The inspirational story of a metastatic cancer survivor to an accomplished baker expertising in sugar flowers art


As a flower artist, of which creation you’re most proud of? 

Catalina Anghel: I am very fond of every new creation, but there is one that makes me feel very proud – a bouquet of Lilac I made last year. It took me two weeks to accomplish the task, making 1600 small flowers and buds. 

What interests you most about making sugar flowers and how flower making became your passion? 

Catalina Anghel: I always loved arts in general, and bakery. It all started 6 years ago when I was diagnosed metastatic cancer and I couldn’t stand up and paint. One day I was just scrolling my Facebook page and found Lisa Templeton ́s sugar roses. Due to the invasive treatment, I had lost sensitivity of both my hands and doctor recommended me to make some activity that will help me to regain it- like crochet or knitting. So when I saw Lisa ́s roses I thought I must try to make some sugar flowers using my fingers. The way she works resulted very painfully for me, so I had to think in a different method and so all started… Since then I developed my own free-formed method of making sugar flowers and never stopped. 

In a world where it sometimes feels like every possible cake design had already been thought of how do you get inspiration for new bakes? 

Catalina Anghel: I always thought everything is still to do. As an artist, I find inspiration in everything around. Nature, architecture, history…Everything can be something useful for designing a new cake. And every day is a challenge- new skills, new ideas.

How did you Catalina Anghel azúcar’arte different from any other bakers? 

Catalina Anghel: I think what makes me different is my singular way of modelling sugar flowers. Most of my cakes are decorated with sugar flowers. And I just can ́t say no to a new challenge. 

Sugar Flower crafting is an emerging trend. Tell us how Catalina Anghel azúcar’arte helps people to develop an interest in sugar crafting? 

Catalina Anghel: I travel the world teaching my singular technique ( very economic, both in time and materials needed). Sugar flower making is an expensive passion usually. But with my way of working, I made it affordable: no cutters needed, less time needed and less gum paste. It is a very good method for bakers, oriented both for production and quality. Also, there is an online academy I created only for teaching my sugar flowers, where I have students from all over the world. The classes are held in English, Spanish and Romanian languages.

I am a guest tutor also on “Pretty Witty Cakes Academy”- also a very known online cake decorating academy. My work was featured in different magazines. Also, I am the host of a yearly sugar flowers collaboration: Sugarflowers and Cakes in Bloom World cancer day Collaboration- where sugar flowers artists from all over the world participate, raising awareness for World Cancer Day Organization. This year will be our 5th year in a row organizing it. It will be released on 4th February- internationalWCD. 

You won GSARN “Rising Star 2018 award” please share your experience with us. 

Catalina Anghel: It was a very big surprise for me to be the winner of GSARN “Rising Star Award 2018”. I was participating in the “ Cake Show Istanbul” with a small stand, promoting the flower paste I use and teaching a short hands-on class and making demos. Also participated with a sugar bridal bouquet in the competition. I remember I loved to make that bridal bouquet- made lots of tiny Forgetmenots flowers, Roses and Dahlias. Won the gold and first prize in the competition and was invited to the Awards dinner. When I saw my name on the screen, announced as the winner of the “Rising Star 2018 award” I was in shock..didn ́t know even what to say… I never imagined I could win such an award. I keep it with great pride and every time I look at it it makes me push harder, work more and dream big. 

As a baker what all trends do you see forthcoming in 2020?

Catalina Anghel: I think sugar flowers decorated cakes will always be on-trend as personalisation was of increasing interest to consumers last year. 

I think gut health is a big concern lately, so a “must be” attribute can be “gut-friendly”. Health-conscious consumers number is increasing, so as bakers we must be able to offer them a big variety of products according to their interest.