Monica Cavallaro

Hey it’s Monica here from @moreish.cakes

🧁 Pastry, Baker, Cake Designer, Product Developer
💗 Wedding Cakes
📣 Finalist #bakeoffau
👩🏻‍🍳 Ambassador @worldofcakeco

What did you have for Breakfast this morning?
vat of coffee, literally marinate myself in it until I can function. I am a night owl. Mornings and I are not friends!

How long have you been Cake Decorating for?
I started to make celebration cakes when my son was born in 2009. Like most of us, it was a case of not being able to afford or justify a store bought creation and figured how hard could it be and made the first cake by myself with no youtube or tutorials available back then. Boy did I learn quickly to eat those words. Middle of the night, crying over buttercream and thinking I would have paid thousands by then for a done cake!

Why did you choose Cake Decorating?
I honestly feel it chose me. I did art and pottery all the way through high school. Had planned to be an art or music teacher but fell into business straight after school and left it behind. After my daughter was born, I was home ill for a long period of time and an idle mind is the devil’s play ground so I kept busy making silly little sugar flowers and wafer blooms back in 2012 and 2013 and the passion came back like a vengeance. I think the universe nudged me back to creating as it was where I should have been.

In times of doubt, what do you do to get back into your creative zone?
Mojo can be hard to grab back when it leaves you and I now recognise it’s all in my head. Simple steps like a mental upper cut to force myself in the studio to even tidy up and I will come across a long forgotten tool and an idea will spring to mind. I find I have to make it and get it out of me to move on and bam, mojo is back baby!

Where did you learn your Cake Decorating skills?
Oh I get asked this all the time! When I started there was no youtube, no tutorials. Fondant was plastic icing in a plastic sausage tube and tasted horrible (and even harder to work it). If you found a workshop, you needed to sell a kidney to afford it so I really was self taught. I finally attended my first work shop with one of my cake heros in 2015 Raewyn Reed to learn sharp edges, ganache and fondant a cake properly. Since then I have done 2 more workshops with my other cake heros Faye Cahill and Stevi Auble in 2019. Can’t recommend attending hands on workshops enough to build on your skills. Plus the networking in meeting other cakers is invaluable!

What is your typical day like, what does it entail?
Oh my God, it is mayhem. 7am start, bedlam getting kids to school. Most days include baking, cake decorating, paperwork, socials, suppliers, filming/photography, creating, experimenting, coffee, planning, emails, messages, socialising, customers etc etc – school runs at 3pm and after school activities and then the evening rush of dinner, clean up, lunches and then back to it again until the wee hours.  I go to bed between 12am to 2am. I have insomnia as my brain doesn’t switch off which does help me get through all the work I have in a way. Most days my apple watch tells me I have been on my feet for 14 to 16 hours and I can easily achieve 12k to 18k steps without leaving the house/studio. Don’t ask me about work/life balance, there is none.

We know Edible Art Paint is a medium you use, what do you love about it?
I think I bought my first bottles in the first few months Edible Art Paint launched. I use to paint on cakes and toppers back then. Since then I have discovered how amazing they are on wafer paper and I use them in creating my wafer flowers. The colour coverage is excellent and combined with my product, they are a match made in heaven. I rave to everyone and use Edible Art in all my wafer workshops and tutorials. Most recently, 3 of my Married at First Sight wedding cakes used Edible Art paints! And the black made my life super easy to paint tiers of Maria Venuti’s 80th birthday cake. My fav colours for wafer are the Peach, Ivory, Purple, Baby Pink, Leaf Green and Yellow. Obsessed!!

What is your #1 piece of advice for the newbies in Cake Decorating?
Good question. Practice. Watch videos, do a hands on workshop, learn and play. Don’t focus on perfection but rather on ability and improving. See others as inspiration and not competition. And finally self care, remember to take time out for you too, as this passion can take you over.

Who is your inspiration in the Cake Decorating world?
I have so many that I adore for all different reasons. Nothing makes me smile more than a full newsfeed of pretty cakes to scroll through and I have been so blessed to have met and worked with most of my heros over the years.

Who I am yet to meet and pay homage too is Beata from @petitepivoine_cakes  Her wafer is divine!

Jasmine Rae from @jasmineraecakes the textures….


Dawn Welton from @dawnweltoncakeschool I know she has artists come in to teach and she show cases some amazing talents but her own skills and cakes are heavenly!

Who is your inspiration out of the Cake Decorating world?

I adore people who raise people up, my first has to be my mum. No other queen is more inspirational than my mum Irene 💕 .

Next is Trinny Woodall, I have adored her for over 20 years and continue to follow her and her journey. She raises women up, supports them and continues to help improve us by how we feel about ourselves and having met her on many occasions, she is the real deal.

And finally, you mum’s that do it all, juggling family life, working full time, running businesses and still manage to have make up on and hair brushed, you girls are super heros!!!!