A Hong Kong bakery studio has come up with a way to recover financially from the COVID-19 pandemic by making “illusion cakes” that look like common objects.
Dear Harley Cake Studio, located in the Central and Western District of Hong Kong, is now offering made-to-order cakes that look like slippers, bananas, KFC fried chicken and luxury brand bags, to name a few, according to Reuters.
Alison Chan and Cony Lam, the founders of the studio, were inspired to pursue this path after they made a specific order for Chan’s nephew who loves bananas. They made the banana-looking cake using a thin layer of yellow fondant wrapped around dark chocolate and Italian meringue buttercream.
“This ‘illusion cake’ wave that is currently hitting us, kind of saved us – kind of saved our business,” Chan told NTV Houston. “As I said three months ago when the pandemic started to hit us our shop was quiet for a good two months. But we took our time to relax obviously because we were too busy before as well so we took our time to rest and then you started to need to think for solutions about how can we fight economically against this pandemic.”
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White Mercedes G Class!!!! 🤍🤍🤍 Although I’ve made a looooot of car cakes before, it still intrigues me studying different car brands’ and models’ shapes and features!!! I think I am in love with this one🤭🤍 #whitemercedes #cakeart #sugarart #dearharley – For orders / private classes: 📱whatsapp: +852 6151 6861 📧: [email protected] (Fully booked in Sep & Oct 20)
Dear Harley Cake Studio saw massive growth in orders after experiencing critically low numbers in March and April, with only three to four requests on a weekly basis. However, the studio is now receiving a higher volume of orders of about 15-20 a week.
“I’m personally super thrilled that we have reached this stage … We never expected that this will blow up,” Chan said. “We were just making things that we love, we love baking, we love cake decorating, and we are just making things for fun.”
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An illusion cake usually costs at least 1,500 Hong Kong dollars ($194), but the price can go up to 12,000 to 13,000 Hong Kong dollars (around $1,500 to $1,600).
Chan and Lam’s ultimate goal is to travel around the world and take up lessons from different cake artists.
“I think this way, you are learning new things and it’s for yourself,” Chan said. “It’s not only about business and money for us. It’s also about what we love to do and we are very into this that’s why we would love to up our game and to just learn new skills and techniques from other teachers.”
In addition to selling illusion cakes, Dear Harley Cake Studio also offers private lessons for anyone interested in learning how to make these lifelike desserts.