In 2002 Tal Tsafrir’s career was turned completely around after the birth of her second child. At the time she was the Dean of Communication Arts at Tiltan College in Haifa, Israel – when she decided to pursue something a little sweeter – cake decorating.
While out on maternity leave, Tal created ‘Tal Tsafrir cakes,’ as a creative workshop venue for other women to come and do arts and crafts with their babies. What started out as simple projects developed into something more after the introduction of a cake decorating workshop for one of her students. From that very moment Tal was hooked, and in 2003 it became her full-time career.
Currently Tal works out of the Taltalim Studio and focuses on making each cake an artistic masterpiece. Her life-like figures that adorn the top of many of her cakes have amazing detail and are loved by many in the industry. She also has a series of three books chronicling her figures: The Pink Book, The Green Book and The Red Book.
In the words of Tal: Enjoy the sweetness!
The knowledge and the daily reminder that love and attention, put to the right design, can bring tremendous amounts of joy to any person - regardless of age and gender
Brief history of your business and how you got to where you are today:
As far back as I can remember I’ve engaged in crafts of all kinds. My dream was to practice arts for a living. I spent several years working in graphic design, and was the Dean of Communication Arts at Tiltan College for Design and Visual Communications. After the birth of my second child, I decided to leave my work and opened a small studio where I taught crafts to women during their maternity leave. For one of my student’s child’s first birthday, I offered a cake decorating workshop - and it was a hit. From that day on, I was pounded with requests for similar workshops. Embracing the opportunity, I traveled to study cake decorating from world-renowned teachers. With my studies, my passion grew, until cake decorating became my only focus.
I’ve now been working exclusively in the cake decorating field for the last 12 years. Over the years my studio has developed into a full-fledged business; creating cakes, teaching workshops and publishing literature. My “baby” for the last two years has been the development, together with my husband, of a unique line of silicon molds which make sculpting easier and more impressive. Being a cake decorator myself, and teaching thousands of workshops, I know the difficulties and needs that cake decorators face. This was the inspiration for my newest silicon designs.
How do you see your business growing over the next few years?
I don’t know where life will take me, but I hope to continue developing silicon molds and other products. We would like to continue to grow and expand our line. Most importantly, I hope that my studio and cakes will continue to bring joy and beauty into people’s lives.
How were you first introduced to Satin Ice?
Several years ago, while visiting Ron Ben-Israel in his studio in New York, I was exposed to this amazing fondant. Since then, I use Satin ice exclusively. Until recently, Satin Ice was a relatively unknown product in Israel. Introducing students to Satin Ice and watching them discover its superiority has given me immense satisfaction.
Is there one particular project that stands out as significant or that you are particularly proud of?
As I said, the real reason that I got into this business is the opportunity to bring joy into people’s lives. To this purpose, I periodically sponsor cake decorating competitions and raffles, in which all the cakes are donated to charities such as children’s hospitals and orphanages. This is a good opportunity to express my gratitude to Satin Ice for always being so willing to donate and support my causes.
How much does fondant play a part in your business and it’s growth opportunity?
In almost every craft form that I’ve dealt with, (graphic, interior design etc.), the final product is important and accompanies the customer for a long time. Fondant has exposed me to an amazing opportunity in which the final product is kept for only a few days and its only purpose it to bring joy. It’s enabled me to dare to try new designs, intense color combinations, intriguing sculptures and more. Fondant is an amazing material that enables me to create almost any fantasy I can dream of. These two qualities, combined together with my adventurous personality, is the secret behind the success of my studio and business.
I’m inspired by everything! Any flower, TV show, smiling child… can give me inspiration for my next cake.
My favorite cakes are always those that I make for my kids birthdays - no matter how they turn out. When I look at them I see all the love I felt when I designed them and how happy they made my kids.
Most challenging cake:
The most challenging cake I made was for the Children’s Channel in Israel. It was a same day order and I had to design, create and transport the cake for a show filmed live that evening. It left me with no room for error.
Most unique cake you have ever done?
What do you find most rewarding about cake decorating?
The knowledge and the daily reminder that love and attention, put into the right design can bring tremendous amounts of joy to any person, regardless of age and gender.
What is your best tip to share with other Satin Ice users?
Always make sure to make your cake taste great and to cover it in the best possible manner. The better the cake looks before covering it, the thinner the layer of fondant you have to use; leading to a perfect look!
Is there any advice that you can offer to beginner cake decorators?
Every mistake is an opportunity for creating a new design.
Describe your cake decorating style in 3 words:
Charming, happy, figures.
If you weren’t decorating cakes, what would you be doing?
If you ask my father, I was born to be a lawyer. I even got into law school, but after a day realized it wasn’t for me. I realized if I wanted to be happy, I had to follow my true passion, which is everything involving colors, sparkles, and joy.
Name: Tal Tsafrir
Education/Training: Graduated from the WIZO School of Art and Design
Business Name & Location: Tal Tsafrir Cakes, Neshar, Israel
Number of Employees: 2
Don’t forget to check out Tal's Artist of Excellence page for more amazing cakes!