Episode 041 - Life Is What You Bake It!

You can have your cake and eat it too! Join us on the Kick Your Boots Up Podcast for a sweet chat with Elizabeth Rowe, the London Baker who captured hearts and taste buds on Season 2 of Netflix's Is It Cake? Elizabeth spills the cake journey from kitchen dreams to winning the ultimate baking showdown, sharing the moments that left her gobsmacked. With infectious enthusiasm, she dishes out the sweet details of her wild ride on the show, revealing the highs and lows of her baking adventures. Don't miss this intimate conversation with the baker extraordinaire who proved that with determination and creativity, dreams really do come true in the world of cake.

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Podcast Transcript

Taylor McAdams: Hey everybody, and thanks for joining us for another episode of Lick Your Boots Up. I'm your host, Taylor McAdams. This week's episode is epic. It's I would say it's as big as London. And you'll learn so why later. Thanks for listening. But before you do, feel free to like, subscribe, share, tell your friends about this you're not gonna want to miss out this is going to be a pretty sweet episode. So stay tuned for everything. All things cake all things sweetness, and I'm just gonna go ahead and read a little bit about you because I feel like I'm gonna butcher your introduction, you’re such a legend in my eyes because from Lewisville, Texas which is very fairly close to Dallas Fort Worth, we're you know where we are. The London Baker is her Baker shop name, Elizabeth Rowe came all the way from Elizabeth from Lewisville to here she's this season two winner of Netflix's Is It Cake. And for those of you that aren't familiar with the show, there were 10 bakers that set out to win $75,000. And so we'll get to hear a little bit about the show and a little bit about what she did there. But I think it's worth noting too, that you've appeared on Cake Wars, which is my personal favorite show, one of my favorite baking Food Shows, as well as Dallas Cakes, which I had never heard of until I was looking into. So,

Elizabeth Rowe: Yeah, it was something that happened earlier in about like the early 2018, I believe. Yep. Wow.

Taylor McAdams: Okay, so there's so much to unpack there. But before we do, I want to start to get to know about you a little bit more. So with that, how did you start baking? And like, did you just wake up one day and think I'm gonna be a baker? Were you a little girl? Were you 20? Tell us about it.

Elizabeth Rowe: Um, yes, I basically, I was looking for something to do in between baking what I wanted to do with my life. And so I decided, You know what, my favorite recipe and my favorite thing to eat is actually brownies. I know I love Gooey, gooey brownies. And so I actually had this recipe that I had adapted, and people loved them so much. They were like, You know what, I want to buy these off of you. And they're like, you could sell these, and I was like, You know what, I think you're right. And so I was looking for other things I could sell. At the time, I was actually in England, and I was looking to bring American pies to the British people for English people. 

Taylor McAdams: They would love it. 

Elizabeth Rowe: I know, right? But instead, I ended up coming to America and bring a little taste of England with me. But that's actually how I got into baking was through this awesome brownie recipe.

Taylor McAdams: Well, I love that and I'm not sure if you can share this or not. But what's your secret to the best ooey-est gooey-est brownies? Do you just wait until they're not quite done to take them out of the oven?

Elizabeth Rowe: So obviously I can't give you oh 

Taylor McAdams: no, no, you can't tell us your secret sauce.

Elizabeth Rowe: But, I can tell you that. It does have to do with the amount of real chocolate you put in there. And the number of eggs and butter. 

Taylor McAdams: Oh my goodness. So now you guys at home good to have a guessing game. Is it 12 eggs? Is it two eggs? We don't know you'll have to try. You're gonna have like a chocolate egg something for breakfast. That probably wouldn't be a disaster. Yeah. And speaking of disasters, I mean at what is what is tell us about a time when something's gone wrong terribly. Like I see some of the shows where you know you're crunched for time you have a lot on hand, and you everything is just kind of caving in and then the cake starts to cave in. So is there a is there a time maybe not on TV that but like sometime in your career that something went terribly wrong?

Elizabeth Rowe: Um, I would say so far Touchwood I'm pretty fortunate on at least having 19 years of experience. So by now, you know, you kind of know what the limitations are with food. Now I will tell you about one thing did happen on a TV show that I was on. And I was working as a team. And we had done these two stained glass sugar windows. And one of them smashed. They literally was putting it in and they didn't put enough yeah, they didn't put enough adhesive in there. And just after about 10 minutes we just heard spash and obviously everyone panicked. There was nothing we could really do because there's no time to make another one. I think we ended up throwing some fondant over it and making like a curtain. And just like yeah, the curtains are closed. That's all

Taylor McAdams: You got super creative and artsy with it. You recovered so well. I commend you for that. 

