Cakemaker’s business model is far from half-baked as she starts online magazine sharing her expertise after appetite for her illusion treats grows insatiable – Yahoo Lifestyle UK

A cakemaker has proved her business model is far from half baked by launching an online magazine to share her expertise after the British public developed an insatiable appetite for her ‘illusion’ treats during the pandemic.
With creations including her Simba cake from The Lion King and fish and chips illusion bakes proving a roaring success, Kelly Fincham, 39, who launched her business in 2018, founded D’licious, an international monthly magazine with the same name, in January.
Kelly, who lives in Aylesford, Kent, with her husband Dave, 39, who works for British Gas, and their two children, has then enjoyed a further taste of success as a judge of international cake competitions, saying: “It’s so exciting how my life has changed in the last year.
“I set up the business in 2018, but I never imagined I’d be at this point now – judging competitions and creating tutorials for people to follow along with.
“Between completing cake orders and working on the magazine, I’m very busy, so it’s been pretty hectic, but amazing too.”
It is a far cry from her old life when Kelly – who has just published the third issue of her magazine, which includes interviews with baking stars, competitions, tutorials and tips and tricks for cake decorating – was a teacher.
That all changed in 2016 when she handed in her CV at a local shop which was hiring for a cake decorator and, having only ever made her delicious bakes for her family before, she took the plunge and switched career paths.
Now, since setting up D’licious in 2018, Kelly has bagged numerous awards for her designs.
These have included a silver medal and two bronze medals at the annual Cake International competition for an edible painting cake and winter wonderland themed bake and her camera cake won the regional competition for the Cake Professional Award in 2020.
She said: “I love making illusion cakes – creating a cake that looks like something completely different, like fish and chips or a roast dinner.“I’ve created a lot of those kinds of cakes over the years, but recently, I have been getting into making 3D sculptures.
“I made a model of Simba from The Lion King for a cake order and a personal favourite was a free-standing shark cake.
“I don’t get to make these kind of cakes often as they are more expensive to do than traditional round cakes, but they push me out of my comfort zone which I really enjoy.”
While Kelly -who normally devotes two or three days to each bake, charging from £150 for a themed birthday cake to £1,200 for a multi-tiered wedding spectacular with matching cupcakes – has a thriving business, her biggest reward is seeing people’s faces when they receive their bespoke fondants.
She said: “I’ve made a few different dinosaur and Jurassic Park themed cakes and the look on the kids’ faces when they get them is brilliant.
“I tend to learn new skills through trial and error. When I was designing the shark cake, his nose kept breaking before I was finally happy with it.
“These things take practice to make perfect.”
Not only has Kelly been honing her own skills, she is now assessing other bakers – joining the judging panel at this year’s Cake Star UK, which takes place this December.
She said: “It’s really exciting to be part of the judging process for competitions, because there’s so much talent involved.
“I’ll also be a judge for the Asia Cake Oscars this August and I have just been a judge for the Sri Lanka Cake Awards 2022, which took place last month.
“I was due to fly out to Sri Lanka for the competition last month but, due to ongoing Covid restrictions, it was switched to a virtual event.
“It’s a shame but, hopefully, I’ll be able to attend in person next year.
“I was judging the category for cake artist of the year. It’s hard because it’s quite subjective so I do try to remain objective and take everything in to account.
“The sort of creativity that goes into the cakes I judge is unmatched. They are all very talented artists.”
And at home, Kelly wins top prize for best baker with her husband and children.
She said: “My husband will tell me not to leave him the off-cuts because he eats too much cake, but then when I bin them, he asks me where they are!
“My kids probably have complaints about how busy the business has become.
“When it was just a hobby, I would spend a whole week working on their birthday cakes and they would look amazing.
“But now that it’s my actual job, their cakes have become a lot more basic. Still, they don’t mind the taste!
“My friends and family are all really proud of me and I’m getting to do my dream job, which is the best feeling in the world.”
You can order Kelly’s magazine online on /www.dlicious-cakes.co.uk/magazine
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