and dimension of knit/woven/macrame designs on a cake. I am definitely not the first decorator to put some sort of "fiber art" decoration on a cake, but I think I have a particular style and color palettes that make my designs unique. All my designs are piped (using bags and piping tips) in buttercream.”
Since Lauren is such a good baker, we were also curious whether or not she took any courses or classes.
“No! All trial and error by me. I also have some (real) weavings and macrame pieces at our house that serve as amazing inspiration. I also follow many talented fiber artists on IG.”
We also asked the baker about how people have reacted to her work.
“It's amazing, overwhelming, and humbling. Cake orders and Instagram are my side hobby/business. I work full time in healthcare and have two little kids... so let's just say that my cake/creative time usually happens between the hours of 11 pm and 2 am at night. When I started posting cakes on IG a few years ago, I had no idea I would have the following I have today. I wish I could devote more time to it... content creation, teaching classes, orders, partnerships, all of it! Maybe one day I will be able to.”
Lauren also shared some advice for those who might be seeking a similar career path.
“Well... since I only do this in my spare time and haven't figured out how to do it full-time/run a full-scale business... I don't have great advice from a business perspective. From a creative perspective... I have a simple rule of thumb—do what you like. Don't do what other bakers are doing or what's popular at the moment... if you aren't passionate about those techniques. Do what you like and over time that likely means you will develop your own style. I understand that I can do this because my cake orders are not my primary income source... but I will turn down cake order requests or brand partnerships that don't fit my style.
That said, I know full-time bakers/bakeries that are also selective with their work. There is a way to do it! (I'll figure it out one day :)).”
Lastly, we wanted to know if there was anything else Lauren would like to share with our audience of Pandas!
“Try new things and don't worry if you fail... that's part of the process. I have had many cake recipe and cake design fails... it's annoying and time-consuming... but without those learnings, I would not have the recipes or designs that I use today.”