This week in our Cake Royalty series, we are honoured to chat with expert cake designer, Ruth Rickey. From lawyer to renowned cake artist – Ruth is an avid marathon runner, and an inspiration to people across the globe.
Lovely to meet you Ruth! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m currently a traveling sugar art instructor. I own Sugar Gypsy, a line of veiners, cutters and tools. I write a blog for cake decorators (www.sugarzen.wordpress.com). I’m also insanely attempting a full Ironman race in 2017, so I’m often training for that! I blog on that journey at www.thechemotriathlete.wordpress.com. I’ve been married to Rob Rickey for nearly 21 years, and have a 29 year old step son, whom I could not love more. I have 2 dogs and one cat.
And how long have you been decorating cakes?
Impressive. How did you get into cake decorating?
I met Rob. He had his son, Aaron, for two months every summer. I wanted to make Aaron the coolest cake ever. Even though I knew a little cake decorating from my mom and grandmother, I took a Wilton class at Michael’s. Soon, I had taken all three classes and was working at a bakery instead of a lawfirm.
What design are you most proud of?
At the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show many years ago, I did a tribute cake for my “sugar mom” Maxine Boyington (the co-founder of that show). I never worked as long or as hard on any cake. It still represents my best work.
What inspires you?
I spend a lot of time driving cross country in my mini cooper. Nature inspires me on every trip… the colors, textures, architecture… the beauty of this world.
As a cake decorator – what tool can’t you live without?
It would be a tie between my Ruth Rickey non stick mat and my baby spatula.
Who are your cake heroes?
Eddie Spence, Cecile Beaud, Jeanne Winslow, Corinna Maguire
If you could eat only one cake for the rest of your life – what cake would it be?
My frozen Lemon Cheesecake.
Sounds delicious! So tell us – home studio or cake shop?
Buttercream or ganache?
Novelty cakes or wedding cakes?
What advice would you give to a cake decorator just starting out?
Respect the cake. Make sure you practise and develop your skills, so that you deserve the money you receive from a customer. Keep improving.
What’s your favourite cake style from 2016?
I am in love with the couture wedding cake looks… where fashion has influenced the designs.
What trends do you predict for 2017?
I think we will continue to see textures play a role and colors will be rich.
What has been your proudest achievement within the industry?
Being named Best Cake Support at the Cake Masters Awards this year has to be at the top of the list! But my favorite moments are when students write to tell me that a class or blog has helped them.
What’s the best song to decorate to?
I don’t have a favorite, but there MUST be music.
What’s your favourite tutorial on our website?
Ooooooh, we love that one too. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us Ruth, all the best for 2017!