Crumbs Cake Boutique Behind the Scenes
As a Tucson, Arizona Wedding Photographer, I have the opportunity to meet and work with many other wedding vendors. Today on the blog, I thought I would feature another Tucson creative: Alia Pierson of Crumbs Cake Boutique. Crumbs Cake Boutique is a Tucson based cakery that emphasizes the charm of vintage with the cleanness of designer. Alia's cakes not only look great, but they taste great too. At a recent wedding I second shot at, I ate not one, but two cupcakes AND a slice of cake that Alia had made (don't judge.) Recently, Alia collaborated with me on a "desert boho" styled shoot. So, I went over to her home studio and did a few behind the scenes shots as well as a mini interview. In this interview, "M" stands for "me" and "A" stands for "Alia." Read all the way through to see the final look of the cake featured in my shoot.
M: Tell me your general process with sugar flowers. How long do they take? How did you learn to do them?
A: It depends on the flower and the size. Typically with medium to large ones it takes about 2 hours with drying. A succulent like this might take an hour from beginning to end with drying. Yeah… it just depends on the flowers. I’m mostly self taught…I’ve taken online tutorials. It’s just finding cake designers I’m drawn to and taking tutorials if they have them.
M: It’s impressive. I’ve tried to decorate cakes before and they did not look like anything
A: Ya I mean I really like the clean sharp look…. So I want them to look like designer pieces of art. But, you can eat them and they have to taste good too. So that’s the goal: to make them look and taste good.
M: Do you have a personal favorite flavor of yours?
A: Umm I like my chocolate haven because I’m a big chocolate freak and, man, it’s a good cake. But I also love my vanilla cake recipe, just a traditional vanilla bean.
M: They’re both good. I think I’ve had them both.
M: Have you ever done any eclectic flavors? Flavors people would be surprised by?
A: Well I try to keep my flavors fairly simple, but I do offer custom flavors. Like for a wedding a little while back, they wanted a maple bacon cupcake and they loved it. And I’m more than happy to do that. It’s like a challenge.
M: I still don’t know how I feel about bacon on a cupcake.
A: You know it’s interesting, but it tasted like breakfast. It was really good. It was a maple cupcake and I did maple buttercream and then I drizzled it with some maple syrup and had crushed bacon on it.
M: Is there a favorite technique you like to use? I know you said you like to make everything clean and designer. Is there anything else?
A: Ummm. I like stenciling and piping…. Piping and stenciling are something that are challenging, but are something I really like doing. My thing is the vintage look. Like I’m stuck in my head in 18th century England. So I gravitate toward those looks. It always happens that my favorite designers are from England. My maiden name is York, so I think that’s it…. I just really like vintagey cakes with flowers and stencils and gold and pink.
A: But, everyone has different styles. So that’s the nice thing about being a custom caker. If someone wants something completely different, I’m happy to do that.
M: So you have how many kids?
M: So, I hate to ask, but how do you manage 4 kids and cakes. Especially young ones. Have they ever actually ruined a cake?
A: No… so I had my first wedding cake when I was 6 months pregnant with my oldest. So, they’ve kind of grown up with it…. I try to keep it separate. During the day I’m with my kids and they have my full attention and at night time is when I work. I give myself work hours. I give myself lists everyday…. Organization is key.
M: My other question is travelling with cakes. Like if you had a bigger 4 tier cake, how do you travel with those?
A: It’s actually… it’s the worst part of the job. But, I highly recommend delivering them. Because, if I am stressed out by it and I’ve been doing it 10 years, it’s going to be a nightmare for someone who isn’t doing it all the time. So the cakes, I actually dowel them down the middle to keep them centered. But, everyone on the road hates me for about an hour because I’m driving like the oldest person ever. I get honked at every once in a while. I kind of want to get one of those “cake on board” stickers so people know. But, my cakes are very sturdy.
M: I always just imagine the Carlos Bakery Buddy Cake Boss Cakes.
A: Oh ya if it’s taller than 4 tiers, I just leave the top tier off and place it there.
Working with Alia was such a joy. She was easy to work with and so supportive. She listens and cares about her clients, their needs, and their vision. Scroll down for photos of the finished cake. It looked so perfect with the other decorations!
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