In today’s Student Spotlight, we’re bringing you Ebony Sharland from Cakes by Ebony! Ebony is a Mum to 2 very energetic boys (5 and 3) and a part-time Banker (of 16 years).
Ebony has always loved being in the kitchen and often made cupcakes for all her events and for friends and family. Determined to make her own kids’ Birthday cakes and after her eldest son’s 1st Birthday in 2016, she fell in love with making celebration cakes. After encouragement from those around her, she opened her small business in early 2017!
How do you find working with buttercream in your climate?
It can definitely be challenging – We experience very hot summers here in Perth for which buttercream isn’t always the best medium. However, I learnt early on that fondant was not where my skills lie and I find buttercream much quicker and easier for me.
How has your business evolved since Covid-19?
I’ve been very lucky to be in Perth, Western Australia, where Covid hasn’t had a huge impact on my business. At times, I’ve had to work with my clients to make changes to their designs, postpone events etc, and any down time has been a great opportunity to expand on my skill set and think about where my business is headed.
Any cake disaster story?
I’ve had a couple, all due to structure and transporting cakes in my early days. The time I was delivering a cake and had to hit the brakes which sent the cake sliding on the board, or the huge tiered cake that was not adequately supported and slowly started to lean throughout the party… Thankfully, these were both for friends and I seem to have learnt from these early mistakes!
What made you decide to take an online course?
Prior to taking the DTC courses I was completely self-taught, learning from watching clips on youtube and tips from others in Facebook groups. While I was comfortable with my skill set for my level of experience I felt my skills could do with refining and I was also searching for an elusive “perfect vanilla cake” recipe. I’ve always adored Thao’s work so the DTC course was an obvious choice.
What DTC course have you enrolled in and how have they helped you?
To be completely honest, the DTC courses have completely changed my business. I love the versatility of Thao’s recipes, and these are now my go-to for most flavours. Customers just love them. Thao’s guides are easy to follow and provide ratios for all different size cakes which means perfectly cooked cakes and far less wastage.
Check out Ebony's work
What advice do you have for people starting out in their modern cake making journey?
Invest in yourself and your business. Do that course or class. The lessons and tips you learn will be invaluable and worth every penny. And never stop learning. There are so many amazing artists in the caking community and many willing to share their craft, hints and tips.
Finally as Thao would say, “Skimp on your time not on your ingredients!”