Name: Heidi Holmon
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Education/Training: Self Taught
Business name: De la Creme Creative Studio
Cake philosophy: "Aim for perfection and don’t stop short for anything less."
What is the history about your business and how you got to where you are today?
In 2010, coming from a graphic arts background, I began my journey as a self-taught cake designer—just for fun—since I like to keep my hands busy. Ever the entrepreneur, I soon recognized that my cake-making hobby was becoming a growing business, and as I perfected my craft, my cakes began to get noticed. Several cakes went viral very early on, like the Royal Baby Shower Crown on a Cushion Cake and the Sparkle my Heart cake, gaining the attention of social media and several international magazines.
(Crown on a Cushion Cake)
(Sparkle My Heart Cake)
I stepped quickly from hobby baker to professional, mostly because I simply couldn’t get enough of caking. I had fun. I experimented. I found my style. As my work became recognized as a premium brand, I made the move into a beautiful, loft-style studio, but I haven’t “arrived” yet, I am constantly evolving. Even now, I am looking around, wondering what will take me to the next level. The need to learn, to grow, to be more than what I am today, that is the driving force that has gotten me where I am and will continue to take me where I am going.
How were you first introduced to Satin Ice?
When I was a fresh, cake newbie, I struggled with fondant. It ripped, it cracked, it stuck, it drooped, you name it, it did it. I refer to these dark times as the fondant woes (lol). When I realized it might (might) not be the fondants’ fault, but my own, I shopped around until I found a fondant that would make up for my shortcomings, and Satin Ice provides the perfect balance. Now I won’t use anything else to achieve my porcelain, smooth cakes.
Is there one project that stands out as significant or that you are particularly proud of?
I’m always trying to bring clean lines and modern details into my cakes, but my Summer Kumquats Wedding Cake this year stands out. It was a graphic designers dream to create - edgy and modern, with architectural details. I could make cakes like this forever and never get bored.
What is your signature style?
My signature style is minimalistic, clean and contemporary, and I absolutely LOVE designing with a limited color palette! Give me one or two neutrals, or a soft pastel paired with a metallic, and I am in heaven! There is something so stunning about quiet beauty. With every cake, I reach for my idea of perfection and I don’t stop until my ideals have been met.
(A Collection of Heidi's favorite pastel cakes paired with metallic)
What is your favorite cake and why?
As a temperamental artist, it’s impossible to say what cake is my favorite, as I’m normally proudest of my most recent masterpiece and that changes from week to week. That being said though, I am particularly fond of the IsaBella Butterfly Cake, simply because she turned out so darned cute and I’m a sucker for cute critters. I’m getting ready to release the tutorial for her as we speak, because I feel that she needs to grace the top of more than just my cakes. Also, anything that looks like a real life replica, like the Channel Shoe Cake Topper, has my vote for the win.
(IsaBella Butterfly Cake)
(Chanel Shoe Cake Topper)
Most challenging cake?
As a custom cake artist, every cake I take on is a challenge. I rarely replicate a cake, so I am constantly pushing myself to meet or outdo my own high expectations. The process of designing stays fresh, and as a result, my days are never boring. The most challenging cakes are the ones that defy my diminutive size and strength. When the cake is taller than I am, like the Towering Rose Wedding Cake (which stood eight foot tall when full assembled), or heavier than I can lift, like the Giant Donut Cake (which had a two foot diameter), that’s when the real challenge begins.
(Towering Rose Wedding Cake)
(Giant Donut Cake)
What tips of advice can you offer to Satin Ice newcomers?
Practice! Practice a lot. And practice with confidence. Satin Ice might taste sweet, but it can smell fear. Approach that lump of vanilla sweetness like you’re the boss.
Describe your cake decorating style in just 3 words:
Fabulous. Clean. Detailed
What is your creative process for making cakes?
The creative process is a constant process that happens naturally as I interact with the world around me, and this is all going on, long before I meet with my client. On any given day, I have a world of ideas in my head that I am just itching to try, and I am just waiting for at the right client fit. I do have a very thorough consultation process for wedding cakes and I like to hear as many details as possible. Some couples have an idea of what they want, but talking through everything, from the calligraphy on the invitations to the intricate detailing on the wedding dress, open up so many possibilities. You never know what little detail will spark the most epic cake design.
If you weren't decorating cakes, what would you be doing?
Coming from a creative and talented family, art has always had a special, and very natural place in my life. I see the world around me as a canvas on which to create — cake is simply the medium that I use to express myself right now. Creating a masterpiece that looks too good to eat, that just happens to be insanely delicious, definitely satisfies the artist in me. If I wasn’t creating cakes, I would still be creating art in some form or fashion…well that, and laying on a beach somewhere with a good book in my hand.
What is a 'regular' cake decorating day like for you?
A ‘regular’ cake decorating day starts off with me staring at a pretty, little cake sketch over a relaxing cup of coffee and writing a list of all the steps needed to get it to come to life. It sounds very orderly and logical, but by day three, the list has doubled in length and coffee is being poured on the hour every hour!
What is your favorite part about designing cakes?
My favorite part about designing a cake, is bringing it to completion. Some of my cakes are in the planning stage for two years, I dream about them, I agonize over every detail — these are the pitfalls of pursuing perfection (lol). That moment when you step back and say, “it is done, and it is good” (followed closely by either a secret happy dance or a squeal of glee) that is the moment I live for. The Maserati Cake, which took quite a bit of planning and the Louis Vuitton Luggage Set, which was slow, meticulous work, were both very satisfying cakes to complete. Seeing my client's reaction when they realize it is everything they wanted and more, is what makes me get up the next day and do it all over again.
(The Maserati Cake)
(Louis Vuitton Luggage Set)
Favorite cake flavor to make?
I am a caramel goddess, no doubt! Salted Caramel with French Vanilla Cake is one of my most ordered flavors but Amaretto Black Cherry comes in as a very close second!
What is inspiring you this very moment?
Right now, I’m inspired by unusual botanical, things that I’ve never seen featured on a cake before. The most recent sugar wreath I created, used sugar almonds amongst the Eucalyptus leaves; just a touch of something subtly different.
But speaking of sugar flowers, I can’t get enough of realistic sugar roses.
Who would you love to learn from in the industry?
I would be thrilled to learn from greats like Jacqueline Butler and Maggie Austin — or anyone who has truly mastered their craft when it comes to sugar flowers.
What are the big trends you are seeing right now in cakes?
Not following the trends within the industry is what got me where I am today. Trends change season to season, however, true innovation cannot be imitated. I've found that the modern couple are looking to add that tailor-made feeling to their special day, so they are looking for cake artisans who can design a wedding cake as unique as their personal love stories. Whether I'm incorporating unusual botanicals or layering monochromatic textures, each cake is designed with an individual client in mind, and that personalized touch is a trend that I would love to see stick around!
What do you aspire to accomplish with each cakes?
Simply put, I aspire to deliver the WOW to life's special occasions and keep the De la Creme brand on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
If you could create a cake for anyone in history - who would it be and why?
Marie Antoinette. Hands down. Her renowned level of decadence would be a great fit for the detail I like to put into my cakes.
What is the next "big thing" for you?
Up next, I will be teaching and demoing at The America’s Cake Fair in Florida later in October and after that I will be focusing on the next big thing for De la Creme. I’m not quite ready to announce what that is, but I will say this, sign up to our Facebook and Instagram page and watch that space. It’s gonna be pretty cool and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!