November 16, 2022 2.30 pm This story is over 17 months old

Lincoln woman’s baking empire: From YouTube to winning big at Cake International

The Cake International is the largest event in the cake baking world

By Local Democracy Reporter

A woman from Lincoln has been earning universal acclaim for her elaborate cake-baking skills, winning awards at Cake International and running her own YouTube tutorial channel for aspiring bakers.

Lauren Marland, 30, has been flexing her creative baking skills for 10 years, initially starting off by making cakes for family and friends – before expanding to wedding bookings and private clients.

She met her husband Trevor, 43, ironically at a cake shop while they worked for supermarket chain Morrisons, and they set up the Caking It Special business in 2015.

Lauren Marland is a meticulous designer of cakes, never opting for anything other than artistic. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“I made her a shocking cake and she wanted to make a better one”, Trevor said of Caking It Special’s emergence as a business, and they haven’t looked back ever since.

Their business took on a different role as life changed for the couple. Their son was born in 2019, meaning Lauren had a year off work on maternity leave, and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit shortly after.

She now makes YouTube tutorials on her phone, uploading them from her garage. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

This prompted Lauren to set up shop at home, converting her garage into a wonderful cake baking studio and setting up a YouTube channel under the Caking It Special name – offering tutorials on baking your favourite cakes.

Lauren said: “Cakes are just my personal interest, many clients have similar design ideas so my YouTube channel allows for me to be as creative as possible. I’ve always been drawn to the creative element of baking cakes.”

Since she started baking cakes, Lauren said she has probably made “thousands” but couldn’t put a number on it, acknowledging that she used to make thousands at a time for the annual Lincoln Christmas Market.

Cake International

All three of Lauren’s award winning cakes. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Her imaginative side has seen her earn major acclaim in the baking world, having recently picked up three awards at the Cake International, the largest cake show and competition in the world, in early November.

Lauren’s mesmerising horror-inspired sweet treat sculpture, named Edward, took over two months to create and came with lights and even screaming noises, giving the judges at the Cake International a scare!

He’s an incredible creation, and also very very scary! | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

‘Edward’ comes with an accessory: a half-eaten rat. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

There were around 1,000 entrants for the horror category at the awards, and Lauren won bronze for her piece, which was propped up by a metal rod and carefully transported to Birmingham in a very slow moving car, so as to not damage it.

Due to the size of the designs, leeway was allowed in the form of a polystyrene structure layered with cake mix and toppings, which is precisely how Edward was crafted.

Lauren said she used to speak to Edward while creating him, though he didn’t speak back much! | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lauren’s pumpkin design also earned her props. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The giant Edward cake was not the only design to earn Lauren a prize though. She was also given recognition in the form of a bronze award and a merit for her doll’s house cake and the spooky pumpkin design too.

Nobody is allowed to know who designed the cakes at Cake International, but after putting hundreds of hours of work in, Lauren said she hung around the vicinity of her cakes to gauge people’s feedback.

Inside the remarkable doll’s house made by Lauren. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“I’m a big horror fan so this was an exciting category for me”, she said. “I just hung around the arena to see what people were saying, the positive messages made those hours making it feel worthwhile.”

YouTube future for Caking It Special

Lauren is hoping to take Caking It Special to the next level. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lauren has big plans for the future, namely with attending Cake International again next year to see if she can earn silver or even gold.

She will also be running a daily advent calendar series on her YouTube channel, offering tutorials on how to bake different mini-Christmas figurines out of cake ingredients each day in December.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“It will be things people can make themselves”, Lauren said. “They take about an hour each and are a bit of fun for people this Christmas.”

Lauren usually uploads once a week to her YouTube channel, and you can subscribe to her page and watch the videos by clicking the link here.

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