Published: 06:00, 03 March 2021
| Updated: 10:01, 03 March 2021
Armed with a drill and a jigsaw, Nicola Bradshaw is perhaps not what you'd expect as your typical cake maker.
And after just a quick glimpse at the weird, wonderful and huge treats the Westgate baker has created, your suspicions will be confirmed.
From a 6ft Big Friendly Giant to a life-sized John Coffey being electrocuted - taken from a scene in Stephen King's novel The Green Mile - her creations are a far cry from the pretty muffins and cupcakes you see elsewhere.
It's therefore little surprise the 52-year-old, who runs Little Brown Fairy Cake in Station Road, has become such a well-known face in the cake world, making a name for herself with her mind-blowing yet delicious creations.
"I'm famous," she says, before adding: "For being a weirdo mainly."
"I'm not going to be doing any pretty things, like naked wedding cakes or drip cakes which are popular at the moment.
"I'll give you something gory though."
The mum-of-one, who for years worked in retail while raising her son, admits she started out doing cupcakes when she launched her business in 2012 but soon realised "weird" was more her thing.
"Some people make pretty cakes or are amazing at beautiful, neat wedding cakes - I can do gory, big heads," she said.
"I mainly do heads, so busts, or people come to me with a raw idea and I say 'let's give it a go'.
"It sort of started from there and I then discovered Cake International and started competing in 2015. Before I knew it, I become quite well known in the cake world."
Miss Bradshaw won two bronze awards and a silver but stopped competing due to the stress involved.
However her amazing work had already got her noticed and she was asked to become part of the team doing the feature displays for Cake International.
It was for these she created the Roald Dahl character the BFG and John Coffey for a King of Horror display.
"The BFG took three months because you have to build the structures," she said.
"There's a lot of engineering involved.
"I did it in my conservatory in the blistering heat which made it harder - the summer is not your friend as a baker as everything melts.
"The King of Horror cake, the John Coffey one, I did in my friend's garage in Margate.
"I had to leave the garage door open and people would look in to see me in there with this man in an electric chair."
She says she has to think a lot about her structures and how to stop the cakes collapsing.
"For the big cakes you have to build the frame, cut the wood, do the threading rod which is like the spine, and all the nuts and bolts," she said.
"I have a jigsaw and drills. It's not pretty baking - there's a lot of construction involved before you make the actual cake."
Miss Bradshaw's creations have not only caught the attention of those in the industry but TV producers, including those from Channel 5's Wonderful World of Cakes, who featured her work in an episode in January.
She was also asked to make the cakes for the birthday of famous stunt performer Eddie Kidd for the past two years.
So where did she get her creative flair?
"My mum used to do it - she did very pretty wedding cakes - so I was brought up around it," she said.
"Then she retired and had a room full of equipment just sitting there for years.
"I was working in shops and being a mum so I didn't do anything with it.
"Then one day, I did - although it's not the pretty cakes she did. I think that comes from my art and design background."
Miss Bradshaw, who opened her shop in Westgate last year, says lockdown has led to the market being flooded by people wanting to turn their hands to baking.
"Some aren't even registered but say 'I can do you a cake for £20' - they think it's an easy thing to do," she said.
"I might charge a couple of hundred because it's taken me 10 years to get here.
"I love what I do - if you're a cake maker you have to - but it's a lot of work, a lot of long hours, it can be frustrating, things don't go according to plan and it's not mega money - although some people think it is.
"I've had lots of disasters, too, which I managed to rectify.
"But I love it and wouldn't do anything else now."
To see more of Nicola's cakes visit www.littlebrownfairycake.co.uk