The beautiful art of cake decoration

Pick a rose, a pure white rose with soft, velvet petals, look at the size of its outer petals and deep into its core. Breath in the scent, touch the delicate foliage, examine the colours, then dissect it.

Once you have taken in the detail, it is time to gather your cake decorating ingredients and mould a tiny replica of this wonderous bloom.

When it comes to moulding flowers – albeit – bright yellow sunflowers or the tiny white jasmine bloom, this is how Churchill resident Pauline Herrmann goes about the creation of her award-winning cake decorations.

Mrs Herrmann, the mother of four daughters and now aged in her 70s’s says she commenced crafting cake decorations about 30 years ago and simply loved doing it – right from the start.

However, while she is known for her exquisitely detailed work, including lace work, she describes her first decorative rose flowers as “looking like cabbages.”

Mrs Hermann has a warm sense of humour and life-long penchant for hard work. However, it’s her imaginative mind and deft fingers that bring the magic design into existence. Think, gorgeous little rabbits for Easter cakes, a man sitting in a boat fishing to decorate the birthday cake of a keen angler or last year’s Ipswich Show entry – a mushroom house with teddy bears.

Mrs Herrmann says you just have to stop and think for ideas, however, watch out because they can arrive at any time.

“Sometimes, the idea comes late at night, I get a jolt and then I have to write it down, “she says. “Or it could come while I’m just looking in a shop window.”

These cake decorating skills have been passed down from her mother, not that she held lessons for her daughter.

“I just watched and somehow it was instilled in me,” she said.

For her own wedding at St Mary’s Church, her mother made her a nine-tier wedding cake and decorated it with orchids.

Following in these footsteps, Mrs Herrmann made a 10-tier wedding cake for her own daughter with her choice of roses.

The craft cake decorating is exacting, thoughtful and artistic.

“But I love the fine work,” she says and goes on to praise her hobby for all the peace it engenders in her as she sculpts her ornaments.

In facts, Mrs Herrmann and her colleagues at the Ipswich Cake Decorating Association are keen for other to gain the same enjoyment.

“But another generation has to learn how to do it,” she said.

At the moment, member numbers are dwindling, and the Association is keen to see that skills of cake decorating do not become extinct. If you would like to explore your potential cake decorating talent, you are welcome to attend a meeting. It’s a friendly group with regular demonstrations, guiding the way in a range of styles.

The club meets once a month at Central Church Hall. Corner of Limestone and Gordon Streets, Ipswich, you can email You can also see Ipswich Cake Decorators on Facebbook

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