Emily Aumiller is combining her artful eye and passion for baking to create "pure artistry" (which also happens to be the title of her beloved cookbook). The Brooklyn-based pastry chef's talents intersect between art and cooking which inevitably led to the inception of Lael Cakes — her boutique cake studio that caters to clientele in need of vegan and dairy/gluten-free desserts. The company's specialties range from catering events to cooking classes but are tied together by Emily's mission to teach and inspire the baker inside all of us. We certainly felt compelled to whip up something new as we watched Emily in action during our visit to her test kitchen. In this story, Emily wears our Mosh Wedge and speaks about her relationship with vegan baking and what pure artistry means to her.
I'm Emily Lael Aumiller, the owner/chef of Lael Cakes and author of Pure Artistry. I'm also an outdoor and animal enthusiast and lover of a redhead.
The Art of Baking
Before my pastry career, I studied sculpture. All of what I gained in sculpture I use today. Only now I use sugar instead of clay and edible dye instead of glaze.
My artistic practice is something that has become infused in my day to day life in the kitchen. It’s no longer relegated to a specific activity or medium — now whether I’m sketching, sculpting, or photographing the desserts we make in the kitchen, my artistic expression happens organically through my daily work routine.
I was brought up on the idea that meals are prepared from scratch out of love for one another. For many years I struggled because I wasn’t able to cook or bake with ingredients that I once found comfort in. I was determined to find a solution for not only myself but for others facing the same issues. My passion for food and my curiosity about this unknown field led me to develop recipes for drop-dead gorgeous cakes made with gluten-free flours, unrefined sugars, plant-based fats, nondairy milks, and all-natural dyes that look and taste better than those made with overly processed ingredients.
I love knowing that when someone bites into one of my cakes, they are enjoying it on many levels. The first comes from the cake being fabulously delicious. Then, learning that the cake is gluten-free and vegan, or that the flowers adorning the dessert are made entirely of sugar, heightens the initial experience. Through my cookbook, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share these personal creations, to hopefully inspire others culinary endeavors and beyond.
While I was a student at New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, I was introduced to the Slow Food movement. It wasn’t hard to adapt their practices that inspire individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair for all. When moving to food-trendy NYC, I thought I’d simply continue these practices — finding most restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores far from it. It is possible to live a conscious and sustainable lifestyle through deliberate and thoughtful decisions daily. I’ve found for me, eating a mostly plant-based diet is what works best for my body at this time and creates less of a footprint with lower environmental impacts while standing against the exploitation of animals. It’s not just about my diet choices, but what I wear, personal care products, waste disposal, and my career. It’s a lifestyle and a personal commitment.
Why Emily loves her Mosh Wedges - I love them because they are bold, comfortable, and metallic… and sustainable!
If Emily could wear one of her cakes -
This one because it is effortless, metallic, and has soft hues with an eclectic flair!
The biggest misconception about vegan desserts that Emily wants to change -
I often hear, "Vegan desserts are like a dry power bar." And I’ve had those vegan desserts. The stigmatism is sadly there for a reason. I hope I may have a hand in changing the false stereotype of plant-based desserts. I’ve found that when alternative ingredients are handled properly, it can elevate the dessert, creating a delicate texture and flavor profile that releases slowly as you eat it — nothing like you’ve ever tasted before.
A set of antique jade measuring cups have a special place in my kitchen, which my Gram bartered for from an Amish flea market.