When Lois Owusu-Afriyie set up her food blog via Instagram in 2020, she didn’t expect to end up running her own baking business by the following year.
With Lois Caked It, she has been baking all kinds of bespoke cakes that have proved a popular hit throughout Aberdeen.
From cupcakes to cookies and her signature celebration cakes, Lois loves to put smiles on people’s faces through her baking creations.
And with her Instagram and TikTok pages full of laughs, jokes and personality – as well as stunning cakes – laughter has been Lois’ recipe for success.
We caught up with Lois to find out more about her business, Lois Caked It.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Ghana but have been in Aberdeen since 2007. I studied accountancy and business management at university and graduated in 2020.
After graduating, I was looking for a job but it wasn’t working out at the time due to Covid.
So, in May 2021, that’s when I officially started making cakes with Lois Caked It.
Has baking always been something that you and your family have enjoyed?
It was actually my sister, Eunice, who originally liked to bake more than me. She bought lots of baking equipment and we would make cupcakes together.
We were quite involved in our local church, King’s Church, and we would do bake sales there.
Personally, I’ve mainly learned to bake through online videos. I’m one of those people that goes down rabbit holes and cake decorating videos were a part of that.
I like to try things out after I’d watched them, so a lot of the things I’ve learned have come from online videos.
What made you want to start your own blog and when was the turning point where you thought you could start your own baking business?
In January 2020, one of my friends had asked me to bake a cake for her.
I hadn’t really taken baking too seriously up until then and we actually don’t even like icing in our house – which is ironic, since it’s in all of my cakes now!
But when I bought a cake turntable, that’s what really got me into trying out cake decorating.
A few other friends started asking me to make cakes for them and told me I should set up an Instagram page, so I thought I’d do it.
People were interested in the cake posts I was putting up, but when people aside from my friends started to enquire, that’s when I thought, ‘oh, this could be a thing’. This encouraged me to start the business.
Has running your own business always been something that you’ve wanted to do?
To be honest, it wasn’t. But that was probably just because I didn’t think I could do it.
I wanted to go into management, but I didn’t necessarily think it would be managing myself. I really have surprised myself with the business, though.
It’s strange at times knowing that I don’t have to answer to anyone other than myself, but also kind of scary because if you’re procrastinating, you’re supposed to be the boss to tell yourself to get a grip!
It’s been a steep learning curve and I’ve still got a long way to go yet.
What kind of bakes do you specialise in? How do people enquire for orders?
I specialise in celebration cakes, but I also do a lot of cupcakes and I’ve just added cookies to my usual orders as well.
For main events like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas Day, I’ll prepare special gift boxes for people to buy.
The next big one coming up will be Valentine’s Day.
I take enquiries through messages on Instagram and Facebook and then I send out order forms to customers to give me the majority of the information I need to know, such as any allergies and an idea of the kind of design they’re looking for.
I’ll hopefully be adding more traybakes to my orders this year as well.
How have you found the whole experience with Lois Caked It so far?
One of the main highlights was making my first tiered wedding cake, which was incredible. A tiered cake had always been on my bucket list.
God bless the couple that put their trust in me having never made one before! That was a big high.
But also, I’m quite a perfectionist, so if I feel like I’m not doing great straight away, then that’s a problem.
Going through times when I wasn’t making a lot of sales took a bit of a toll on me and dealing with complaints and managing how to do customer service was another learning curve.
Do you like to inject laughter and personality into your business via your social media pages?
I try! When I first started the page, I was even scared to post myself.
But I think in this day and age, people should see me when they look at my Instagram or TikTok page. They should be laughing because I like to crack jokes all the time.
I’m definitely trying to put my personality on there more so than I did when I first started.
you wanna chill with the big boys? 😂 #loiscakedit
How far would you like to go with Lois Caked It?
In a dream world, I would love to do cakes full-time. But I’m not sure if that looks like having a shop, setting up a cake studio or something along those lines.
I would love to do a lot more baking.
Finally, the question that everyone wants to know the answer to, what’s the secret behind avoiding a soggy bottom?
I wish I could tell you! However, I can tell you the secret to achieving flat tops on your bakes is all about the temperature you’re baking at.
I’m here to tell you, in case you didn’t know, that your oven is lying to you about its temperature. You need an oven thermometer.
Also, whatever the recipe says, it’s also lying. Bake at a lower temperature with an oven thermometer for the best results!