If you are in search for the best cakes in Singapore, then, we have a reference for you. We would advice you to get in touch with an architect. You must be thinking we have gone mad that we are referring an architect to make cakes for you. You may even wonder how an architect is related to cakes! Well, if the architect’s name is Smitha Arun then there is every possibility that you would be delighted with the best cakes in Singapore. Meet Smitha Arun, the home baker and the founder of Singapore-based home bakery Stollen N Guilty.
Stollen N Guilty started its journey in January 2014 and would turn 3 years old soon. So far it has scripted many success stories for itself, the reason being the perfectionist home baker Smitha Arun herself!
Today, Smitha, the founder of Stollen N Guilty joins us in this interview session of conflatingVisions to share her story.
Hi Smitha, welcome to this interview session of conflatingVisions. To begin with, we would like to know a few lines that describe Smitha Arun.
I am Smitha Arun, the person behind the production, the marketing and the maintenance. In other words, I am the single member team who carries out everything from baking to caking to marketing and cleaning – at Stollen N Guilty. I am a qualified architect, working in Singapore and the Mother of a 9-year-old boy. My baking journey started off with making cakes for my son. The more I caked, I loved the creative freedom that came with it as well as the appreciation along with the constructive criticism. I saw my cakes as small projects which had immediate deadlines, the project completion didn’t drag, the client satisfaction was guaranteed and I spread smiles.
What inspires you to bake cakes?
When I first baked for my son it was to simply try out something creative in cream, but later on, baking was a stress buster in my normal work life. Whenever I thought about cakes and baking, I smiled and that alone inspired me to set forth on this journey.
Smitha, at what age did you bake for the first time? Who introduced you to this beautiful world of baking?
I remember very vaguely, baking, once or twice during my school days. However, the first time I did a proper celebration cake was for my son’s 2nd birthday. I wanted something fancy which I had found on the net and decided to take a go at it. Family & friends loved it and I enjoyed the process. So, suffice to say, my introduction to baking is the internet.
Tell us about your baking venture Stollen N Guilty. Why did you choose the name “Stollen N Guilty”?
I started baking my son’s birthday cakes and occasionally for friends & their children. Following which few of my friends asked me to formalize it as a business through a Facebook page and thus was born Stollen N Guilty in 2014.
We arrived at the name Stollen N Guilty to express the whole spectrum of cakes which are created here. The simple fruit cakes, stollen, naked cakes, to the very intensely rich & bordering sinful celebration cakes. Here at SnG, you can get a wide variety encompassing the cute, pretty, elegant, stunning or plain jane avatars of all our yummylicious bakes. Guilty pleasures guaranteed.
What are some of the signature items of Stollen N Guilty?
Our signature rich dark chocolate cake and red velvet cake, which is also one of our best sellers. Recently we have ventured into dessert cakes, French entremets. They are being received wholeheartedly by our clients in addition to the regular celebration cakes.
How do you add creativity in your baked products?
Unless it’s a client who gives me a reference image and asks me to recreate the same, I play around with the theme. I believe in perfection of my bakes but when it comes to the creative design I want it to look inviting and not just for the eyes. For that reason alone, I love working with cream more than fondant as it gives me freedom and fluidity of medium.
Smitha, what has been your most challenging baking assignment till date? Please narrate your experiences on the same.
I have had a few interesting clients who are very creative in their domains. Creating a cake for persons like them is a challenge as their expectations are set. One such was my first 3-tiered cake which had a very elegant rustic design. Design wise it wasn’t difficult but the client had selected shades of green on a colour palette. And I spent a couple of hours just trying to get the exact green shades in buttercream. Till date, it remains my favourite cake.
How has been the journey so far for you?
I am a self-taught baker and a cake artist. My journey has just started, in baby steps, into this creative world of edible art.
Tell us about your future plans for Stollen N Guilty.
I hope to open a boutique café for my label.
If not baking, what do you think you would have been doing now?
I am an architect, so that’s what I would be doing, buildings and landscapes.
Your advice to those who want to take up baking as a profession…
Go for it, only if you absolutely have the passion and drive. Other than the extensive work, it also means giving up your weekends and your time-offs may not tally with your non-baker friends. You need a lot of understanding from people around you too, to make this an enjoyable profession.
Anything else you want to share…
My caking which was once a hobby and is now a full-time job has been possible only due to the supportive boys at home and highly motivational friends who push me to achieve more and more. Can’t thank them enough.