Dani is probably one of the most fabulous and effortlessly stylish people I have the pleasure of knowing. Sure, stroll your pram around the cobbled streets of Rome in stilettos: Honestly, the way this woman wears heels as if she’s slumming it in her running trainers has always given me the biggest wave of happiness. So, the fact her cakes look like they do is absolutely of no surprise to me.
Dani has been making the most insanely perfect cakes and baked goods for a while now, so when Noonchi Cakes emerged I was so thrilled to see what she had up her sleeves and of course I wasn’t disappointed. These. Cakes. Are. Perfect. With the best colour combinations, classic and perfect icing work, topped off with pearls or glace cherries and the best flavour combinations: Dani has got these beautiful cakes perfected. Based in Leeds, the people of Leeds must be rejoicing at the thought of being able to order one of these beauties and I’m jealous.
Here is what Dani had to say about her wonderful work…
1) Tell us about yourself and your brand.
Hi, my name is Dani and I am Noonchi Cake! I have recently decided (with a big push from some special friends) to start selling my cakes and showcasing them online after hobby baking for a REALLY long time.
I previously lived in London for ten very wonderful years working as a Personal Shopper and Stylist for Topshop. I got to do some pretty awesome & creative things all over the world during my time there but none of it was cake related. I moved to Yorkshire when I had my first child and REALLY missed having a creative outlet, being a mother is so incredible but I did feel something was missing for me, so I started hobby baking at home (mostly for friends and family) with the aim to get good enough to bake for my daughter’s birthday. My mother died when I was younger and she spent some time as a patisserie chef so I have always loved sweet treats and baking.
I came across some mind blowing bakers in South Korea doing the most wonderful vintage inspired cakes and thought ok wow, now THIS is my kind of baking, so started practising this style of cake decorating and now I am here. I have taken the name for my cakes ‘Noonchi’ from the Korean concept of the subtle art and ability to listen and gauge others’ moods. I wanted to respectfully nod to the Korean bakers who set me off on this path and just loved the concept of reading moods/being aware of others’ feelings – I hope my cakes will inspire positive moods for anyone who enjoys them.
2) What are your Inspirations?
I am a very visual person, I love being creative and being inspired by other people and my original love of fashion and styling. Do you remember Luella Bartley? I often think of her dresses when dreaming up a new cake. When choosing colours for my cakes I think about what would look good to wear! I often stick to a ‘three colour’ rule so not to over complicate my designs so the detail of the piping isn’t lost in a mash of colour. My forever inspiration, my little girl is called Pearl so naturally, I love finishing my cake designs off with pearls where I can.
There are so many incredible bakers here in the UK who inspire me daily along with all the amazing cake art coming out of Korea. Some of my absolute favourites in the UK right now would be of course, the Queen of cake herself Lilli Vanilli, the girls at Coven Bakery and Aprils Baker. All have been super supportive of me starting up!
3) Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help?
Ok, so obviously I wouldn’t be able to showcase my cakes in such a way if it wasn’t for Social Media not to mention the inspiration it can provide and connection to other bakers and small businesses doing amazing things BUT, that being said I do think it comes at a price. I have found already, some people can be quick to bite at one another from behind the safety of their keyboard which I really do not think would happen if it were face to face. Also you have to be really careful not to place too much importance on ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ online. Sometimes when I put a cake up, if it doesn’t get all the likes right away I wonder was the cake any good? Which is really not a healthy way to judge your own creations. I value my real life loved ones for constant support and reassurance that what I am doing looks nice.
4) Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start something?
Wow that is a question! I would love to grow Noonchi so maybe, perhaps MAYBE it could become my full time job? It is such an honour to create something for other people’s happy moments and celebrations. I honestly am happy just doing a few cakes a week but wouldn’t it be something to do it every day?! My only advice so far would be do not sit and wait on an idea! I took a lot of strong arming into starting Noonchi as I never thought I was good enough and now I have got going, I am annoyed at myself for not trying sooner! Also grow a thick skin, something I am trying to do now. Sadly, not everyone is kind. Some people need to practice some Noonchi perhaps!
5) Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?
This is my favourite question. So I touched on my favourite UK big hitters above. Baking wise I love @bake.you her cakes are fiesty and fun (like her!), @superradday is a Chicago based vegan baker who is just as sweet as her creations and so supportive! @murder.cake based in Hong Kong is visually, my favourite account right now! Her jelly cakes are otherworldly. Non cake related, a good friend of mine @redtempleprayer is a constant source of inspiration and rad things for your home and @hydeparkflowerclub.by.dotties is my favourite Yorkshire florist and the nicest girls you’ll meet!