We get together with Pallavi Sheth of I Love Babycakes, who has more than 10 years’ of experience in whipping up custom bakes for her customers, and reminisce about her most challenging and memorable creations since she started her Hong Kong business earlier this year.
Baking—as most people would agree on—is an art. Add a little too much flour here or whisk a bit too briskly there, and you’ll end up with a subpar product that goes straight into the bin. When it comes to celebratory cakes that must knock one’s socks off in flavour and appearance, it’s best to leave it to the professionals, especially those who have a reputation of making some of the most Instagrammable cakes in Hong Kong.
Looking back on some of her favourite projects, Pallavi says, “We have successfully created cakes that have been in people’s imagination and given it form, from themes like beaches, Lego, laser tag, rock climbing, Oktoberfest, and more, and we even recreated likenesses of people’s pets on their cakes!”
For the mermaid cake, Pallavi says, “This marine-themed cake was baked for an 8-year-old who loves mermaids and seashells. We were instructed not to cover the cake with fondant (because kids love our buttercream). The corals, seashells, and seaweeds were created with fondant—some with moulds and some entirely by hand. Placing these fondant decorations on buttercream is always a challenge since it is very easy to ruin the finish of the buttercream with one wrong movement or applying just a tad more pressure than necessary. We finished it with a border of crushed digestive biscuits to create the sand and were quite happy with the final outcome, as was the birthday girl!”
On the unicorn cake, one of Pallavi’s most popular theme cakes, she recalls, “This particular one was for a 6-year-old who loves unicorns and dislikes fondant. A special request was to recreate the eyes from an image that she and her mother shared with us. These almond-shaped eyes with a bulge were moulded by hand, and we added blue and white hints of fondant to finalise the look. We topped them off with eyelashes once the eyes were placed on the cake. The biggest challenge was probably for the tall cake with its long horn to successfully make its way to the heart of the city in one piece, which it did!”
Harry Potter is another one of Pallavi’s most popular themes. For the blue cake, she recollects, “The client wanted the cake to be covered in fondant (which is sometimes easier to handle). All the characters on the cake have been moulded by hand to give it shape and form. A very fulfilling but time-consuming process and the cake made it to the cake cutting table at the nick of time!”
“The second Harry Potter cake was commissioned out of the imagination of the client, who did not want a very tall cake, but a flatter one that would be easier to cut. At the same time, she wanted the Harry Potter colours alternating along the sides of the cake. A chocolate drip on the top of a not very tall cake was another requirement. We took on the challenge and created the characters by hand with fondant and finished the cake with piped rosettes in the Harry Potter colours. We ended up with a whimsical cake and a happy client!”
One of Pallavi’s most eye-catching cakes is also one of her most inspired creations. “This is the first military-themed cake we worked on,” she says, “We were asked to use military-themed colours and recreate an army scene with the birthday boy’s toys. Three layers of cake were assembled to create the base and two layers of a much smaller cake were added on top to create the mound. Once the base was created, we used different shades of green and brown to pipe out the turf in random shapes. We used our imagination from the wide variety of toys we were given to create the final look. This was one happy boy who had no idea how his toys ended up on his birthday cake!”
On her curious chocolate and football-themed cake, Pallavi says, “It was commissioned by a young girl for her football-loving friend. The challenge was that she wanted us to create a tall but small cake and it had to include a chocolate drip as well. We used a four-inch cake tin to make three cake layers for the appropriate height and gave it a white buttercream finish. Fondant footballs were then created to add to the other collection of toppers that were used (Maltesers and Toblerone). This cake was finally finished with patches of green grass created with green buttercream and a grass nozzle.”
In under a year, Pallavi has already left sugary impressions on the Hong Kong community, with multiple pop-ups and collaborations with schools and institutions under her belt, as well as pop-ups and bake sales that benefit charities. She also ensures that her business is active in engaging with a younger crowd, hosting DIY baking activities and workshops at schools like Hong Kong International School to encourage a love of baking. With frequent baking classes for both kids and adults and birthday parties hosted at her Wan Chai kitchen, it’s quite easy to see how Pallavi keeps her schedule packed.
Interested in bespoke cakes from I Love Babycakes? Putting in an order takes no time at all. Just give Pallavi a call or send a WhatsApp message at (+852) 9682 0215 to outline your cake request and sit back as she works her magic on your ideas.
If you can’t bear the wait of custom bakes, you can order her devilishly delicious cupcakes on Deliveroo, which are baked on-demand on weekdays from 11am to 2pm. Perfect for office teatimes and post-lunch indulgences!