Buro Tries: Paint That Cake Workshop with The Buttercake Factory & ArtSeni Gallery
Sweet things are made of this
We have a new addition to our list of Malaysian Instabakers to follow—The Buttercake Factory (@buttercake_factory). Not only does owner Ooi Li Ping make beautiful and delicious cakes, she has recently started offering workshops as well. Previously a home baker, Li Ping has moved her business to an art gallery space called ArtSeni Gallery in Gateway Kiaramas (where our office is located!) where she collaborates with the owner Phillip Wong for the Paint That Cake workshop.
While The Buttercake Factory is set to relaunch at its new location sometime in September, the workshops have already been in full swing. It's four to five hours long, split into two sessions (decorating the cake and then doing a painting of it) in a drool-worthy ambiance with the prettiest decorations by Papergoodz—essentially, it's an afternoon well and happily spent.
Check out the Buro 24/7 Malaysia team's testimonials and watch the video of the workshop we reviewed for this month's Buro Tries below.
Cai Mei Khoo, Editor-in-Chief
Whether topped with pastel coloured macarons or a carousel, The Buttercake Factory's creations never cease to amaze me. While I used to bake when I was younger, cake decorating was something I never really ventured into so this workshop was a great learning experience. Practice makes perfect here—and a generous dose of patience helps too. And although my painting skills are next to none, Phillip did a good job of taking us through the basics step by step. A fun-filled session that proves you can have your cake, paint it, and eat it too.
Gwen Ong, Deputy Editor
Cake decorating and painting—these are two great activities in my book to spend an afternoon away from my desk. Wink. The former I've never done before and as for the latter, it has been ages since I've picked up a paintbrush. I was nervous I would make a mess. This dissipated as soon as the session began with Li Ping, who put us at ease. While I was questioning my skills, Li Ping and her assistant Mei were helpful in giving tips to apply the right techniques. This class has given me a whole new admiration for bakers out there. As for the painting session, I've rediscovered why I loved art class back in school. I find it to be a rather therapeutic activity to forget the world for a while. For someone like me who can't still her mind, I actually zoned out from my surroundings and concentrated on making a somewhat original art piece. I'd gladly return for a two-in-one workshop like this again.
Jason Lim, Fashion Editor
Whether due to overconfidence or arrogance, I honestly thought that decorating a cake would be a cinch and that mine would be party ready in half the alloted time. How different could it be from a styled product shoot? As it happened, I came to realise that I am not a patient person, I do not have steady hands and would much rather eat cake than work with it. Li Ping and Mei were encouraging and extremely helpful in saving my cake from looking like a war zone and the end product could perhaps pass as 'rustic'. I was also overly ambitious at the painting part of the workshop but found working with brush and canvas strangely calming, and almost wished I had a couple more hours to finish properly. It was a fun experience—one that I would love to repeat on a lazy Sunday afternoon with huge jugs of iced tea (spiked, of course) as an accompaniment.
As much as I appreciate the sight of incredible artwork, I would never consider myself an artsy and craftsy person, thus only admiring from afar. So when I heard we had signed up for a cake decorating and painting workshop, I had already envisioned how my cakes—both the dessert and drawing—were going to look like; disastrous. Thankfully, Li Ping and her assistants did not judge (or at least I hope not) my lack of decorating skills but instead, they were absolutely helpful, from patiently explaining the directions to guiding me on the icing techniques. Basically, saving my cake from looking like a complete mess. We then proceeded to the next session: painting our cake. Just like the previous class, Phillip encouraged us to get our creative juices flowing and unleash our inner artists. While I may not be the next Vincent van Gogh, I'm proud to call the original artwork mine. On top of having an enjoyable experience in both classes, I was pleasantly surprised by the therapeutic effects of cake decorating and painting. Not only does it destress, but cake painting and decorating is a fun and unique activity to try out with friends and family. Did I mention that you get to go home with a whole yummy and pretty cake? That, to me, is the icing on the cake.
Rachel Au, Lifestyle Writer
If I could, I would honestly stay in that workshop space the whole day. It's such a happy environment with countless touches of sweet pastels, several colourful paintings hung on the wall and the delicious smell of buttercream. When it comes to baking, I truly don't believe I'm made for it. What's more, after the silkscreen painting workshop we did for Buro Tries previously, I was sure I'm no good with visualising something to be created IRL. To my surprise, my 'skills' weren't as bad as I thought although most of the credit goes to Li Ping and her assistant for the clear instructions (and they helped 'cleaned' up my cake a bit). I doubt I'd be able to make cakes as beautiful (or delicious) as she could but applying the buttercream and smoothing it was definitely therapeutic. The same goes for the painting part of the workshop. I realised I only have one technique and that's not enough for me to paint a masterpiece (the team has agreed that Alyssa wins hands down) but if it helps me destress, I'd happily create a dozen (dear friends and family, I've got your Christmas presents sorted). Overall, it's a workshop where you'll leave feeling happy—and a whole Nutella marble cake.
Su Fen Tan, Writer
Icing a cake is definitely not as easy as it looks, but Li Ping and her assistant were really patient in guiding us and always ready to lend a helping hand. My favourite part of the workshop was putting on the toppings; there were so many pretty little confectionaries to choose from! After that, we left our cake to set and went on to the next part of the workshop—painting. My "work of art" didn't turn out great, but I had fun having a go at it and it felt good to pick up a paintbrush after eight long years. Word of advice: Do not go into this workshop on an empty stomach—it smells heavenly in there.
Icing a cake is definitely not as easy as it looks, but Li Ping and her assistant were really patient in guiding us, and were always at hand to help. My favourite part of the workshop was putting on the toppings, there were so many pretty little confectionaries to choose from! After that we left our cake to set and went on to the next part of the workshop - painting. So my "work of art" didn't turn out great, but I had fun having a go at it and it felt good to pick up a paintbrush after 8 long years. Word of advice: Do not go into this workshop on an empty stomach - it smells heavenly in there.
Alyssa Lee, Editorial Assistant