Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?
Hiya, I’m Ella and I run Hillians Bakery alongside my day job as a postie. I bake all vegan cakes, cupcakes, brownies and more with gluten and soya free options.
Have you always wanted to be a baker?
No, at school I was planning to be a Maths teacher! Although I have always enjoyed cooking and baking I had never considered it as a career until recently.
What was the first thing you made as Hillians Bakery?
My first official order was a last minute vanilla and strawberry cake. It was probably the most stressful bake of my life but I received some great feedback and it was such a boost to see that maybe I could make this business work!
Any mishaps / funny moments along the way ?
Probably the most memorable mishap was whilst making Halloween boxes, whilst moving the cupcakes the tray tipped slightly and I accidentally dropped half of them on the floor! Thankfully I had made a lot of extras so had enough to complete the orders for the day.
How would you describe your aesthetic and how did you develop your style?
I don’t think I have a particular style yet, however I much prefer making more ‘fun’ cakes over classier cakes at the moment.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My stomach mainly! When I’m thinking of new products and recipes it always depends on what I’m craving that day.
Who are your design heroes?
Honestly there are too many to list! One of my favourite cake makers is Hilary Hurst. Her cakes are just stunning and such an inspiration!
Can you describe your workspace? Where is it and what is in it?
I’m currently setting up a brand new kitchen so that I can work at home. It’s a small room but so far the designs are beautiful and bright and I’m so excited to be able to have my own space to work from.
Is there anything in your kitchen that you could not live without?
My KitchenAid mixer is a massive time and energy saver, it makes everything so much easier and it’s just gorgeous!
What is the best thing about being creative?
I love being able use my imagination and when I’m given free range with a cake it’s great fun to create something unique that I think the customer will love.
How does it feel to be part of the UK craft scene?
I’m not sure I’m part of it yet! I still feel like a bit of an imposter and that I have a long way to go to improve my decorating skills. Although everyone I’ve spoken to has been very helpful and supportive.
What would you say to someone thinking about getting into baking?
Just go for it! Whether you make bread, pies, cakes or anything else it’s very satisfying to sit down and eat the whole thing!
What does craft mean to you?
It’s my happy place. I love being in the kitchen, music on, mixing cakes and having a little dance. It’s an escape from the real world and when everything’s going right it feels like all my problems have disappeared.
Thank you to Ella for taking the time to speak to us. If you are interested in trying some of Hillians Bakery’s items, you can find her here: