LALOLIPOP Cakes: Vancouver bakers create cute cakes in retro styles

Jun 14 2022, 7:12 pm

It’s easy to be nostalgic for a lot of things from childhood when adulthood – and the world at large right now, let’s be honest – feels really hard.

This is why adults still go to Disneyland, why they love snacks from when they were kids, and why retro-style desserts have become such a huge phenomenon – sweet treats that are playful, fun, and reminiscent of an easier time lets you escape reality for a bit.

In particular, the retro, nostalgia-inspired cake has garnered quite an online following, with bakers creating ornately-iced cakes in maximalist styles.

This trend emerged largely during the pandemic, when baking became everyone’s favourite hobby and a flouncy, buttercream-rich cake seemed like the antidote to world-weary anxiety.

Old-school style cakes offer a bit of a much-needed escape and an excuse to celebrate the everyday.

LALOLIPOP Cakes is a local baking duo based in Vancouver that offers these cute, vintage-inspired cakes through custom orders.

lalolipop cakes

Frog Cake (Courtesy LALOLIPOP Cakes)

Instead of being minimal and refined, these cakes are fantastical, heavy on the icing, and are anything but pared down.

Sometimes adorned with iced roses, cartoon characters, or funny phrases – “wanna make out a lil?” one of their cakes asks – these creations are one part kawaii, one part 80s, one part Marie Antoinette.

Dished recently chatted with LALOLIPOP about their cute cakes and where they get their inspiration from.

Started by partners Lalo and Christopher Li in the summer of 2020, LALOLIPOP Cakes – a union of their names – was formed as a creative outlet during a difficult time.

“Lalo has a culinary background and majored in Food Science, so he has always been passionate about food,” they shared. “Chris suggested opening an online bakery and offered to help Lalo with design and photography, since he works as a graphic designer.”

Lalolipop cakes

Cow Cake (Courtesy LALOLIPOP Cakes)

The pandemic project has now become a side hustle for the couple, who sell their cakes through Instagram DMs, with requests for cakes being made two to four weeks in advance.

“We have been following the vintage cake trend on Instagram and it brought back memories of the cakes we used to have when we were kids. With our cakes, we try to bring back those beautiful moments, making kawaii vintage cakes in our own style,” the two tell Dished.

Lalo is from Mexico, while Chris was raised in Hong Kong, and the two different cultural upbringings have resulted in a delicious fusion of flavours. LALOLIPOP Cakes feature staple flavours like Mexican chocolate and Hong Kong milk tea, as well as other unique and classic options like London fog, matcha, red velvet, and tiramisu.

When ordering one of LALOLIPOP’s cakes, customers can choose from nine flavours and five sizes, with options ranging from one to three tiers. You can also send them inspiration, themes, or other elements you’d like to have incorporated in your cake, and while they’ll take photos of other cakes for reference, they never copy other baker’s designs out of respect for the artwork.

As for the strangest cake they’ve made?

“One of the weirdest cakes we ever made was of the iconic Greta, the female Gremlin from the movie Gremlins: The New Batch,” they shared. The cake was done with a green and purple theme, with the 1990s Gremlin character drawn on the top in icing.

Lalo and Chris say they hope to be able to open a storefront in Vancouver one day, where they could sell “vintage cute cakes, drinks and other desserts.” They also hope to be able to create other products soon, like faux cakes and merchandise, that could be shipped internationally.

While there are fake cakes in this style swirling around the internet, LALOLIPOP’s cakes are real and very much edible, which makes them even more impressive.

“Knowing how much [our customers and followers] appreciate and enjoy our cakes makes our day,” the duo says.

The use of of vibrant colours, pastels, and cute characters in LALOLIPOP’s cakes evoke memories of going to the supermarket to pick out a birthday cake – a much-needed reminder of the ways that cake can still be joy-making in an adult world.

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Daryn WrightDaryn Wright

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