Cake Decorator Interview with Confectionary Home
Margarita with Confectionary Home from Houston, Texas has agreed to answer some questions about herself and her business, so thank you, Margarita!
1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a Houston native, wife, and mother of 3, just come full circle to my passion for cake decorating. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in ’98 with a degree in Magazine Journalism and moved to NYC for an internship at Marie Claire. I quickly realized fashion was not my thing, and what I really wanted was to find work in a food magazine. So I enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School), and began my certification in Culinary Arts. I started working at The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana in their test kitchen under the direction of the fabulous Editor and Chef Micol Negrin preparing meals for cooking demonstrations, cooking and styling dishes for photo shoots, assisting with the Magazine’s (and later Negrin’s) cookbooks, and writing articles for the website. I also began cooking for small dinner parties in NYC, until that became so busy I decided to be a Personal Chef full time. After a few years, I moved to London to enroll and graduate with Distinction from Le Cordon Bleu’s Patisserie program. Upon completion, I moved to San Francisco, puttered about in Hotel & Restaurant Management at the prestigious Fairmont Hotel, and moved back to Houston because of a family health emergency. I’m pretty sure it was my dad’s way of getting me to come back home because a) he knew it would take something dramatic to get me to leave the Bay Area, and b) he is (thankfully) totally healthy now!
I worked in Sales (Pharmaceutical and Oil & Gas) for years before deciding to dedicate myself to staying at home with my kids. It only took a couple of years for me to get the baking itch back…I started baking and decorating specialty cakes for family and close friends. I decided I was ready to launch Confectionary Home and open my work to the public. I use simple ingredients, and my cakes and fillings are all made from scratch. I am so thankful I have such fabulous, loyal, and trusting customers that keep me pushing my creative limits, always learning new techniques, and truly enjoying what I do.
Sadly I can’t recall my very first cake, although I’m pretty sure it happened in my mom’s kitchen by her side…She is the kind of mom who baked a layered chocolate cake for my brother and sister the morning she ran to the hospital to give birth to me so they would have a fun treat!
I have always needed a creative outlet, and as soon as I set foot in Le Cordon Bleu and immersed myself in all things sweet, I was hooked. I vividly remember my first fondant class. I loved the texture and elegance, and loved that I could execute so many visions I had out of this rolled sugar. That’s really where I became sort of cake obsessed. I spend a lot of time researching, watching tutorials, reading about different techniques, and trying up my game. Let’s just say my 4-year old daughter would rather watch Shawna McGreevy, Yolanda Gampp, and Liz Marek videos over Nick Jr. any day!
The most memorable cake that challenged me was my son’s then 4-year old birthday cake…He is a detail-obsessed Star Wars fan who wanted me to make him a Millennium Falcon cake. The thing is, he knows that spaceship inside and out and would see any and all flaws. I worked for hours on that cake, and thank goodness it passed with his approval. See photo below!
I recently signed up to be a Sugar Angel for Icing Smiles, a non-profit organization that provides custom cakes to families impacted by the critical illness of a child. I can imagine these cakes will be my most memorable…I look forward to my “call to duty.”
Confectionary Home Cakes
Here is a Converse sneaker cake that was made for a teenager who loves all things Converse, Colorado, Apple, The Office, and her black lab. The shoe is a layered and carved cake covered in fondant detail, the board is covered in a wood grain fondant patter and hand-painted to look like the Colorado flag, and the iPod and picture frame are both edible as well!
Alice in the Wonderland Cake
This Alice in the Wonderland cake is full of amazing details, such as the hanging playing cards, teapot, fondant figurine, and the checkered board! Can you tell if the playing cards are edible?
White, Blush & Burgundy Wedding Cake
This is a wedding cake using fresh flowers and a simple buttercream finish. The bride wanted to use white, blush, and burgundy colors on the cake – gorgeous!
Monarch Butterflies Birthday Cake
This is a butterfly cake for a woman who raised monarch butterflies at home. The pressure was on to make pretty realistic butterflies she could believe in. Looks pretty real to me!
Millennium Falcon Birthday Cake
First Communion Girl Cake
The color is so pretty and I love the diamond pattern with silver sugar balls dragées. Love the ruffles on the cake board!
Batman Groom Cake
The cake was a groom’s cake for a Batman-loving groom from his lovely wife. The board is covered in fondant and edible images of Batman comics; the cake stood tall and proud and was decorated with fondant.
My Little Pony Birthday Cake
This is an My Little Pony Cake and it was based on the ponies’ barn. Both barns are all made of layers of rainbow-colored cake and icing and covered in fondant. I airbrushed the pinks for a more intense color and topped the barns off with a purple color. I just love the details on every pony! Love the rainbow pony. So cute.
Roulette Wheel Birthday Cake
This is a roulette wheel cake that made for a 50th birthday party. The money looked so real enough for people to try to pocket them! The cake board which was covered with fondant and an edible image. The cake was accompanied by a series of mini cupcakes with poker chip fondant toppers, and a custom roulette board her husband built to give the display a little more height.
Tinkerbell and Pixie Hollow Birthday Cake
One of her personal favorites which are a Tinkerbell cake, inspired by her home in Pixie Hollow. This is one of those cakes she never wanted to finish! All edible, all fondant and modeling chocolate, and colored and crumbled cookies posing as moss.
Where the Wild Things Are Birthday Cake
This is one of her most pinned cakes on Pinterest – it’s a Where the Wild Things Are inspired cake finished in buttercream and fondant, edible image silhouettes, and topped with a fondant crown.
Baby Girl Baptism Cake
The cake below was for a baby girl’s baptism – the bottom layer was a very pale pink, wrapped in edible lace and the top layer was topped with wafer paper flowers.
Cake pops have become a popular and delicious alternative to cupcakes, and a great addition as a party favor. Here are some of her more popular designs – the Shopkins chocolate chip cookies, babies for baby showers, and Mickey and Minnie ears.
Thank you so much, Margarita, for sharing your wonderful work with us! I know that being a Sugar Angel for Icing Smiles will be an amazing experience and I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful cakes!
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