Have Your Cake and Eat It with Mich Turner

Have your cake and eat it

Known as the ‘Queen of Couture Cakes’, Mich Turner has created stunning cakes for many a celebrity. Having started at the age of 17, she has now baked over 10,000 cakes including those for Her Majesty The Queen, Madonna and Pierce Brosnan, as well as offering her knowledge and expertise in TV baking shows, national cake shows and through her many books.

From how she started out to who she would’ve loved to create cakes for, we speak to Mich in the run up to the release of her new book Have Your Cake And Eat It.

Congratulations on the new book, how would you say this one compares to your previous books?

Thank you! I am super excited about this book as it focuses on healthier recipes for everyday baking rather than the art of sugar craft which has been the main thread on all my previous books.

As a qualified nutritionist and food biochemist I have used my knowledge and experience to bring together nutritious and delicious recipes for those looking for a healthier way to bake.

How did you start out and was it always your intention to make cakes?

I have always been interested in science and detail and love food. My plan initially was to be a forensic science but when food entered the arena I opted to become a food biochemist and nutritionist.

I started decorating cakes when I was 17 as a way to bring the precision and detail to the food. I was sponsored at University by United Biscuits and spent my Industrial Year working with McVitie’s looking after cake and biscuit, this cemented my career path in the world of cake.

ultimate chocolate truffle cake

Having created cakes for the Queen and many celebs is there anyone in particular that you would love to create a cake for?

I have been fortunate enough to create cakes for many celebrities. The classic Hollywood icons would be lovely – Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly – or even Cinderella,

What type or style of cake is your favourite to create?

Cakes that showcase my skill – breath-taking and intricate hand piping with precision and totally indulgent recipes.

Is there an aspect of cake making or designing that you would say took longer to master?

Making, baking, designing and decorating cakes is a process of evolution. It is a time consuming craft that cannot be rushed if you want to achieve perfection.

Skinnylicious vanilla cake

And personally, is there a cake or ingredient that you just couldn’t live without?

I can’t say there’s just one. With so many recipes in my arsenal and especially in this new book with delicious alternatives for gluten free, dairy free, fat free, lower sugar, higher fibre – I could always make another delicious recipe is a certain ingredient were unavailable.

Do you think it’s tough now to be starting out as a cake maker, do you think there’s a lot of competition and therefore harder to stand out?

Yes, indeed! It’s a congested arena in the U.K. Especially with the nation baking mad since the likes of GBBO and our own show Britain’s Best Bakery. With more people prepared to bake and decorate cakes themselves it’s a harder market for commercial cake makers, especially when competing with those running cake business from home with fewer overheads.

It’s one of the reasons I have evolved into offering books, tools, equipment and teaching.

Have your cake and eat it - rose cupcakes

What advice would you give to young cake makers who want to do this as a career?

Don’t expect to make a lot of money! Enjoy it as a hobby first and have a back-up career…just in case. Make sure you have a point of difference so you can stand out in the crowd.

Maybe associate yourself with a local bakery or hotel to gain experience and never be afraid to innovate and try new ideas.

With everything that you have achieved is there still something you wish to tick off the list?

Of course! I’d love to do more TV, more consultancy and have a range of Little Venice Cake Company Cakes available throughout the UK with a major retailer.

Any new books in the pipeline and what are your plans for the rest of this year?

This book publishes on 9th March in U.K. and 4th April in US. I have a range of baking tools and an afternoon tea fine bone china collection launching later this year and have filmed a series of baking tutorials which will give the consumer everything they need to be able to Have Their Cake and Eat It!

All images are credit to Peter Cassidy

Have Your Cake and Eat It

Have Your Cake and Eat It – Nutritious delicious recipes for healthier, everyday baking is out in the UK 9th March – with over 100 recipes ranging from a fat free vanilla cake to the ultimate chocolate truffle cake, each recipe is filled with tips and know-how from Mich’s incredible baking expertise. Order your copy here