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Lenna Ly: turning favourite characters into cupcakes

Creativity is expressed in many different ways, and today you will get to know an individual who brings her favorite characters from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro to life by making cupcakes out of them.

Lenna Ly
Courtesy of Lenna Ly

Lenna Ly grew up in Markham Ontario. She moved all around the area but still stayed in Markham. Her hobbies include watching anime and reading manga, cooking dishes from different ethic groups, playing Call of Duty on her boyfriend’s Playstation and also Cooking Mama, Phoenix Wright, and Animal Crossing on her 3DS.

Lenna says she is not a huge online gaming fan but does enjoy a variety of games with her favourite being the Phoenix Wright series.

Lenna first got into baking when she had taken home economics in highschool. “For one of our projects we had to bake mini cheesecakes, and it started from there. I would bake for my family and friends, especially on birthdays,” she said.

I love the science behind baking actually, like how some ingredients can have such a big impact on how the product would turn out. I also love the smell of freshly baked goods in my kitchen.”

Her inspiration for creating the Totoro cupcakes has a heartwarming story behind it. “ I actually made the cupcakes for my boyfriend’s birthday. Ever since he was young Studio Ghibli movies has always been his favourite. But his all time favourite movie was My Neighbour Totoro.“

Totoro and Susuwatari Cupcakes
Courtesy of Lenna Ly

Lenna Ly shared that My Neighbour Totoro holds a big part of his childhood memories.

They actually had the opportunity to visit the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan. “It’s always been a dream of his to visit that museum, and I am super glad I got to experience it with him.”

For his birthday Lenna wanted to do something special for him, so she decided to make Totoro and Susuwatari cupcakes to surprise him.

It took Lenna a few hours to make and construct the Totoro cupcakes. She had to plan out how she wanted Totoro to look, then create him by rolling and cutting out fondant pieces and putting them together to make Totoro and Susuwatari.

Lenna expressed that even though it was hard work, she enjoyed every part of making them.

My favourite character from Totoro would have to be Totoro and the Susuwatari. My first Studio Ghibli movie was Spirited Away, and that was the first time I saw Susuwatari. I instantly fell in love with those large eyed soot spirits,” she said.

“When my boyfriend showed me Totoro, I was thrilled to see them appear in the movie. With Totoro, I can relate to him because we have the same smiles. When I’m happy I have this BIG smile. My eyes would go into a crescent moon shape. Just like Totoro!”

Besides Totoro Lenna Ly has made cupcakes out of other characters. “I have made adorable TAKO cupcakes, which is a cephalopod octopus character by Kidrobot and Tado. I also have made a huge 8BIT Ryu from (Street Fighter) cupcake display that is made out of 378 cupcakes for a company function.”

The 8 bit Ryu
Courtesy of Lenna Ly

Currently Lenna Ly is in the process of planning and making new character cupcakes for a client.

Lenna explains how important being creative is in her life.

I always felt I had a lot of unexpressed creativity within myself, which I never let out until I started making cupcakes. Baking has allowed me to tap into that creativity and it allows me to express myself through my work. I believe everyone inside has their own creativity which makes each person unique and original, it’s just I was lucky enough to be able to express my creativity through a hobby of mine.”


You can check out Lenna’s Cupcakery on Facebook and Instagram:




About Nadia

Hey! I'm Nadia! I am a big fan of RPGs and you can almost always catch me playing one in my spare time. Writing is my passion, and my intention is that you all learn something through my work!

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