Jan Clement-May is a name you might not be familiar with – yet – but if you’re a fan of all things cake-related and love to either create or savour incredible baking that’s all just too perfectly-presented to cut into, you might have heard of Squires Kitchen’s School of Sugarcraft, based in Surrey and teaching excellence to students all over the world. They’re behind some of the most famous, intricate and expert creations ever conceived, baked and decorated – and one of their past tutors is now living right here in Carmarthenshire.
Having trained as a graphic designer and animator, Jan started making cakes for family members 25 years ago and her incredible natural ability led to more and more requests, orders and commissions.
She was a regular customer at the Squires kitchen shop and got to know the staff, sharing news and updates on her orders and projects as they came in. All this chatting resulted in the Squire’s management finally seeing first hand what Jan was able to create and they wasted no time in inviting her to make a project for the for the famous Cakes and Sugar Craft Magazine
Her recognition then steadily grew… and grew. Jan demonstrated sugarcraft skills for them at their yearly exhibition
and this resulted in her being asked to write a book for them: an incredible (and warranted) recognition of her abilities. Her ‘Merry Christmas Cakes’
was published in 2004 and she was subsequently asked to to write another in 2007, this time focusing on cBeebies favourite Bob The Builder celebration cakes
You might think at this point that Jan had reached the very apex of her career but yet another famous name was about to come calling and it was a name that absolutely everyone recognised: Disney.
contacted the world-famous Squires looking for someone who could create cakes to their standard, one name was instantly a natural nomination and that was Jan’s. Her success in print reflected her endless ability to make cakes that were so perfect in their attention to detail that some people didn’t even believe they were cakes at all and the Disney empire was impressed by her ability to make faithful, exact replicas of their requirements with cake and sugarpaste. She was approved as one of their bakers and Jan contributed to their publications for three years, with over 3 million magazines being sold in that time. Viewers of ‘Cake Academy’ on TV will also have seen her delivering a demonstration of how to make the examples published in her ‘Guide to Sugar Figures’ on air in 2016
In between all this incredible success, Jan has found time to travel all over Europe as a Squires ambassador or tutor and has made countless commissions for big names like Crufts and Thomas The
Tank Engine. She’s designed and created cakes of all shapes and sizes for all kinds of customers and has been a judge
at Cake International at the NEC
– and she still loves to bake. Now a resident of the Tumble area, Jan is happily making cakes of all kinds and to all budgets and is about to open her own studio teaching these skills, first hand, to her clients.
If you have any commission you’d like her to undertake or would like to join her in her new kitchen to discover (or perfect) your sugarcraft skills, email her
with your queries for a no-obligation chat about how she can assist. Cake commissions currently require at least a week’s notice and wedding cake commissions also include a tasting meeting to clarify the design and specifications to ensure that your centrepiece, statement cake is just the way you’d hoped it would be. You can be assured of a friendly response and of benefiting from decades of literal expertise that has been seen, prized and imitated all over the world.