Elizabeth Rowe: Thank you. Yeah, honestly, what makes a good cake decorator is someone that can MacGyver their way out or something so you have to multitask and be a good problem solver  

Taylor McAdams: you are very good at that, especially the cakes specifically that we've we've had you make the first cake we had was a boot we wanted to make it match you know obviously there's a pair of boots there's two feet and we want to do to make one of the feet and us to have the boot and I have to tell you I don't know that anyone's told you but someone actually that night and you were here so you might have seen it came up in touched the cake Did you see that? I did what a tragic moment and we found it TIK TOK  later that that poor girl did a did a video to explain what had happened she was trying to like make some content and she completely just she was like isn't full of sandbags. She thought the cake was full of sandbags. But anyways, bless her heart that that's so cool. And along the same lines like we we had to make a boot so obviously we told you what to make. Yeah But there's a lot of different times that you get creative freedom. So what what do you pull your inspiration from?

Elizabeth Rowe: Um, depends on what the client wants. So for example, like, Justin's has so many awesome pieces, because, you know, yes, you're known for the amazing boots and everything that they do here. But you know, you've got the denim for denim. So I have an awesome jean jacket that has the stitch which embroidered on it that I got from here. Yeah, because of the show, my nickname was a stitch which because I'm known for the detailed stitching and making things look realistic when it comes to clothing and apparel and things like that. But then, obviously, you know, the hats and the denim, and you know, the belts and the wallets, there were so many cool things that we just wanted to bring all of those aspects into the cake because you just couldn't choose one. And I have to say, the pair of boots that you had me make this time we use for inspiration. My favorite, I love them. I can't get enough of them. I was like I love looking at this picture again and again, with all the detail. 

Taylor McAdams: Well, actually, you're no stranger to that type of Roper style with lacing because you did it on the show! 

Elizabeth Rowe: I've done it many times, including a for another British TV show, where they actually had me fly back to England. And I had to make another boot with laces and fine detail and things like that. Oh, yeah, in fact, they're picking up. Right now right next to the cake.

Taylor McAdams: Does that make you stress a little bit a little bit? 

Elizabeth Rowe: I was like I said the cake. How's it?

Taylor McAdams: You know, we have a sign that says Do not touch the cake and how much you want to bet that somebody actually is going to touch the cake tonight? Yeah, we're gonna find some fingerprints. I bet.

Elizabeth Rowe: We get some great pictures. Now. That's the main thing people can enjoy themselves later.

Taylor McAdams:  And maybe if you don't stayif you leave, and you don't see them do it. Maybe they'll make you feel better mentally, like, you know what, the cake was beautiful when you left.

Elizabeth Rowe:  Exactly. I got to see the way it was intended. As long as everyone gets to appreciate it. Eventually, it has to get cut and it has to get messed up. 

Taylor McAdams: It does…. You're right. And there's so many mess-ups that can happen. How do you like mentally overcome because we talked about physically you get to be creative, but mentally, How do you I mean, to be honest, it doesn't matter if you're on a show or not. You have a wedding deadline, something happens you have you know the the fondant doesn't stick right or? I don't know I'm trying to use these terms and all the baking shows I've watched. 

Elizabeth Rowe: You said it right. You said fondant. 

Taylor McAdams: Yes. Remember that one show that used to say fond on

Elizabeth Rowe: I know that's the thing people like no it’s found ont? I don't know. Why are you French? You know, if you want some chocolate, do you say Chac o late? To like, you don't say found ont?

Taylor McAdams: But anyways, yeah, so mentally, that's a big mental game there.

Elizabeth Rowe: People think you know, when you're a cake decorator, they're like, Oh, your job is so lovely. And just no stress. It must be so nice. I'm like, Are you kidding me? It's extremely stressful because I have to work with food. Food doesn't abide by science sometimes. You know, I have to make things that are not just run-of-the-mill round cakes like gravity-defying, and I have a deadline, and my deadline can't be moved. You know, it's for an occasion, or it's for a wedding. You can't say to someone Oh, I'm sorry. You know, I just didn't really feel like decorating, you know, didn't work out. Yeah. So you know, I'm just going to do it tomorrow instead, like, no, that doesn't happen. No. So you know, a lot of it is experience. Like I said, with 19 years, I've got 19 years of experience and all of that has been with fondant. I've started with fondant when I first started decorating, so you know, knowing your materials, what they're capable of. And especially knowing your drive is a key, because some of the roads in Dallas are terrible, like absolutely awful. 

