Behind Closed Drawers: Emily of Lael Cakes

| Everything Else, Life

We love weddings— the romance, the kiss, the friends, the family, the cake. Don’t get us wrong, of course we’re there to witness two lovebirds join in matrimonial bliss and to reminisce with those faraway relatives IRL rather than on Facebook (yes, auntie, still single). Honestly, though, we can’t help it if, mid-fist-pump, our eyes dart towards to the edge of the dance floor where that glorious, towering confection of sugar flowers, icing, and sweetness sits waiting for us. The cake. After all, we’ve basically spent our entire lives trying to have it and eat it too, so we can’t help but feast our eyes (and tastebuds) on Lael Cakes, a wedding cake bakery founded by pastry chef (and total babe) Emily Lael Aumiller. We fell hard for her naked cakes and dirty icing techniques (these are real pastry terms we swear) on her Instagram. They’re the definition of “looks too good to eat”, but we get a little sugar-high when she uses Cracker Jacks as decorations instead of pounds of fondant or pairs curry with chocolate. Mmm . . . Plus, these yummy treats are gluten-free, vegan, and dairy free. Too good to be true? We went behind closed drawers with the woman under the apron to find out her favorite flavor pairing, get the goods on her gorgeous new cookbook, and discover what she means by “unintentionally perfect” when it comes to the matching lingerie set. As they say, let them eat cake.


Name: Emily Lael Aumiller

Day job: Pastry chef, founder of Lael Cakes, author of Pure Artistry

How’d you find your life’s calling? I studied art right out of high school with no clue how I’d apply it later in life. For a ceramics assignment I sculpted a garish tiered cake out of clay—seeing it come out the kiln glazed to perfection I thought, “Hmmm, I like to cook, bake, and sculpt, maybe there’s a career there?” I applied to pastry school in Vermont. That’s where I discovered my love for sculpting chocolate and sugar—edible art.

What’s your favorite flavor pairing? Ginger cake with strawberry-basil icing! I once had a garden where I got a little slaphappy when planting basil and I had it growing out of my ears. A girl could only make so much pesto, so I started steeping it in oil and mixed it with fresh strawberry puree to make the most scrumptious icing.

What’s your favorite part when making a cake? I love putting the final décor touches on a cake. That moment where my vision finally takes body and becomes something more than I could have imagined.

Guilty pleasure sweet treat: Mochi ice cream, especially matcha green tea mochi!

Necessary extravagance: Spa Days. Working in the kitchen takes a toll on my body, so I see it as a healthy necessity.

Simple Indulgence: Indoor sunbathing—find a good sunspot, sit with your eyes closed towards the light and take slow, deep breathes for at least 10 minutes.

What makes your heart race? Exploring unknown territory.

Go-to cocktail: Whiskey sour—even if you’re in a dive they’ll have bourbon, lemon juice and simple syrup. Leave out the maraschino cherry.

One Food You Could Eat Forever: Mushrooms.

I can’t leave the apartment until I…: Mirror check to make sure I don’t have any cake batter or icing splattered on me—it happens more often than not.

What’s your lingerie drawer stocked with? Black and nude thongs, mix-match socks, and lots of slips!

Lingerie makes me . . . appreciate my sensuality.

Matching sets or let creativity take over? I rarely wear matching sets. I usually just grab whichever pieces are speaking to me at the moment— and most of the time the outcome is an unintentional perfect pair.

How do you make everyday lovely? Embrace and nourish myself, no matter what state that might be. It helps me react to the unexpected turns a day might throw with more ease when I feel comfortable in my own skin.