Yolanda From How to Cake It Gives Us Her Top Cake-Making Tips
Yolanda can turn literally any idea into a gorgeously detailed—and probably super delicious—cake, but she didn't always have the skills or the three million YouTube subscribers she has today.
So where did it all start? We asked Yolanda to share her story with us, from her first big bake to her favorite cake of all time—and share a few tips with new bakers, too.
Sweety High: Do you remember the first cake you baked?
Yolanda Gampp: I was 13 years old, and the cake was for a family friend on her 90th birthday. I made her a sponge cake with lemon curd and buttercream and I dressed the top with fresh raspberries and a sugared rose from my mother's garden. I'll never forget it because when I went to sugar the rose—which involved brushing the petals with an egg mixture then rolling it in fine sugar—a bug came out and I screamed and threw it on the floor. My father had to go get me another one from the garden and do a proper check this time.
SH: When did you first become passionate about baking?
YG: I've loved baking from a young age because my dad was big into baking. He's from Germany and baked for a living before coming to Canada. As I got older, I thought I wanted to become a chef so I went to culinary school here in Toronto—but it turned out I didn't like cooking as much as I liked baking. I did well in school, but after graduating I went back to focusing on baking and cakes and got a job in a bakery to learn more skills.
SH: What was the first really eye-catching cake that you did?
YG: I moved away from standard cakes because I wanted to challenge myself. The first eye-catching novelty cake I made looked like a box of chocolates. It was for a birthday, and that's actually when my business took off because a lot of people at the party became my customers.
SH: How do you get the ideas for each of your cakes?
YG: How To Cake It is actually an amazing collective of people who work together every day to create the show and brand. We brainstorm together a lot to come up with cool cake ideas that relate to what is going on in the world, and we also get a ton of great ideas from our fans. Sometimes it feels hard to keep thinking of new ideas for cakes, but so far we haven't been stumped.
SH: When did you start sharing your cake creations on social media and what has that experience been like?
YG: I was in a show on Food Network called SugarStars and became good friends with the creators and producers, Jocelyn [Mercer] and Connie [Contardi]. When the show was cancelled, they approached me and asked if I'd like to start a YouTube channel and brand—we named it How To Cake It and the rest is history!
We can't believe how far How To Cake It has come. I'd say the toughest part is the workload. We work really long hours and it can be overwhelming. But what pushes us to keep going is the response from fans, the fun that we get to have together and the cool experiences we are exposed to as a result of our success. We try and stay focused on the fact that we get to do something we love every single day—that's huge.
SH: What's been your favorite-ever cake?
YG: I'd say it's still my turkey cake from How To Cake It!
SH: What's the most unusual tool that you find really handy in your baking?
YG: The most unusual tool I use is probably the overstitch tool. It's typically used in leather-making—but I use it on cakes! We are going to be selling it on howtocakeit.com soon! I've used it on my purse cake, luggage cake, beach bag cake for LaurDIY and my T-shirt cake, to name a few.
SH: What are the biggest tips you have for new bakers?
YG: Don't give up! Baking is tough, and it requires way more practice than people think. Keep practicing, and don't be afraid to try things your way and get experimental.
Still hungry for cake advice? Click HERE to read our interview with Rachel Fong of Kawaii Sweet World.