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Gants Hill cake maker loves to hear people’s ‘squeals’ when they see custom made design

PUBLISHED: 14:03 23 April 2013 | UPDATED: 15:08 23 April 2013

Suzanne runs her own cake business Pat-a-cake Parties. She makes cakes for all occasions. Suzanne in her kitchen next to her creations.

Suzanne runs her own cake business Pat-a-cake Parties. She makes cakes for all occasions. Suzanne in her kitchen next to her creations.

Archant

A cake maker, who admits she “never had any intention of starting a business”, has been designing unusual celebration and wedding cakes from her home in Gants Hill for the last seven years.

One of Suzanne Clayman's designs.One of Suzanne Clayman's designs.

Suzanne Clayman, of Collinwood Gardens, says her favourite part of the job is seeing people’s expressions and hearing their “squeals” when they see their custom made cake for the first time.

The 42-year-old, who bakes her own birthday cake, charges anything from £50 to £550 for one of her cake designs which sometimes leave her working into the early hours.

She said: “I have always loved cooking and baking, and I used to make my sons’ birthday cakes but they were never that marvellous.”

When her sister got married, she was introduced to a local cake maker and they “just hit it off”.

One of Suzanne Clayman's designs.One of Suzanne Clayman's designs.

“I asked for lessons for my birthday and I just never stopped going. I started helping her with her cake orders but I never had any intention of starting a business.

“She obviously had faith in me, as when she moved to Malta, she started giving people my number. At the beginning I wasn’t very confident in myself.”

The married mother-of-two usually dedicates three days to each cake due to the “time consuming” decoration, which in the past has seen her create cakes shaped like a cigar box, mobile phone and pool table.

She said: “Sometimes children’s birthday cakes can be the most difficult, as they have lots of fiddly bits. I will always keep going until I am happy with it. One of the weirdest requests I’ve had was for a 14-year-old’s birthday cake, in which they wanted a mouth with braces.”

Suzanne said: “I love it when people squeal when they see their cake. When my boys see me baking, they always ask me what it’s going to be this time. They are both very particular about their birthday cakes now.

“I get orders from all over, including south London and Kent. I just love being a part of someone’s special day. No two cakes are the same.”

Suzanne, who said her highlight has been making a peacock-inspired wedding cake for a reception at Blenheim Palace, said: “A lot of cake makers, like myself, fall into it, and it starts off as a hobby.”

The talented baker was asked to take part in the Cake & Bake Show in Manchester last month, where she formed part of “Team Cake” and decorated various wedding cakes for visitors. It was lovely to see what other people could do and learn new techniques,” she said

“I would like to try more fruit-flavoured buttercream. In America there are so many odd flavour combinations which we don’t even have here.”

She added: “There has been a huge rise in people setting up amateur cake-making businesses after shows like the Great British Bake Off, but people don’t realise how much training is needed.”

Pat-a-Cake Parties will be exhibiting at the Chigwell Police & Sports Club Wedding Fair, High Road, Chigwell on May 12.

n For more information visit www.patacake-parties.com or call 020 8220 0113.


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