A Chat With Ramona Schatzer: Heavy Metal Cake Baker to the Stars
At the Philly stop of the 2012 Rock Star Energy Mayhem Festival, I was blown away by two cakes created by the supremely talented Ramona Schatzer. One was a sprawling, grand Motorhead confection; the other was a Corey Taylor mini-cake, featuring the singer in small scale form, wearing his signature orange jumpsuit. The Taylor figurine was comprised entirely of sugar, so it was the "sweet" side of one of metal's most nihilistic performers, at least on stage.
Not only did the cakes look true to form, they were absolutely delicious. They were not too sweet nor were they too rich, and I was able to enjoy a slice of each backstage.
They were the perfect balance of form and content, of metal and taste. They looked almost too good to eat. Note that I said ALMOST!
Schatzer, a fan of metal and baking, operates Rock Candy Cakes NY, which are privately commissioned for now. Upon sampling her tasty treats and rock 'n' roll confections, we knew we had to pick her brain and find out how the ingredients and the bands inspire one another in her pantry and kitchen, and how challenging it is to turn Lemmy Kilmister and Corey Taylor into sugar figures.
The metal community needs to know what she does and order cakes for every metallic occasion!
Can you share a little of your background as an artist and how you translated that into baking rock and metal cakes?
I've always been a crafty person and have been painting on walls for the last 20 years. I started baking about three years ago as a hobby and got addicted! I did many cakes for family and friends. About a year ago, I did an Adrenaline Mob cake for their record release party and it was a hit! The first sugar figure I did was Mike Portnoy.
Recently I got to present cakes at Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and Rockstar UPROAR Tour -big thanks to John Reese and John Oakes for making it happen- and I just loved the experience.
What is your favorite rock and/or metal cake that you've baked and why?
I think the Motorhead cake was probably my favorite because not only is Lemmy such an icon but the theme of the cake -Motorhead hosts Las Vegas- was so fun to run with. [There were] so many little details. You haven't lived as a baker until you've made heavy metal strippers out of sugar!
Ain't that the truth. What was your most challenging cake?
The most challenging was probably Shinedown because even though they're an incredible band, and one of my favorites, they're not really a "theme" type of band. They're just an amazing band. I tried very hard to be accurate and they appreciated the details.
What metal artists are you dying to bake a cake for?
My "bucket list" of cakes? Well, I would love a chance to do a Slipknot cake. I got to squeeze in a Corey Taylor mini-cake at Mayhem and he loved it, but I really want to do a full on, whole stage show kind of cake that really represents the energy they have live. Also on my list is Metallica. I want to be the one who makes James Hetfield s 50th birthday cake. As for rock cakes, I'd love to do cakes for The Who, Green Day and Dropkick Murphys.
Does the artist inspire the ingredients or flavors you use for baking a cake?
The flavors I bake with do depend on the artist. Sometimes it's best to keep it simple, and sometimes I like to mix it up. And sometimes they like the cake so much they don't want to cut it, so it might as well be made out of Styrofoam.
For the Motorhead cake, I knew I wanted something boozy, so I made Guinness chocolate cake with Bailey's buttercream and whiskey ganache inside. Yum.
Yum is right. Can you share your experiences about presenting artists with the cakes?
You never know what reaction you'll get from the band you're presenting to. I've had amazing reactions from all of them, especially since it's something they're not expecting to see on a tour. I love watching them take pictures of "themselves" on their cakes!
When we presented the Motorhead cake, Lemmy had literally just gotten off the tour bus but when he saw the cake, he ran to his dressing room to change into the hat that his sugar figure was wearing and took more pictures. Then he asked for his likeness as well as the strippers to be sent to his room.
Godsmack was also a fun one because they loved the "dueling drums" concept and supposedly Sully kept the cake intact after they left the venue. Hope they know there's about eight pounds of buttercream in there.
So far I am having a ball doing these cakes -- they combine a love of baking and a love of metal. I am looking forward to many more. Everyone is a fan of some type of music but metal fans are loyal from birth till death to their favorite bands and I try to reflect the nature of the artist in my cakes.
For information, follow Ramona on Twitter at her @rockcandycakes account.