Victoria White of Little White Cakery’s stunning lifelike owl beat 57 other entrants in the sculpted/carved cake category at Cake International, a showcase for all things sweet.
The 37-year-old mum of four attended the three-day show in Birmingham to hear that her cake had been awarded gold - and first prize in her category.
Victoria said: “I couldn’t believe it when they said my name. They announced the winners in reverse order. I thought I might get third or something, so when they said the winners of the third and second I thought I hadn’t got anything, then they said my name. I couldn’t believe it.
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“It’s not quite sunk in yet. My husband Adam was there with my daughter Rose and my mum Angela. Mum gave me a big hug. It was the first time my mum had been to one of the shows - she couldn’t believe how big it was.”
Former chef Victoria, who is a self-taught cake designer, took 40 hours over three weeks to decorate the cake - every piece of which is edible.
She said: “I baked the cake first and made 12 layers of cake stuck together with chocolate ganache. Once the cakes were stacked up, I carved them and covered the whole thing in ganache. I covered the log first - airbrushing the log with edible food colouring.
“I handmade each feather, cutting them out of sugarpaste and stuck them on the owl. The eyes are made of Isomalt and everything is handcrafted out of sugar apart from the rice paper grass. It took me 40 hours and the feathers alone took 22 hours to complete.”
She was awarded £75, a certificate and a rosette.
The interior of the 52-inch high confection was made with a homemade Madeira batter - stronger than a normal Victoria sponge-style cake and better to shape.
An upright steel rod was positioned to strengthen the structure for transport.
Her passion for cake making started in 2003 with baking birthday treats for her children Harry, 15, Dylan, 13, Isaac, eight, and Rose, five.
Originally baking for friends and family, the hobby turned into a business in 2016 when she started Little White Cakery from her Fairmead Crescent home.
Averaging four celebration cakes a week, her diary is already getting booked up for Christmas.
She added: “I do all sorts of cakes and I’ve not been asked to make anything too weird although I’m currently making a Pennywise Clown from the film It.
“Sometimes I do get so busy that my husband has to buy a cake for one of our children’s birthdays but I will make one if they’re having a proper party.
“I've been at Cake International for three years. I've won a bronze award and a silver at the London show in April 2019. The next step for me is to get overall ‘best in show’. "
Check out Victoria's designs at https://littlewhitecakery.co.uk.