Taylor McAdams: And the Drivers. 

Elizabeth Rowe: Oh, yeah, that too! Yeah, we you know, when you have someone that cuts you up on the way here, you're like, you know, you have no idea. I have a cake in the back, you know, drives you insane. It freaks you out, especially if they pull in front of you. And they slam on their breaks, I know. You're like I've got fragile cargo back here.

Taylor McAdams: Yeah, for real. And speaking of the fund it does the funding actually tastes good. I don't know that I've ever tried it, Elizabeth. I'm kind of afraid of it. It's one of those things that I pick up off or pick around.

Elizabeth Rowe: So yeah, I mean, a long time ago, fondant had a very bad reputation. Now, the process and what goes into making it it just tastes like a sweet vanilla. Or if you get the chocolate fondant, then it just tastes like a tootsie roll. Oh, even better. Yeah, okay, it's not that bad. People just have a misconception, yes, they like to put their finger into squishy frosting and you know, lick it off and things like that. And fondant is firm. It's more like a dough or a clay

Taylor McAdams: like it yeah, exactly like a Play Doh, I would say.

Elizabeth Rowe: Just expect that and you know, you'll be fine.

Taylor McAdams: So obviously I have so many questions about the show. But before I ask you that, I've got to ask what was the weirdest cake that you've ever made? It was an inappropriate was it proportioned weird? Was it a castle? I don't know. It was a life size.

Elizabeth Rowe: That's a good point. Um, there has been some unusual ones. I think the one that still stands out it wasn't nice. necessarily what it was, that was unusual, it was the request and who it was for. But I actually had for a little girl’s birthday. You know, the mom was like, you know, I'm looking for a cake for my daughter, you know, design a cake. And we were like, Okay, no problem. Yeah. What is she into? And you're thinking, oh, you know, maybe she's into, you know, dolls, or it could be dinosaurs or whatever. And they were like, well, she likes meat, and mustaches. And we were like, Wait, did you say meat and mustaches? She was like, yeah, 

Taylor McAdams: For a little girl?

Elizabeth Rowe: For a little go. So we decided not to go with the meat. And we thought we'd go with the mustache.

Taylor McAdams: Now that we know a little bit more about you, I've got to ask a little bit about the behind the scenes of the show, because being season two, it was a really fresh season, everyone kind of got their feet wet. And they got to learn more and look forward to the anticipation. So what was like the number one thing that you learned from the show? Oh,

Elizabeth Rowe: I'm just I would say, I mean, I never knew I could do some of the cakes I could do in that short amount of time. Yeah. Real that you you just have to work as quickly as you can. You know, those clocks are real people don't realize that. But they think that you know, the top. Sorry, the clock stops. It does not. If you need to go to the bathroom. You're on the clock. Hold

Taylor McAdams: Hold it or Yeah, you know, that's actually a myth that was just busted. Because I fully believe that it was a production for TV where it's like, oh, there's 30 seconds. When really it's like you had three hours? 

Elizabeth Rowe: No, no, you you run. Everywhere.

Taylor McAdams: Wow. Oh, my gosh, that hadn't been hard. 

Elizabeth Rowe: It was extremely hard. Because you're you're literally doing things you wouldn't normally do. Like you wouldn't bake a cake and then right away, try to decorate it.

Taylor McAdams: No, you have to let it cool. It's an overnight process. Probably. It's like a

Elizabeth Rowe: You don't have that choice. Not on the show.

Taylor McAdams:  Wow. Things Fall Apart. Things melt when they announced you were winner, because you obviously had to win rounds to get to the final overall winning when they announced that you were the winner. Did you really believe it?

Elizabeth Rowe: No, I really didn't. I really, really thought that it wasn't going to be me. I was like, you know, I feel like I gave him a really good shot. You know, I feel like I got to show people what I was capable of. I was like, I don't think I'm that lucky. And I think I'm gonna win. And so when they said, you know my name, I was just I was gobsmacked.

Taylor McAdams: Gobsmacked?

Elizabeth Rowe: I was like, I don't feel it's a phrase you have here. But yeah, it literally means you know, like, when you slap your mouth you like ah, gobsmacked.

Taylor McAdams:And you just learned a new one for that. 

