FOOD

Cake Artist Leslie Vigil Creates Gorgeous Cakes That Look Like They’re Embroidered

by Angela Andaloro

Leslie Vigil’s description of herself as a “flour child” is spot-on. The cake artist has been wowing customers with her masterful buttercream creations for years.

She’s something of a trendsetter in the cake decoration industry, with nearly 150,000 Instagram followers keeping an eye on her delicious designs. Her latest trend, tapestry cakes, has caught the eye of many a baked goods fan.

The 34-year-old got her start after tagging along to a cake decorating class with her mom as a kid. She went on to attend the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, where she specialized in baking and pastries. Despite her impressive credentials, finding a job after her schooling was difficult.

That’s when Leslie took matters into her own hands.

“I took what I learned from school and built upon my knowledge by watching, reading, experimenting, and learning in every way I could,” she explained to Better Homes and Gardens. It was that hard work that got her started at Tasteful Cakes in Corona, California.

Leslie Vigil is an extremely talented cake artist. She fell in love with decorating cakes after tagging along with her mom to a cake decorating class as a child. What she thought would be a fun hobby turned into an incredible career.

Leslie attended Le Cordon Bleu, a prestigious culinary institute in Paris. She specialized in baking and pastries there. When she finished schooling, she had a tough time finding work, so she continued to work on her skills on her own.

Leslie eventually landed at Tasteful Cakes in Corona, California. There, she’s been settling into her skills and developing her creativity. The cakes she brings to life are stunning buttercream creations that require much more than technical skill. They require a vision that’s uniquely hers.

Leslie’s latest collection of cakes shows just how transformative that vision can be. She calls the style she uses to create them “tapestry.” Leslie decorates the cakes beautifully with delicate piping that resembles embroidery stitching.

The colorful cakes are packed with stylized flowers, symmetrical patterns that draw from nature, and simple designs to give them a folksy feel. The nods to nature are typical of Leslie’s designs, but there’s something beautifully fresh about these cakes.

While the cakes remind many of traditional Mexican folk dresses, like those worn by artist Frida Kahlo, Leslie has cited other sources of inspiration as well. She’s been enjoying working with Living Coral, Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year.

Along with Mexican influences, Leslie has also given a nod to Russian stitchwork in her cake designs. “I love the idea of harmonizing textile traditions from different cultures,” Leslie explained in this photo’s caption.

Leslie first played with the idea of embroidery stitching on cakes when designing a cake for her niece’s first birthday. The smash cake she created showed the stitch-like embellishments all around the “1” and the border of the cake.

The cakes draw from all sorts of stitchwork. While many people call out embroidery, you can also see elements of cross-stitching and good old-fashioned needlework in the designs. The results look not only delicious but stunning as well.

“I’m really loving what fabric artists are doing now with their crochet, weaving, and macrame,” Leslie told BuzzFeed. “I’d love the opportunity to explore some techniques to recreate those gorgeous textures.”

As photos of Leslie’s unique technique have spread, it has appealed to many people who love the idea of an old textile feel. One crowd it seems very popular with are brides, who have asked Leslie to replicate some of the detailing on their dresses for their wedding cakes.

Some clients have had very specific requests. While that might be creatively stifling for some, Leslie handles it like a pro. She knows that the requests often come from a place of deep meaning, and she’s happy to deliver.

“It’s all very personal and nostalgic,” Leslie told BuzzFeed. “And while I love the way the cake turns out, I think the sentiment is the most beautiful part.” We couldn’t agree more. There’s no denying that there’s a lot of heart in these cakes.

The precision involved in making each stitch appear perfect and creating a bigger picture is seriously impressive stuff. Leslie’s steady hand and eye for detail truly elevate these creations to the next level.

The bright colors are also so inviting. As cake design branches out in all of these different, fascinating ways, there’s something very alluring about a cake that feels playful and fun.

The work with this particular technique has made all of Leslie’s linework that much better. While it’s beautifully evident in these embroidery-style designs, it can also be seen in her other work. Take this majestic lion, for example, made almost entirely of similar line work.

Then there’s this masterful edible tribute to Vincent Van Gogh. It’s hard to replicate Starry Night in any medium. Seeing it done on a cake is more than impressive. We’re completely in awe of this creation.

Leslie took a hiatus from baking last year to give birth to her first child, daughter Magnolia. Despite that bit of time away, the popularity of her tapestry cake series has only increased. It serves to show the staying power of her cake design, lingering in the minds of many.

Leslie doesn’t just keep her talents to herself and her clients. She recently began holding workshops to help others find their way in cake and cupcake decorating, instructing on the techniques she uses most.

We could watch Leslie bring these magnificent designs to life all day. It’s incredible to see what small, precise movements are needed to make sure that the designs are authentic to their textile equivalents. Leslie is incredible for making it look so easy!