Topping her cakes with Sculpt Figures


“Global Cake Toppers” your venture name. Can you share the reason behind this name and how you stand on it? 

Anjali Tambde:- Well, there are so many reasons why I wanted to make that name truly mine. First of all, I think Art is like Music where it connects with everyone regardless of its origin. It needs no language to understand and appreciate. The way the world aspires to converge, it does not belong to any one place anymore. It is Global.

Secondly, if you look at my journey, I was born and grew up in Mumbai learning every form of art and craft I could. After marriage I moved to London and focused more on my polymer clay techniques. Later on I lived in Norwich, UK for a while where I got more into making cakes and toppers for my friends and family and this enhanced my modelling techniques. Finally after moving and settling in Dublin I started my own business to make personalised cake toppers for weddings and other occasions.  Every place I travelled to, I learned something that augmented my passion and love for art. Global Cake Toppers represents this gratitude and perfection that I want to achieve through my creations. Be it cake topper for a beautiful bride or decorating a cake using sugar-craft, it is my personal endeavour to make it look authentic and truly Global. My clients were from various parts of the world with their unique love story that they shared with me and my cake toppers travelled to so many different countries to meet these lovely couples. I am lucky to get to travel globally judging various cake shows and teaching my art and sharing my knowledge with so many people from various countries. 

You’ve received many national international awards, kindly share your favourite moment with us. 

Anjali Tambde:- While running a highly competitive and time consuming cake toppers business I was lucky to get a small maternity break where I could spend some time with my baby and focus on myself, I decided to use this time to create something that I would love to make and not my clients choice. I always wanted to enter a cake competition but could never do so due to extremely busy lifestyle so I entered a few cake competitions during the maternity break. Starting with the Irish Sugarcraft Show where I entered 6 categories and won every category, cherry on top was winning overall “ best in show” this inspired me to enter the International shows until I had my break and hence I entered Cake International and was thrilled to win “best in show” back to back. This really was a very special moment to me coz winning in from 1400 entries from all over the world wasn’t easy and my situations were a bit tough those days as I had my little baby, older kid and a business to look after but was also moving into our new house the day before the cake show, so there was a lot of packing and organising involved. We missed our ferry as we were driving our car with the piece to the show, had to get there on time and with kids and family, I think we just threw everything we could in the car and the piece made for the show which took almost the entire boot space, it was extremely exhausting for all of us but worth the efforts and time put into it.YES, when my name was announced and all the cheer I got from my fellow friends and family was enormous, the interviews from various magazines and newspapers and tv channels around the globe and the feeling of being the “best in the world” really made me feel special. The pride that I could see with my country people both from India and Ireland and my family made it one of the best moments of my life.There have been many other countries and places where I won there after and every place had a special story and memories of its own. I get to meet so many new friends and get to see a diverse culture, food etc which is really creating a lovely memory lane for me.

Describe your most challenging baking project. How did you overcome it? 

Anjali Tambde:- I think the most challenging project for me was the fantasy flowers, where I was making it for an international cake competition and a lot of travel was involved where I had to get there with my most delicate creation.

And for me entering a cake competition is on its own very challenging in many terms, we have to manage time work wise as have to get all the orders on time plus find time to create something for the competition as it has to be made with extreme perfection in all terms and being a mommy first I have to make sure that I have finished all my tasks before I get that my time. It usually used to be after 11.00 pm when kids went to bed and I would silently work over my piece in full concentration. While doing so my husband accompanied me in every possible way, he would sit with me regardless of how tired he would be, that was a major support for me. 

Once the piece is completed the next challenge would be the travel, cost is a major factor when you have a family with kids and you have to manage their school schedule, studies etc and yet travel with them. Any cake show is for 2-3 days and the stay, food etc need to be kept in mind too, we would always carry some snacks, biscuits and nuts while travelling and an emergency repair tool kit incase we had to fix any damages caused to the piece while travelling. Packing the piece well is very important and we would usually pack the sugar creation with bubble wraps in a crush proof box, I would make a few extra flowers incase I had to replace any broken ones as the judges deduct marks on untidy or broken pieces.

I was entering a completely new category called the fantasy flowers where everything was based on imagination and I had no clue what the judges would like to see.

I added a bit of science to my creation where the fantasy flowers were a fusion of a bird, creature and flowers and survived without photosynthesis. Each flower had a name and a special feature, for eg: my duck flowers looked very delicate with elegant and vibrant petals and could fly, my “om flowers” were based on the theory of chanting and vibrations.

So were 15 more flowers that were created for one competition and this took a lot of thought process before making them.

