Paddy Holohan's No Shame Podcast
The BakeKing | Ben Cullen
The king of cake, Ben Cullen joins us on the line for episode 125 of Paddy Holohan’s No Shame Podcast. Known as the Bakeking, Ben is a multi award winning cake designer & a regular contributor on Channel 4’s ‘Extreme Cake Makers’. The Birmingham native produces weekly cake builds, topical cake sculptures & how to videos on his popular youtube channel Bakeking TV.
Ben is arguably one of the most creative guests we’ve had on the show. Although he keeps his designs relevant to what’s going on the world, a new idea can spring to mind at any point or time. His instagram channel is a feast for the eyes with cakes in the shape of roast dinners, celebrities, sporting super stars, iconic film characters, musicians, coke cans & even bananas, ‘go banana!’
Ben studied Graphic design at Chester University before taking up a tattoo apprenticeship. While tattooing a customer in 2014, Cullen was shown an example of a decorated cake by his client, inspiring him to create his first super cake, for his dad’s birthday.
One of his earlier cake sculptures was of the newly retired Champ Champ, Conor McGregor. Cullen discusses how the McGregor Cake was a real turning point in his career. It was a design that Conor’s official website, the Mac Life shared across all of their social media channels. It was the first time Cullen was exposed to large volumes of online feedback, with mixed reviews on his work. Ben admits that he felt out of his depth at the time, technically he would design it differently today, but he was still incredibly proud of his creation, it looked pretty epic to be fair.
“Nobody cares until the Rest of the world cares”
Paddy talks about the Similarities between creative minds & BJJ minds. It’s a sentiment Ben agrees with entirely, having a sporting background in soccer & boxing. In fact Ben never even liked baking growing up. Cullen, who is also a painter, attributes his success to mindset. He believes anyone can be anything if they’re willing to put the hours in.
Bens cake production is widely accessible through his online platforms. His content is fun & exciting with a story behind every project he uploads. He attributes his success to dedication, graft, learning from failure & always focusing on being the best version of himself. He believes if you adopt that philosophy you’ll never need to worry about competition. The only person Ben challenges is himself.
“I have to say that’s probably the first time I’ve ever been told ‘You’d look well as a cake Paddy!’”
Just before coronavirus struck in the UK, Ben realised he was going to turn 30 in Lockdown. Rather than ruin the annual tradition of going for a few drinks, he built his own pub out the back garden. As-well as having functional beer taps, the bar is equipped with it’s own membership cards, an official sign above the door, tables, chairs, a dartboard & the footie of course, on loop. The only thing missing is the ever-present regular slumped in the corner, however Ben tells us that’s his role.
When he’s not creating on youtube, or on our TV screens, Cullen teaches & demos around the world at some of the biggest cake expos. His plans for the future are to keep improving his skills & to continue growing his audience online. Not bad for a man that doesn’t even eat cake.
Coming out of Lockdown, it’s refreshing to see people like Ben who think outside the box. Cullen used his talents to turn his passion into a living & thus became the King of Cake. We’ll all need to think a little bit more creatively going forward. Let’s not go back to normal, let’s be better.
We’re not sure about you but all of this cake talk has got us in the mood for some sticky toffee pudding.
The full episode #125 of Paddy Holohan’s No Shame Podcast is available now across all the usual platforms including, iTunes, Spotify & to watch on Youtube.