An education in law and subsequently fashion design may seem like an odd starting point for a cakemaker…but that’s exactly how life started out for Clifton-based Layla Pegado. Having been introduced to the world of sugarcraft by a friend back in her native Brazil, Layla moved to Bristol in August 2005, when her husband was transferred here for work. Her first foray into cake decorating came when she created a cake for her daughter’s first birthday and, since then, Layla Pegado Cakes has gone from strength to strength. While continuing to make all kinds of interesting and unique creations, Layla has now set herself a new challenge, and will be starting to run her own cake decorating classes in the near future – watch this space!
I managed to catch up with Layla to talk about her creations…
What’s the most popular sort of cake that you are asked to make?
The most popular cakes are celebration cakes for birthdays or a special occasion! Usually someone orderss a cake and gives me details of the person like a particular hobby or the person’s characteristics. They are ordered as a surprise present!
The most popular flavour is the vanilla sponge cake filled with chocolate ganache. The sponge cake is made fresh just before I decorate it to make sure it will be moist and fluffy. To keep it moist I spread vanilla syrup on each layer of the sponge and I add a really yummy chocolate ganache made with Belgian chocolate, double cream and cherry liqueur.
What’s your favourite type of cake to make?
I love when my clients tell me the theme of their cakes and I find an opportunity to create shapes, colours and decorations that exceed their expectations! Good recent examples are the Tea Set and the Oxford Graduation.
What have you been working on this week?
This week I had a big challenge! I worked on a cake for a Tudor themed party!
The cake was all gold with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in it! It wasn’t easy because I had to reproduce a historical image with the expression of that period, and the exact details and combination of colours. But I have to say that in the end I was proud of my cake!
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
Everything inspires me! My daughter’s books, shop windows, historical buildings, even peoples’ clothes! Once I met a friend wearing a beautiful colourful dress and I told her, “watch out you might have this dress pattern in a cake!”
What’s the best part of your job?
It is always sweet! Baking and decoration is a fantastic world and there is no limit to what you can learn and do! I love this challenge!! While making a cake I always think: “this is for someone really special that will be thrilled with it!” So I love to see my clients’ reactions!
Also, to hear my daughter saying early in the morning “ohhh this is beautiful mummy!”
And what’s the worst? 🙂
To hold myself back from eating the leftovers!
Which of your creations were you the most proud of?
This last one (The Tudors) made me proud because of the challenge to reproduce Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
I made once a sailing boat for a famous painter and I delivered it to the Ritz in London. It was pretty awesome to get inside that amazing hotel with my creation! The boat was done to scale based on the manufacturer specifications.
Also, wedding cakes are always wonderful because of the meaning behind them! It is such a special occasion!
What’s the strangest cake you’ve ever been asked to make?
A really weird one. The mum ordered a cake for her son’s school project. So I needed to reproduce a black drawing with death as the meaning…
If you’re interested in seeing more of Layla’s creations, or discussing a potential order, head over to http://www.laylapegadocakes.co.uk/