Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes
Exclusively custom and exquisitely tailored….
We recently discovered a place in London that is combining high fashion and buttercream to create amazing works of bakery art. Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes is the place and high fashion bakery items are their specialty. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Valeri, one of the co-founders of Queen of Hearts, and learned a few of her secrets and some incredibly interesting facts.
When you see the beautiful and refined creations of the Queen of Hearts you will probably think these ladies have been baking since birth. However, a passion for baking was something that Valeri and Christina (the other co-founder of Queen of Hearts) stumbled upon only a year ago. How exactly did these two best friends discover their talent in the kitchen? The story is one that many amateur bakers can probably relate to.
Valeri and Christina had mutual friends that they both viewed as mother figures. They wanted to give these women something unique and fun for Mother’s Day, but didn’t want to break the bank. Naturally they turned to the idea of baking something special. They scoured the internet for a great baking idea and came across a YouTube video on how to make sunflower cupcakes with a ziploc baggie. They gave it a try and fortunately for them it came out looking like a sunflower. The two never stopped baking together after that ziploc baggie sunflower cupcake and decided to open their own bakery. Let me stop here for a moment just to allow you to soak this in. Two of the premier bakers in London found their talent for baking on YouTube and started their piping with a ziploc baggie.
The two have come a long ways since their YouTube inspired sunflower cupcake; in fact, their business as a whole has recently sprouted new roots. Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes started off as (be prepared for this mouthful)- Queen of Hearts Specialty Cupcakes, Edible Bouquets, and More. Valeri and Christina originally thought they only had a talent for small items like cupcakes, but with a little practice the two discovered a love for baking cakes. Thus, Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes was born.
What I find so intriguing about Queen of Hearts is where they draw their inspiration. The two draw inspiration for literally everyday items (and of course high fashion). From bird cage inspired cakes to a Sarah Jessica Parker cake, Queen of Hearts has a love for anything beautiful.
Another interesting tidbit about Queen of Hearts is their exclusive use of buttercream. No fondant for these ladies! Buttercream is incredibly tasty but does have its limits. Valeri said, “Unlike fondant, it’s tricky to create a robot or a teddy bear or a bride and groom topper. It’s not like you can just roll, cut then stick them back together to form something. So if a clients wanted something in 3D, we have to really squeeze our brains to come up with a good
design that will make them say – ‘Yes, we’ll definitely go for that!’”
Queen of Hearts self taught baking and strictly buttercream use have hampered their creativity. The Queen of Hearts has an impressive portfolio some truly inspiring pieces of bakery art. Check out their portfolio and you will be blown away by the buttercream masterpieces.
At a Glance
Here are a few highlights from my interview with Valeri:
What advice would you give to those who are first starting to realize their dream and open their own cake business?
We say, follow your passion…BUT, be very prepared what the cake business entails. Not everything about the “cake business” is sweet. Also, the world is full of bakers and cake artists, there is always competition. If you have lots of money (good for you), then go for it. But if you are baking as a hobby and looking to do it professionally, don’t quit your other job just yet unless you are getting regular orders already. Ultimately, perfect your cake recipe, aim to be unique, and keep innovating.
If you could choose one tool from your arsenal that you could not live without, what would it be and
It would be a petal tip nozzle. This is a wonder nozzle that can pipe loads of different kinds of flowers
and we can’t live without it.
What is the most rewarding part of your business and why?
We still can’t believe that from that zip-lock bag improvise we first used, now we are able to share our expertise with others through our demonstrations and classes. The most rewarding part is when we
get “thank you” emails from our students or people who have seen our demos that they have WOWed their friends or family with the cake/cupcake they made.
From all of your beautiful creations, what is your favorite and why?
It would be the cake we named – Lumière (meaning – light) – it was our Facebook friends who gave and voted for this name. It is our new favorite because we think the cake design is simple yet exudes elegance and class. We got the inspiration from a Tiffany Lamp.
The ladies of Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes have come so far in such a short time. I am very excited to see what the future holds and the buttercream creations they will be making for years to come. Check back here often for updates on the ladies of the Queen of Hearts.
Also please check out their website at: http://www.queenofheartscouturecakes.com and their facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/QueenofHeartsCupcakesAndMore
Take an online class with the ladies at Queen of Hearts:
Unbelievable Buttercream Techniques with Valeri Valeriano & Christina Ong
Make buttercream cakes that are as beautiful as they are delicious, with guidance from award-winning cake experts Christina Ong and Valeri Valeriano! First, learn how to mix color into your buttercream for natural-looking and two-toned effects. Then, pipe ravishing roses, stylish succulents and gorgeous ranunculuses, and get Christina’s expert tips for confidently piping directly on your cake. Up next, learn the secrets to creating realistic flowers, from hydrangeas to sunflowers. And explore the world of woven texture as you create a raffia basketweave, an intricate woven design and a simple flat weave. Plus, take your texture to a whole new level with knitting effects and a three-colored chevron pattern you truly can’t miss! Finally, bring the look of delicate lace to your cakes and prepare for the “oohs” and “ahhs” your results will receive.