Since launching Cakes by Cliff in March 2015, Cliff has been riding the wave of success with an impressive following of clients and admirers. Using Instagram as a platform to promote his cakes, Cliff now has 163,000-plus followers and is constantly baking, decorating and experimenting with new ideas.
With a background in architecture, Cliff’s cakes have a distinctive style influenced by his structural mindset. Impressively, Cliff works an office job by day and decorates cakes by night! Read on to learn more about Cliff.
Q: Tell us about Cakes by Cliff, how did it come about?
I started off baking for my friends and family, for dinners and gatherings. They were the ones who encouraged me to take it further. I started Cakes By Cliff in early 2015 on Instagram and it’s just gone from there! It really is just a hobby for me, a way that I can be creative outside of my day job.
Q: How would you describe your baking and decorating style?
Simple, architectural and minimalistic, playing on the idea of an edible sculpture.
Q: You’re an office worker by day and cake decorator by night. That sounds like quite a juggle! Do you have any timesaving or planning tips when it comes to baking and decorating?
I’m always planning ahead and writing numerous lists. You need to be super organised and ensure nothing is left to the last minute. Allow enough time to bake, decorate and make a mess! You never know what’s going to happen in the kitchen, if there’s a disaster – you want to have time to rectify it. I always find that allowing yourself enough time means you can enjoy the process.
Q: How do you go about creating a new cake concept? Do you start with ingredients in the kitchen or pen on paper?
For an order, I will generally work off a clients brief and explore ideas that come to mind first. For my own concept, I am inspired by anything and everything around me – be it on holidays or in travels day to day.
Q: What kitchen equipment and tools can’t you live without?
My kitchen aid mixer has been my baby from the start.
Q: We all have cake fails in the kitchen from time to time. Can you share one of your most memorable baking blunders?
It would have to be in the early days of Cakes by Cliff – probably the second cake I ever did. I thought it would be a great idea to have a jelly layer with layers of cake stacked on top. Much to my surprise, the jelly immediately oozed from the sides creating a sloppy mess! I ended up having to scrape off all the jelly so the cake could be held together. I’ve never worked with jelly again.
Q: Can you see any fun new cake trends developing? Anything that you’re looking to explore?
I think people are starting to explore different shapes besides your traditional circular cake. This is something that I am keen to explore – how to present cakes in varying shapes and heights.
Q: Finally, we have to ask…what Queen products are in your pantry right now? Do you have a favourite Queen product?
As a kid, I always had Queens Food coloring in the pantry, but now the Vanilla Bean paste is a staple!