This week's Fanday Friday we're getting peckish so who better to put the spotlight on than Fifi's Cakery. Fifi's Cakery is owned and run by Fiona Byrne. An absolute artist, Fiona designs and makes the most jaw dropping, flavour popping wedding cakes. I can definitely recommend Fiona and her cakery having eaten her delectable cakes (in the name of research, obviously!) and from hearing wonderful feedback first hand. If you want a truly astonishing wedding cake, then Fifi's Cakery is where you'll get it from.
How long have you been designing and making wedding cakes?
I made my first wedding cake about 10 years ago, a tower of miniature individual fruit cakes covered in tiny white and lemon-yellow blossoms. My hands shook like crazy as I placed each cake on the cake stand but once they were all in place my passion for wedding cakes was instantly born.
Have you always wanted to be a baker, if not, what else did you want to do?
I made my first fondant covered cake when I was just 14, so yes, I think cake making was always a passion. After getting side tracked by a career in Montessori teaching, I returned to cake making once I had my own family and started making my children's birthday cakes, then other parents asked me to make their children's novelty cakes and slowly I evolved into a professional cake maker.
Do you make wedding cakes only, if not what other types of cakes do you do make?
I only make wedding cakes as they make me sing with joy whilst I’m making them, my poor suffering neighbours! It’s the whole occasion of a wedding that really interests me, it is such a special and rare event that I still get so excited for every single wedding cake I make. We all have birthdays every year, but a wedding is such a special and monumental ceremony that the meaning and importance behind the cake far outweighs a birthday cake. To be a part of a couple’s exchanging of vows is still a real treat.
What kind of wedding cakes do you like to design?
I love floral themed cakes whether they are fresh organic edible flowers or handmade sugar blooms. There are just so many ways to arrange and create with florals which can vary wildly from delicate and classic designs to bold and contemporary creations but each time the flowers are always stunning and individual.
What’s your favourite cake you’ve designed to date?
That’s like asking which is my favourite child!! It changes from day to day but now I’m loving the Japanese cherry blossom tree cake with the hand painted branches giving movement throughout the entire height of the cake and the tiny baby pink sugar blossoms filling in the gaps with delicate detail and then the 3D branches going for a wowzer factor.
What advice would you give to a couple trying to choose their cake maker?
There’s a cake maker for every couple, just make sure you choose one that has the same priorities as you, so you can work together to ensure you have the cake of your lifetime exactly as you want. Some couples are passionate about the taste of the cake and go to great lengths to get a perfect selection of delicious flavours to please their guests. For others it’s all about the price or the look, so a single tier or dummy cakes with a cutting cake in the kitchen would be a perfect fit. Other couples are more than happy with a Tesco Caterpillar cake. There is no right or wrong, just make sure you choose the cake that will make you the happiest on the day.
How many wedding cakes do you prefer to make a year?
I find it difficult to turn couples down as I want to help as many people as possible celebrate their lives together and create a delicious edible work of art for them. The most I have made in a year is 65 wedding cakes, but this left little time for life beyond cakes, so an ideal amount would be about 50 weddings a year. I only do one wedding every few days, so each cake has my full focus and attention to detail.
Do you make cakes that take allergies into consideration and if so what kind?
All my cakes are vegetarian, nut free and milk free as standard. Gluten, dairy, and sugar free cakes are also offered. If any of the couple’s guests have an allergy or intolerance each guest has an individually boxed cupcake with ingredients listed and a gift tag, so everyone can enjoy some wedding cake without worrying about any cross contamination during the reception.
Do you like to eat cake yourself and if so, what’s your favourite type?
I inhale so much icing sugar whilst working with cake that all I crave to eat is salty chips! But when I do need a fix of something sweet it has to be a light zingy lemon drizzle cake or some of my darling Nan’s fruit cake recipe.
Do you hold consultations so that the couples can get to know you and your work?
Yes, the wedding cake consultations are a lovely opportunity to get to know the couples and their style and personalities. Every couple comes to the Cakery, surrounded by display cakes for inspiration, to taste a selection of their choice of different flavours of freshly baked cake along with teas, coffee and bubbly and plenty of chat about their wedding. Then together we create a cake that’s a fabulous statement of their style and personality and brings to life their ideas and visions that will have a lasting impression on their guests.
For more information on Fifi's Cakery click here
Photographs courtesy of Natalie Delente Photography