Retro Tattoo Cakes and Funky Cupcakes from Fairy Cakes and Faces

In this day and age, tattooed brides & grooms and nontraditional theme weddings are pretty much accepted by society so marrying couples and wedding vendors alike are all given an opportunity to express themselves creatively.  Such is the case for Nicola Shipley who makes artistic, unique designs — from retro tattoo cakes to funky cupcakes and sculpted novelty cakes — under her own brand called Fairy Cakes and Faces.

Retro Tattoo wedding cake

Retro Tattoo wedding cake

Nicola, a self taught artist and cake decorator is an Army Wife and mom of three children under 8 years old which means (a) she works from home; (b) her work goes with her wherever they are based; and (3) she has room to be inventive with her designs and not be led by convention. Best of all, she gets to be there for her family and be creative at the same time. She’s been making cakes for a year now and says she is learning all the time on each new cake she designs.

Japanese Tattoo and Henna Tattoo Wedding Cakes

Japanese Tattoo and Henna Tattoo - inspired wedding cakes

Nicola specializes in tattoo cakes. I asked her how this came about:

Well everybody asks why tattoo cakes, and it just sort of snowballed really from the Pinkytoast cake I did for a 16th birthday. I realised the kind of cakes which really inspired me were creative, alternative designs and which really stood out from the crowd. The artist who is Pinkytoast actually saw my cake which I’d recreated from one of her paintings on Flickr. To my surprise she loved it and was “very impressed!” It generated a lot of interest from people who were into tattoos and quirky styles and so I thought, what style of artwork do I love and haven’t seen very much in cake form? — Tattoos!! I really love the retro tattoo designs, but also the sugar skulls from Mexican designs. I have a fantastic cake coming upon Halloween for a “Day of the Dead” Wedding cake, which I noticed you did a feature on recently.

When Nicola showed me her retro tattoo cakes and cupcakes, I instantly thought that they’d be perfect for rock and roll weddings!

Vintage tattoo wedding cupcakes

Vintage tattoo wedding cupcakes

The people who like my cakes have a strong sense of style, they usually have tattoos or love tattoo art. They are very artistic or creative usually, and have a genuine desire for the unique. My wedding cakes would suit every theme from whimsical Tim Burton, Rockabilly, Retro, Vintage inspired to burlesque and bold. I’m able to turn my hand to any style really, I have a very eclectic taste in art, fashion, music etc.

Sugar Skull and Tattoo Cakes

Sugar Skull and Heart Tattoo Cakes

Having noted that Fairy Cakes and Faces is based in the UK and since I know Poptastic Bride’s readers come from all over the world, I asked how one can go about getting a hold of her creations:

I am based in the UK, just outside London and create cakes for anyone in the UK. I will travel further but it would mean people paying the travel expenses, which I understand can make for an expensive cake. My cakes unfortunately don’t ship, I have looked into it and I’ve been told “no”. I do post out customised toppers which I need to get photos of on my website, they start at £25 per figure and are clay based and non-toxic which are light and suitable for cakes. These can be shipped worldwide and costs would need to be based on individual topper and country.

My toppers are just as eclectic as my cakes so people in uniform, love birds, skeleton figures… anything goes! Just send an email of favourite styles and themes and I can make a bespoke design.

Thank you, Nicola, for sharing your artful cake designs with us! See more of her designs on her website, Facebook page, and Flickr gallery. You may contact her here.

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  1. This gave me such great ideas for my wedding next year. We wanted an alternative vibe and this is right up my alley.

  2. So glad the post inspired you for your wedding Tiffany! Good luck with your preparations. 🙂

  3. How would I get hold of you to hire you to make our wedding cake

  4. I could have sworn you were a tattoo artist. Lovely representation.


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