Self-taught and successful, Polish baker Kalina Stelmach will stop at almost nothing to create the perfect custom-made cake.
Just don’t ask for icing.
The self-imposed blanket ban on the sugary paste is part of her quest to offer an original product that looks prettier and tastes better than a traditional celebration cake.
Based in Comiston Road, Kalina’s shop and bakery Kala’s Cakes and Blossom Box, opened just before Christmas and is now gearing up for Valentine’s Day.
“I want to have a shop that is different and cakes that are different, so that people will see my cakes and say that is a cake from Kala’s shop,” says Kalina. “Icing is everywhere and I want to show my customers what can be done with other decorations, such as fruit, nuts, chocolate or cream cheese toppings.”
A qualified barista, Kalina (32) honed her baking skills by creating cakes for grateful friends and their families.
With a gentle nudge from her nearest and dearest, she was persuaded to advertise her services on social media for Mother’s Day last year.
By offering gift packages of cakes and flowers, she hit on a winning combination.
“Mother’s Day went really well. Then one weekend I found myself with orders for ten birthday cakes and flowers and that made me think maybe it was time to open a shop,” she recalls.
“Because I’m from Poland, most of the clients who got in touch through social media were Polish too. By opening a shop I want Scottish people and everyone else to see what I am doing as well.”
Her cakes come in various shapes and sizes – hearts being a go-to choice at the moment – and can be ordered with or without roses, in beautifully presented “blossom boxes”.
A selection of hand-made greetings cards is available for those looking for a one-stop gift service. Small celebration cakes start at £40, with a Valentine’s “heart and roses” gift package being available for around £60.
The shop also has a daily selection of freshly-made scones and cupcakes.
Kalina is delighted to have taken an order for her “debut” wedding cake in March.
“The couple came into the shop and said they like what I do and they trust me to create their cake. They are happy for me do what I want – and definitely no icing,” she adds.
Kala’s Cakes and Blossom Box, 96 Comiston Road, EH10 5QL, 07708 334246, KaLa’s Cakes on Facebook. Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm. Consultations are available outwith shop opening hours.