Welcoming Lara’s dear friend Karen from Quincy Lane. Karen is a wonderful friend of Lara’s and has worked on many of Lara’s personal cakes and worked with many of her clients. Karen has also worked with some amazing brands, including Samantha Wills and Mimco.
She is a cake baker extraordinaire!
A little about Karen…..
Karen is a qualified Chef by trade for over 22 years, she started Quincy Lane 6 years ago after she had kids, as a lot of Mums do as they can work around their children. She began baking meringues and biscuits for friends and went from baking for her friends to where she is now and she continues to grow.
Lara has tasted many of her cakes and biscuits and they are all totally delicious.
Image: Quincy Lane
Explain what you attribute your growth to your Instagram profile today?
Karen has achieved such a strong growth since the beginning of her business and puts this predominately down to a lot of time spent networking and building on fusing strong relationships with her clients, collaborating with friends and brands and putting her name out there in the market.
A lot has changed in the social’s over 6 years and Karen has spent her time always working on solid content, is helps when you have such great visual content to work with. The cakes speak for themselves!
Lets talk “The Wedding Cake”
When talking to clients Lara explains that a lot of people will say that they don’t like or eat cake, yet it is still a traditional part of the wedding celebration and it can be a huge styling piece on the day.
What do you say to clients if they say the cake is not that important to them?
Karen’s research finds that the wedding cake goes back to roman times and signifies good luck and fertility and has always been an element that is to be considered for the wedding day.
“An event without a cake is just a meeting”
The cake is a massive focal point, it doesn’t need to be huge….. its a beautiful tradition. Lets face it everyone likes some sort of cake!
From a styling perspective, Lara adds that the cake is on display from early on in the day and should be cohesive with the rest of the vibe and style of the wedding, it tells a story combined with the rest of the overall look.
There are so many styles of cake maker - where do you see yourself from a style perspective?
Generally, Karen's style is quite non-traditional and she doesn’t really make the larger 6 tier wedding cakes, more smaller cakes. Her style is very pretty pink, mostly with soft pastels and whites, she loves fresh florals and uses textural butter cream in many of her amazing creations.
Image: Quincy Lane
What do you think the trend is for cakes next season?
Still sticking with pastels, whites, textured butter cream and ganache, fresh florals and beautiful sugar florals. Sugar florals are beautiful and are definitely a specialized technique as there is a lot of work involved with these.
Lara asks Karen her thoughts on supermarket cake verses handmade?
Every cake has its place, not everyone can afford a handmade designer cake and its not a priority. Some people would like to spend their money elsewhere on entertainment or other styling elements.
There totally is a place for a supermarket cake. But you have to bear in mind that it most likely has been frozen and uses products that may not be of a high quality and will contain preservatives.
When you engage a cake maker, you not only get a bespoke design but also, one to one interaction with them and a completely unique cake that will stand out on the day. Not to forget quality, fresh products. Ultimately you get what you pay for!
Lara says that it is very difficult to choose a cake maker with just looking at their images on Instagram, is it important to taste the cake too?
There are so many options these days when it comes to the flavour of the cake, the days are gone when you have a fruit cake iced with royal icing! The flavour combinations are endless!
Karen most definitely recommends a cake tasting. This will normally be organised before the date and will get sent to the client. When you are spending hundreds of dollars on a cake you want to be able to taste it first.
Its important to remember that the older generation like the tradition and it is important to them as part of the day.
Lara asks Karen what her thoughts are around using fresh flowers on cakes? And if she prefers you to do flowers or florist
Karen loves using fresh florals on the cake but prefers decorate the cake with the flowers herself and there are many reasons why…..
Its important that everyone is on the same page and cake maker has had the conversation with the florist and the florals are cohesive with the clients over all look. Karen will ensure she has always had a conversation with the florist and the wedding planner or venue coordinator.
The cake is a major focal point and many hours of hard work have gone into it. The cake maker doesn’t want to see florals on the cake that disappoint and let down the cake on the day. Another thing to think about is that the flowers that are going onto the cake aren’t poisonous, another reason Karen likes to decorate the cake herself.
The relationship between everyone is key and there is a lot that goes into the planning of all the elements including the cake.
How far out do they need to be organising cake maker?
Karen feels that once the venue, photographer, celebrant have been booked, you need to get the cake locked in early on. Start doing research and talk to your stylist and look at options that line with your style. Get a tasting booked in and make a decision.
2021 is becoming a busy year and in the past the cakemaker can be booked 6months out, now suppliers are getting booked due to demand. No decisions need to be made at this point, just book them for the day and as get closer, work on the design and style.
Image: Quincy Lane
Past cake trends….
Karen just wanted to reflect on past cake trends. There have been many. Cupcake towers, donut towers, figurines, caricature cakes, naked cakes, character cakes, she has seen some crazy thing over the years! Really its up to the Bride and Groom, what they want and what aligns with them as a couple.
Lara says that there are many cake trends, but the couple don’t want to look back at the wedding photos and regret their choice! The cake needs to be a reflection of them and needs to be authentic. Lara says its important to inject a bit of you into your styling and stay true to yourself. Which goes for the entire event. Be inspired by trends but make it personal and formulate an amazing design that will reflect you as a couple.
What is your favourite cake ever made or most favourite event you have ever worked on?
Karen has a fair few faves but loves return clients that will want Karen to make them a cake for a family event. They, send a colour palette and flavour and tell her to do what she wants. She loves this way of working and gives her creative licence.
Karen has worked on so many amazing, fun events that she cant pin point one but will have to say a memorable cake has to be her Sisters wedding cake.
The wedding was in New Zealand on New Years day. She took all her equipment, baking tins, palette knives to NZ in her suitcase! Probably wouldn’t have been the same if she was in Sydney but it was so special as it was her sisters wedding cake!
Lara’s personal favourite Karen’s cookie cake, it is the most delicious thing she has ever tasted! EVER. Great for birthdays or baby showers. Really yummy, fun and a beautiful cake!
Thank you so much for the chat and lets get you making me that cookie cake soon!
Karen from Quincy lane
Image: Quincy Lane
Would you like to see Karen in action – Of course you do! Check out her Instagram @quincy.lane
And if you missed it you can check out our last two episodes on Wedding Experts with Honey Lane below!