Area cake maker learns from world-renown sugar sculptress and celebrity cake maker

Candace Perrault of Birch Island with her finished fairy cake that she created in a workshop with world-renowned cake maker Liz Marek.

TORONTO—Birch Island’s Candace Perrault of Candy Cakes had the experience of a lifetime recently when she had the opportunity to study under one of her favourite cake makers, world-renowned cake baker and decorator Liz Marek of Artisan Cake Company in Portland, Oregon.

Ms. Marek’s work has been featured in many magazines including BRIDES, Oregon Bride, Portland Bride and Groom, Cake Masters, American Cake Decorating Magazine and more. She has competed and won on Food Network’s Duff Till Dawn and her work has been televised on the Food Network’s Outrageous Cakes.

“I have been a big fan of Liz Marek’s work for years and I follow her on social media,” explained Ms. Perrault. “I had been hounding her to come to Canada to do a workshop and she finally said yes. She only did one workshop and it had 15 spots and sold out in four days. I was lucky enough to get a spot and fundraised to pay for it through a cake raffle.”

Through the workshop, Ms. Perrault learned about anatomy and facial features, creating a fairy bust made with modeling chocolate, wafer paper, isomalt, fondant and gumpaste.

“It was a first for me working with modeling chocolate,” explained Ms. Perrault, who usually creates her stunning cake sculptures using Rice Krispies covered in fondant. “I’ve never worked with modeling chocolate (a mix of chocolate with corn syrup) before. It is temperature sensitive, but you can knead it, mold it and work it out so you don’t have any seams. It’s definitely my new favourite medium.”

“Liz was an awesome instructor and I’m still on a sugar high from the weekend,” said Ms. Perrault. “It was a very detailed class and I learned so much. I’m so excited for applying everything I learned on future cakes.”

Ms. Perrault said she was also “thrilled” to attend the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts, which hosts students from all over the world. In her workshop with Ms. Marek, she said there were students from Egypt, Halifax, Ottawa and Michigan.

“I also stocked up on new cake pans and supplies when I was in Toronto which was great,” added Ms. Perrault. “I’m excited to continue to learn and grow my business and to one day teach (cake decorating) myself.”

“I am always so honoured to be able to teach,” said Ms. Marek in an Instagram post from the Artisan Cake Company following her Toronto workshop. “The fairy class is not an easy one and my students work so hard for two days, pushing their skills and talents—striving to grow. At the end of the day, backs are aching, brains are like jell-o and sometimes they may even want to quit, but they don’t and that makes me so incredibly proud.”

Ms. Perrault started making custom specialty cakes in 2013 while looking for a job she could do at home while on maternity leave.

Her business, Candy Cakes, grew quickly with word of mouth of her amazing cakes growing as Ms. Perrault’s skills blossomed.

Ms. Perrault started with no formal training in cake making, but has always had an artistic nack and was self-taught, eventually taking some courses through Wilton (cake decorating company) at Michael’s in Sudbury.

Everything on Ms. Perrault’s cakes is edible and she makes her cake and buttercream icing from scratch.

Earlier this year Ms. Perrault had to stop offering birthday cakes due to the high demands for her cakes, but continues to take bridal and corporate orders.

Contact Candy Cakes on Facebook for more information or order inquiries or call 705-282-4078.