I think to overcome any challenge in the baking field is to have confidence and to think outside the box as its not how good one can bake its how you put it together and how you present it, most importantly how unique is your creation.

How your fashion designing knowledge helps you in standing out from your competitors? 

Anjali Tambde:- Being a qualified Fashion designer and working in the industry of designing for a few years helps me a lot in cake decorating and modelling various figurines. When I sculpt figurines I usually get photos sent by my clients of the dress or outfits they want on the toppers that they would actually be wearing on their wedding, birthday or their special occasion and I find it really easy to dress my figurines due to the fashion designing knowledge and having an idea of  how a garment is put together. Plus in designing we learn about textiles, weaves and textures so this gives me ideas on using various textures and prints on cakes. Also having learnt about various embroideries I use those effects on cake too, I would pipe a delicate rose with cream at times that would actually look like an embroidered bullion rose. Fashion designing means knowing a lot more than just top to toe , it includes various accessories too, like hand bags and shoes or delicate earrings and being studying designing I did a research on various hand bags so could make elegant and realistic hand bag cakes and sugar shoes, while making my own jewellery I explored a lot about patterns, that is made by rolling various coloured clay together and now I use this technique in making my award winning cakes and fantasy flowers, it’s my signature design. Am really blessed to be able to illustrate and paint directly onto cakes and have to say nothing learnt goes wasted. 

As a brand ambassador of Saracino, tell us about the time when you thought outside of the box for the brand progress? 

Anjali Tambde:- Even before I was an ambassador for Saracino I used their products, especially their modelling paste that is very flexible, does not crack, extremely elastic and dries nice and hard.  

After becoming their ambassador I got to use their new products and test them before it came out in the market. I can now recommend them on what could work well and what could be changed to improve the quality, texture and colours. Their paste is manufactured in such a way that it works well with my patterns as it has more drying time and is very flexible to roll patterns into. Creating patterns with their sugar paste and making fantasy flowers with their flower paste was something new for Saracino and they are often willing to hear from all their ambassadors and value their feedback for making it one of the best product to use in extreme weather conditions. I am delighted to explore their paste in creating patterns and fantasy flowers and show my students how versatile this product is, from modelling delicate figurines to strong structures can be obtained. I create regular tutorials using saracino and all the students in my class get to work with various products. We also have a collaboration that is featured at Cake International every year and the cakes created are then auctioned and the money is given to a charitable organisation, this programme of saracino is called S.A.F.E As an ambassador I proudly wear my badge to any cake show I visit or any workshop I conduct.

Saracino is also into manufacturing of sugar paste and food colour, please tell us how important are these products while baking? 

Anjali Tambde:- Any cake that is baked needs some decoration, a little customisation to make it more attractive and appealing, a small flower or a little figurine can completely change the look of the cake and this is the magic of sugar paste.

As you know saracino has won the best product award for their modelling paste and till date I have not seen a sugarpaste that is so versatile, the paste can be used for creating flowers, patterns,modelling figures,use as cake covering and even can be used for large cake sculptures. Any cake baked need to be covered and what can be better than sugarpaste in vibrant colours and awesome flavours. Their food colours are within all the safety regulations and are very intense and a tiny amount can give a very good colour, this helps the cake stand out with the difference in colours and hues that could be created using them. Saracino does various food flavourings and glazes that is also popular in the baking industry. The most important thing about saracino is its quality, it uses cocoa butter in its purest form and avoids palm oil that is generally used by other sugarpaste manufacturing companies. I am very health conscious and always like to check the ingredients used in products that I use and my motto is that I don’t sell cakes that I don’t like to eat, in other words I am a perfectionist and use quality and genuine products for my customers and that is why I stand in market for last 11 years. Saracino has a chocolate paste too that can be used for figurines and has irresistible taste, perfect for any chocolate lover.

Who inspire you today as a modern-day Baker? How different is a home baker as compare to a barker working in a cafe or a hotel bakery? 

Anjali Tambde:- This is a little difficult to answer as there can never be one baker, each and every baker has his or her own style and something that makes their cakes unique. I would also be inspired from many non-bakers who might be artists, architects or crafters. Having an art background and an artist mum I usually use a lot of painting skills in my cakes. 

Every baker at some stage starts at home trying to explore their baking skills starting with little bakes for friends and families and this can grow into a complete home grown business or hotel, that is an individual choice but if I wanted to compare an home baker to a professional there would be several criteria, like the hygiene standards, products used temperatures they are stored at. Both professional and home bakers work hard so cannot say one is better than the other, the bakers at the hotel could do a rush job and home bakers could be a novice to do a job with that perfection. According to me both the bakers are good if they are efficient in their job and follow all the compliance laws. 

Global Cake Toppers link: –