BAKER & CAKE DECORATOR
Karla is the talented baker behind one of Auckland's top boutique bakeries, Bluebells Cakery, creating works of art to delight any sweet tooth. Specialising in beautifully hand-iced cupcakes, celebration cakes, wedding cakes and other baked treats, Karla has three boutique stores in Auckland and has published two cook books. We were lucky enough to catch up with Karla at 23 weeks pregnant, she shared her sweet skin secrets.
Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I own 3 cafes in Auckland called Bluebells Cakery. We specialize in cupcakes, cakes & wedding cakes. We have a range of savoury offerings in our cafes too and do a lot of corporate and private catering.
How would your friends describe you?
Fun, friendly & hardworking
Shot by: Amanda Wignell Photography. Make-up by: Grayson Coutts
"I love seeing the customer’s reactions when they are given their cakes"
How did you get started?
I started Bluebells from my mother’s kitchen in 2011 with the dream to open a shop one day. I initially started by selling cupcakes at a local market and within 2 years of doing that I was abIe to open my first store in Hillsborough.
Talk us through a day in your life.
Because I’m pregnant at the moment my mornings have been starting later and later the past couple of months! But generally I start work anywhere between 5:30am-7:30am depending on the orders for that day. I am very hands on at work, so spend a lot of my time in the kitchen icing cakes/wedding cakes, testing new recipes and training staff. I like to pop out to the other stores at least once a week and when I need to catch up on emails and admin tasks I’ll generally try to do these at home away from the busy kitchen!
Favourite project to date?
Working on my two cookbooks were both hugely rewarding projects. Both required a lot of time in developing and writing the recipes, but looking back at it now I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to do them both.
Best thing about decorating cakes?
I love seeing the customer’s reactions when they are given their cakes. It makes what we do so rewarding. I also love the creative aspect, when given a brief that’s a bit different to what we normally do.
And the worst?
The summer heat we are experiencing at the moment! It makes decorating cakes with buttercreams more difficult as the icings soften very quickly, which means everything requires a lot more time in the fridge to chill.
What’s your process when creating a cake?
We are often guided by the customers requests. But there are only certain designs that we can achieve with the mediums we use (buttercreams/cream cheese icings). We don’t work with fondant so are limited in creating ‘novelty cakes’ but we are able to theme our cakes in a way that reflects our brand
Chocolate or vanilla?
Buttercream or Fondant?
And has social media had an impact on your career? Hugely! When I opened my first store in Hillsborough, Instagram was a fantastic way to get people to know where we were and what we did. Our products have great visual impact too which always helps in getting people interested in what you do.
Favourite accounts to follow on Instagram?
I’ve always been an avid follower of @linda_lomelino
she is a food blogger/food photographer from Sweden. Her work is incredibly inspiring.
"I've started to notice sun damage on my face which could have been prevented"
WHAT IS FACE MAPPING?
Face Mapping®, Dermalogica’s unique skin analysis, provides insight into your skin’s past and present, and allows the subsequent prescription of a targeted home care regime for a healthy skin future.