Current Obsession: Embroidery Cakes by Leslie Vigil

Self-proclaimed “flour child” Leslie Vigil is crushing Instagram with her beautiful embroidery cakes. If you are anything like me, you have seen her cakes float through your feed and have become slightly obsessed.

Beautiful colors, intricate work and buttercream (lots and lots of buttercream) – it is every dessert enthusiasts dream to work with such a talented cake artist. Vigil, who is based in Ontario, California, books months in advance for her cakes that take more than 8 hours to complete.

I sat down with Vigil to talk about her Latina influences, her background and everything buttercream.

Made with buttercream, some cakes can take over 8 hours to create. Photo Credit: Leslie Vigil

What is your background – how did you learn to create such beautiful masterpieces?

I attended culinary school to study baking and patisserie. I initially wanted to become a pastry chef and create complicated plated desserts in a fine dining setting but that quickly changed when I my chef instructors opened my eyes to the world of cake decorating, and I had to create a wedding cake for a class final.

Shortly after I finished school, the recession hit and I couldn’t find a job in the industry so for a few years I just baked at home as a hobby for friends and family. It wasn’t until I found a job working for Theresa and Cornelio Escobedo of Tasteful Cakes that I really, truly learned the art of buttercream.

Why do you think there has been such a surge in popularity of embroidery cakes?

It started with a fiesta themed trend for parties a couple of years ago, but it’s evolved quite a bit. Now I see embroidery cakes being requested for all occasions in different color palettes and with various culture influences. An embroidery cake is such a great way to incorporate a statement piece to an event – I feel like it has become more of a style than a trend. 

Vigil is inspired by the colors and patterns in Mexican textiles. Photo Credit: Leslie Vigil

Does being Latina inspire you to create Otomi style embroidery cakes?

My inspiration definitely comes from being Latina. I was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, but raised in the United States. My inspiration for my embroidery cakes comes from the patterns I saw in textiles growing up.

How long does it typically take to complete one (from baking to icing)?

Embroidery cakes can easily take 10 hours (or more!) including the time it takes for baking, making fillings, icing, color development, flower making and detail piping. 

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