It’s impressive when you can get content to go viral on social media, but at just four years old, it’s even more sensational.
At this age, Ellis Tang is still catching up to her mother Joanna Lo’s level of experience with 10 years of cake decorating under her belt.
It was always a hustle and bustle for her while she worked as a flight attendant, but when she had Ellis in 2017 and became a mom of two, the cakes had to take a back seat.
Her busy life suddenly changed completely when she was laid off in March 2020.
“Day care centers, even playgrounds, were closed, so Ellis was home with me. Without my job, I tried to restart my cake business,” Lo told blogTO.
“Ellis saw me making cakes but she couldn’t understand why she couldn’t eat them and why people were coming for the cakes. She cried every time she saw a cake go. So I tried to leave. ‘incorporate somehow, so it’s kept her busy while I can still bake cakes.”
She gave her daughter fondant and tools, and Ellis “practiced” next to Joey while she baked real cakes for customers.
“I taught her some simple techniques and she picked them up really quickly. She was only three years old, but her fine motor skills were really good. We were like co-workers,” Lo says.
“The first time I recorded her baking a cake and posted it online was a birthday cake for her dad. It went viral on Tiktok. That’s where I realized that oh, people like to watch her bake cakes, and she’s pretty amazing three-year-old.”
The level of enjoyment people felt watching Ellis inspired Joanna to learn more about video making and social media.
“It was therapeutic for us, instead of having to provide 20 toddler/preschooler activities every day during lockdown, we baked a cake,” Lo says.
“From start to finish, it kept her engaged, it made us happy, it gave me purpose, she learned how to do cake art, and I learned how to use social media. .. we kind of forgot we’re in lockdown.”
Lo says she usually shows her daughter how to do certain techniques and copies it step by step. Some of her particularly impressive skills include embedding a cake and making edible figurines from fondant, which can be difficult for even adult bakers to master.
“People like to say she’s gifted, artistic, a cake-art prodigy. My followers are mostly home bakers, professional bakers, and moms,” Lo says.
“Bakers usually say watching her bake cakes brings them joy, I think it’s because they’re always baking cakes for customers, they forget what it’s like to bake a cake as a creative outlet , and they see that in Ellis, baking a cake for fun and enjoying the process.”
Currently, a mother and daughter Instagram account has over 155,000 followers, but Lo isn’t planning on monetizing her daughter’s efforts.
“We get messages from people wanting to order a cake from Ellis,” says Lo.
“They want to let her design it and make it the way she wants and they want to pay her. That’s been very supportive of them, but I haven’t taken any orders and probably won’t be doing that anytime soon.”