The bizarre cake creations of an East London designer - from Bonfire Night cupcakes to Nick Griffin’s head

An East London cake designer has gone from selling cupcakes in a Bethnal Green market to her own counter at Harrods, while making truly eye-catching cake sculptures along the way.

Lily Jones, 28, started out selling cupcakes from a Swanfield Street market stall, between Brick Lane and Columbia Road, in December 2008.

Since then she has set up her own Lily Vanilli business and created a series of commissions including a cake of an anatomically-accurate human heart, ‘mutant ear’ cupcakes and an edible replica of BNP leader Nick Griffin’s head.

Last month, she opened her own counter at the Harrods store in Knightsbridge where she is selling her own Bonfire Night range - spiced ginger cupcakes with lemon frosting and popping candy.

Lily, who lives in Homerton, Hackney said: “It started as a hobby and I’ve always loved cooking, it’s a real obsession.


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“I love experimenting with tastes and flavours. It’s a bit geeky, but what I like about baking is that it is a science.”

She and five friends also used their Swanfield Street ‘market space’ to sell clothes and put on live music events.

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She said: “It was something which we did for ourselves and our friends.”

After a national press article, interest in Lily’s cakes exploded leading to commissions for actress Sadie Frost, music band Ash and this summer, Lady Gaga-themed canap�s for Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara ball.

It also allowed her to move into a kitchen in Curtain Road, Shoreditch and hire a chef and baker.

Lily said: “We are always developing new lines and experimenting.”

Stranger creations have included her Nick Griffin cake for an anti-BNP party in Hackney in March and even a ‘roadkill’ layer cake, depicting a worse-for-wear pigeon.

She had been asked to design the most disgusting-looking cake she could imagine.

She said: “It was really tasty though. The most important thing is always that the cakes taste good.”

Her Harrods range is built around a seasonal menu including vanilla, poppy seed with almond and ‘red velvet’ cupcakes.

Lily said: “I turned down deals with suppliers in the past because I didn’t want to go along the lines of mass production.

“But with Harrods they were happy to go with my seasonal menus and they liked the quirkiness of I what I do.

“I can have my own display in the store.

“It’s nice to do something different.”

For further information, visit lilyvanilli.com.

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