Hi, I'm Emma...the face behind Emma Stewart Cake Design.
I’m originally from Kent, the garden of England, but now you'll find me in the west of Northern Ireland. I have been creating wedding cakes for over a decade, with a flare for the arts it wasn't a surprise when cake designing became my passion...in fact it felt like second nature.
Fell in love...
It was whilst studying Sports Therapy at university that I fell for the dulcet tones of a handsome Northern Irish man. Within six months we had got engaged and were planning our intimate wedding in a wee town called Omagh in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Organising a wedding when you’re not living locally is always a bit of a challenge, we did most of our planning prior to our big move to Omagh just a few months before our wedding. Our experiences are something that I not only cherish but definitely influenced the way I work now with my couples.
So that’s a bit about me and how I ended up as the pretty little girl from England [I really am little, at only 5ft] living in the depths of Northern Ireland. But how’d I get from kneading muscles to creating cakes?
It's in the blood...
My first cake memories are from when I was about 12 years old, helping my Nanna with baking a birthday cake and decorating it with my Grandpa. My Nanna used to make the best buns ever. And my Grandpa…well as a kid I was told that he used to decorate Easter eggs and cakes when he was younger before he went to work in a paper mill. I never knew why he stopped working in the bakery, I just remember that he seemed so happy when he did those little bits of decorating with me. He taught me how to make a really basic rose, something that stuck with me right through to when I began my cake journey.
Fast forward to 2018 when my Nanna passed away, I went home to be with my Grandpa for a couple of weeks. I took my sugar flower work with me so he could watch me and take his mind off everything else. He sat mesmerised, asking questions and smiling away. You could still see his passion for sugarcraft was still there and his pride in me was evident for all to see. He then told me about his Dad refusing to sign his bakery apprenticeship forms as he'd felt it wasn’t a proper job. It was this that had stopped him from getting his qualification or progress to be a Master Baker, all because the form wasn’t signed. That was the end of his dream, well until I took it on for him.
During that fortnight he gave me his old piping nozzles telling me “If they’re no good Emma then bin them, they’re probably no use to anyone”. Obviously I didn’t bin them, they are far too special! In fact, I found a box frame and mounted his piping nozzles in it which sits proudly on a shelf in my kitchen. If you hadn’t already worked it out, my Grandpa was my inspiration and hero…even when he knew he wouldn’t be able to get his apprenticeship, his love and passion for cakes took him on that journey anyway…one that both he and I were eternally grateful for…after all it must run in our blood.
I know, I missed out the bit where my cake journey began. But it just seemed right to tell that inspiring bit first so the rest all makes a bit more sense.
Cakes become me...
So our first son Daniel was born sleeping at full term back in 2008. An experience that no one wants to go through, but without it I might not have found my passion for wedding cakes.
In 2009 Jamie came along and as we approached his first birthday the following year, we wanted to make it extra special and I got this crazy notion to make him a cake. Now I’d not made a cake since my early teens with my Nanna and Grandpa, so this was a real challenge. It certainly was far from perfect but I was proud of it none the less.
Friends of ours seen that cake and asked me to make their wedding cake. [I'm not sure I would have done looking back at that cake now]. No pressure though as they’d given me 18 months to practice before their big day. Then another friend got engaged and asked me for a cake and I thought, if I’m going to do these I’d better do it right and got myself registered and my business began.
In early 2011 whilst expecting baby number 3, I left my full time job ready to give cakes all my focus. By the time Ben arrived, I had a steady stream of orders and I was quickly being absorbed into the cake world. I say this because it’s definitely not a job you can easily switch off from. Even when I’m out for the day with my family I’m constantly looking and seeing inspiration everywhere…and yes I’ve been left behind on many walks because I’ve stopped to take photos of a random wall or flower or textured something. Honestly cake becomes a part of you, my love and passion for it literally bursts from inside me.
By the time I made our friends wedding cake (that very first cake request), I knew this was it…this is what I was meant to be doing. The decision was made and my professional career began.
Over the years I have won numerous awards for my wedding cakes and have been featured in a variety of magazines and blogs. It's always an honour to be recognised for my work especially in such a fast moving and competitive industry. These gave me the confidence to step into teaching and establish my own cake academy where I can support other cake makers to learn new skills and develop their own businesses.
I love everything about wedding cakes from the moment the I meet my couples, connecting with their vision to the journey we take as I bring their beautifully bespoke design to life. I wanted to give them everything I wished we’d had when we were planning our wedding not what we actually got…in and out in 5 mins, no getting to know us, no sitting and sketching designs and we didn’t even get to taste any cake! Which is why I create such an exclusive experience now for my couples, I want them to feel so special from start to finish. To me the cake should be as bespoke as a wedding dress is to each bride…expertly chosen and perfectly fitted specifically for each couple.
My love for modern twists on classic elegance, the illusion of simplicity even in the most complex of designs and the intricacy of botanically correct sugar florals, has evolved into the style I’m now internationally renowned for. With styles and trends constantly changing I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate them into my own style. After all, a wedding cake is not just a cake it’s an expression of each couple and their lives.
I pour my heart and soul into every cake and there's no other way to say it... I absolutely love what I do.
I hope to chat with you soon about your wedding cake.
SOME OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS...
PLACES I'VE BEEN...
Ireland, France, Norway, Austria, Prague, Morocco, Lake Como
Singing in the car
Listening to music, watching movies, getting reflexology, having my nails done and eating out.
PART OF MY JOB...
Presenting my cakes to my couples. Nothing compares to seeing your reaction to the first sight of your cake...creating memories that last a lifetime.
Awards & Recognition
Emma Stewart Cake Design is a multi-award winning company.
Regional Winner - Northern Ireland Wedding Awards - 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 & 2023.
Regional Winner - Cake Business of the Year, Large & Small Wedding Cake categories - The Cake Professionals Awards 2020
Cake Masters Awards Finalist - Best Magazine Cover 2018, Rising Star 2019, Best Wedding Cake 2022
Listed in Top 10 UK & Ireland - Cake Masters Magazine 2020
Listed in 50 Best Wedding Cake Designers UK 2020, 2021 & 2022 by Go Hen.
Best Wedding Cake - The Wedding Emporium - Wedding Industry Awards Winner 2021
Cake International - Wedding Cake - Bronze 2016, Silver 2018, Silver & Gold 2019
Best Wedding Cake - Getting Married in Northern Ireland Magazine- Winner 2016, finalist 2013, 2014 & 2015