Love is sweet, but more importantly, so is your wedding cake!
We chatted with Michelle Crawford, Owner, Chef and Cake Artist of Bakers Cottage Cakes to go over all things delicious and learn a little more about her creative insights!
How did Bakers Cottage come to be?
“How much time do we have? ? It had been suggested that I should go to “cooking school”. My aunt was a very colorful lady and a bit rough around the edges, so when she made this suggestion, I believe it went something like, “You’re always making that “Foofoo Sh*t” (Can I say that?) and everyone seems to like it. I mean, I don’t like it but everyone else seems too” and well, crass or not, it planted the seed.
After earning a degree in Pastry and Baking, I worked as a baker at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel under a Chef that held the, “#1 Pastry Chef in the World” title and WOW, this was such an amazing experience!!! I went on to work for a small catering company as the pastry chef and it was there where I was bitten by the “Cake Bug”. I had the opportunity to make a few cakes and play with sugar art for the first time and I fell in love with the art of making cakes!
This was when I decided that if I put in the long hours working for myself that I had been dedicating to my employer, maybe I could build my own dream. I started off in my outdated tiny kitchen, which grew into having a small studio in my finished garage. From there, I juggled working from a commissary kitchen, my studio and office space I would rent to meet with clients. BUT… recently, as in the past couple of months, we have just moved into our own location! Yes Ma’am, we are OFFICIALLY a Wedding Cake Boutique!!!”
What made you fall in love with baking and cake decorating?
“Having the opportunity to create Edible works of Art! We eat with our eyes first, so it’s important to capture the attention of the guests who will eventually enjoy the cake. Sculpting Sugar Flowers is my all-time favorite thing to do!! I am obsessed with beautiful cakes and the detail that is in each complex cake design. “
Any trends you or your clients are loving?
“I love that our couples are being so imaginative lately! Even if they envision a more classic simplistic design, the hands-on approach with my client’s involvement with their designs excites me. If the design leans more towards an elegantly understated trend, then I get to play with the florals. The more elaborate a cake design the more playful I get to be, and I embrace any opportunity! I get to flex my artistic muscles.”
What’s your personal favorite cake flavor? Is there a crowd favorite amongst clients?
“This seriously depends on the time of year! Right now, I am all over our Vanilla Cake with Cinnamon Steusel, Apple Pie Filling and Swiss Meringue Buttercream!! Our Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Blueberry Cream Cheese Filling and Swiss Meringue Buttercream is pretty tasty too. (You’ll find Alecia always asking for a slice of this ?)
However, our Coconut Cake with Berry Delicious Filling and French Meringue Buttercream is out of this world!!! Recently I have had one of the pair state that they really hated coconut, much to their partners dismay, who on all occasions, LOVED coconut. It tickles me, because the reaction is so extreme. On each and every occasion, they try our Coconut Cake and each time the partner that hated Coconut, LOVED IT! This weekend we have five weddings, four of them are with Coconut Cake!
A Client Favorite is definitely our Orange Almond Cake with Lavender Honey Caramel Filling. This is one of our Signature Flavors that I invented when I auditioned for the position as a pastry chef.”
How early do you recommend clients order their wedding cake?
“The earlier the better! We are usually one of the last vendors couples tend to book but we lose the opportunity to work with really wonderful people when they wait too long to reserve their order. One year may seem extreme, but it isn’t unheard of. Six months would be preferred for sure. “
The hanging cake chandelier, what gave you that idea? Would you say that is a signature of yours?
“Yes, It certainly has become a big thing for us! I came up with the idea when I walked into the Luxmore Grande Estate. A few months before visiting Luxmore, I had been doodling on a sketch pad one afternoon and sketched out a chandelier covered in flowers. I thought, wouldn’t this be a cool thing to do for a wedding. The very 1st time I walked into the Luxmore, my mouth dropped open seeing the amazing staircase. As I approached the passthrough, just under the landing, I told the person next to me, “someday I want to hang a cake right here”. They looked at me like “OK Crazy”. But HA! I got to do it! ?”