Five Go Mad

Monday 19 July 2010

Q and A with Lily Vanilli

Lily Vanilli, aka Lily Jones, baker and cake designer is renowned for her cupcake sculptures, which look grotesque but taste delicious. From her kitchen in East London she creates unique cupcakes. Everything from marzipan beetles, pigeon roadkill and bleeding hearts feature in her gorgeous cake designs. Her love of all things hammer horror shows in her new book out recently, aptly titled "A Zombie ate my cupcake".

You have been dubbed the "cupcake queen" and a "baker celeb"? Where did it all start for you? 
In a market off Brick Lane just over a year ago..

Your earliest memory of baking? 
Baking really traditional, very English cakes with my grandma, scones and brown bread and Victoria sponge and fairy cakes.

Tell us what makes your cupcakes different to others? 
They're soft light and buttery and I always use fresh fruit and nuts. I offer a fully bespoke customisation service of both design and flavour. I am known for making unusual, macabre and twisted cakes.

What or who inspires your cake sculptures? 
My imagination, books, films, things I see in the street.

Which person would you most like to bake for? (past or present). 
I'd like to bake for my grandma again.

What are you working on at the moment? 
My book is out now, A Zombie ate my Cupcake. I'm also curating edible art at an event in August called the 'Mad Artists Tea Party' that will pair British artists with food creatives to produce one-off edible artworks for auction. I also just made cakes for a new video for Ash which I can't wait to see - we covered Tim Wheeler in custard!

What's your ideal commission? 
Anything with an open brief where taste is as important to the client as appearance.

What is your favourite food? 
It changes all the time but right now its meat and mushrooms, I'm thinking about buying a sausage maker.

What's your favourite ingredients and flavours for your cupcakes? 
Good quality vanilla, excellent butter, fresh seasonal fruit/vegetables, good toasted nuts.

How did you get involved with FiveGoMad
They contacted me.

What's next up for Lily Vanilli
More fun, more cake.


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