He used to be a chemical engineer, but these days Aaron Lee, 39, is a professional home baker. Four months ago, he started an Instagram cake business with his wife Elaine Lee, 38, a dentist. They offer three types of chocolate cakes — a classic choc flavour, and funky Mao Shan Wang durian and salted egg yolk versions, which have since attracted a devoted following of over 6,000 IG fans. The couple, who has “never attended an official culinary school”, came up with their own recipes through “trial and error, Instagram, Google and YouTube”.
Before Upcakes came along, they were just baking birthday cakes at home in Bukit Timah for their two kids: son Andrew, “four plus” and daughter Essa Grace, who is six. But their cakes were so well-received by their friends that Aaron and Elaine decided to sell them to customers. While Elaine focuses on her full-time dentistry job, Aaron bakes the cakes and handles Upcakes’ day-to-day operations.
He had left chemical engineering after a decade, when jobs in the industry started drying up. But since then, he has flourished as a “creative”. Other than cakes, he also founded three other businesses; a carpentry practice, a home decor brand called PeggyBoard, and a children’s luxury furniture line named after his daughter Essa Grace (one of Aaron’s projects was a kids’ playground at Jewel Changi Airport).