Elizabeth Rowe: And yeah, it was, it was such a surreal experience. Because I some point, I think I don't know if I fell down or if I just sat down because my legs were weak. And I was like, I can't believe this is happening and everyone ran over. And like dived on me. And it was just it was so so lovely. Just to get to meet you know that that many cool talented people as well. And yeah, it was, it was awesome.

Taylor McAdams: And to feel the energy in the room and be there. I couldn't agree more, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall just while you experienced all that because $75,000 That's a lot too. So you had a lot at stake. You spent a lot of money there, you know all the things. And then along those same lines to like the the you had to do several blankets and you had to do several different cakes leading up to it. And so you learned that like okay, yeah, you don't have time for cool. Like you mentioned all that stuff. But what do you think you would do differently next time?

Elizabeth Rowe: Nothing. Absolutely nothing except for I sucked at guessing cake or cash. Which is, you know, the judges pick who they think should win, of course. So when it gets to go ahead and play cake or cash where you get the chance to win extra money. And everyone who watched the show? knows I'm terrible at cake or cash. And so every single time I lost, I didn't get it even. Even statistically, I should have gotten it out of just pure chance. Yeah, no, of course. No. 50/50 Yeah, yeah. No, I failed every single time. But it's okay. Because you want to in the end? Yeah. Oh, yeah. So we're sure change anything because, you know, I, I want? Oh, yeah, I wouldn't want that to change.

Taylor McAdams: No, no, no, no, not at all. And I read somewhere that you would love to be a judge one day for that show or something else. So what would you look for? If you were going to be a judge? Like, are you wanting someone to for it to taste good and look good or just look good? Or? 

Elizabeth Rowe: I mean, if I can make cakes that taste good and look good, then I think other people should be doing that too. 

Taylor McAdams: 100%

Elizabeth Rowe: Why would you aim for one or the other? But yeah, I can't. I'm trying to think if I would be like a Gordon Ramsay kind British judge or if I would be you know, really, really nice. Would

Taylor McAdams: You be like Paula Abdul , like your outfit is great. You look beautiful, but your cake sucks.

Elizabeth Rowe:  I think it'd be a little bit in between it would be like, oh, you know, you tried really, really hard and you know, this bit was lovely. But you know, bless your mate. Maybe next time just stick to doing this instead.

Taylor McAdams: Well, I love that then hopefully someone out there that gets Sit in front of you when you're the judge one day because I'm going to speak it. Well actually have some like sense of calmness because of that advice. And we're actually out of time for today. But I do have a question that I ask on every podcast and the question is, what piece of advice would you give to someone into in your field? So for instance, for you, someone who wants to take their baking career to the next level, or even get started, what advice would you give them?

Elizabeth Rowe: Oh, I know it sounds a little bit silly. But honestly, try try everything, even if it's not something that it says in the books to do. The best techniques and things you come up with or things when you've got no boundaries taught to you by rules and limitations. Like I'm completely self-taught. I just have a go try to figure out the best way to do something without reading how someone else did it because you might find a better way than they did.

Taylor McAdams: Well, I love that advice. Because that can transfer to life too. I'm going to take that advice in terms of like just living in the moment and appreciating everything and trying everything, and failure is not an option because you it's okay to fail. You're fine.

Elizabeth Rowe: It’s okay to fail. That's That's what life is about. It's about how you pick yourself up afterwards. Definitely everything No,

Taylor McAdams: I couldn't agree more. Well, Elizabeth, you have been delightful. Thank you so much for taking your time out of here. Thank you for pouring your heart into the both the cakes that you've made now for Justin and, and our parties here that we have and we wish you the best of luck in the future. And one day I hope to see you as a cake judge.

Elizabeth Rowe: Me too. I hope so too!

Taylor McAdams: I really hope you guys can find Elizabeth on social media at the London Baker. I really encourage you to check out some of her cakes. They're awesome, and she gives you like an inside look on on what her perspective is and the process that she does. So check her out. cheer her on, feel free to comment. Tell us what you liked. If you have any questions for Elizabeth, ask them there as well. Like, subscribe, share with your friends. Thank you for listening to the Kick Your Boots Up podcast. Thanks for joining us on Kick Your Boots Up. I'm your host Taylor McAdams and we can't wait to share the next story of the West. Until then, feel free to like subscribe, and leave us a review. Follow us on social media at Justin Boots to keep up with our next episode. And we'll see you the next time you kick your boots up.