An Interview with the best Austin Wedding Cake Maker

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When I moved to Austin four years ago (I cannot believe it was four years ago!!!!), I knew no one and nothing. I hadn’t even seen the city, the Universe just took me on a spontaneous whim. It has been the hardest and best four years of my life, without a doubt. I have found successes and failure, love and pain, adventure and monotony. Above all, I’ve met some really great people. One of those great people, I’m proud to say, is my friend Christy from Cakes Rock!. I consider her one of the best Austin Wedding cake makers, for sure! She’s vivacious, driven and one of the most positive people I know. I even had the honor of photographing her and her husband’s vow renewal!

I wanted to interview her, simply because she is just a favorite person of mine. I can always count on her and so can my clients. She’s worked with about 20% of my clients and that’s a good chunk! So here is a lovely little interview with the best Austin wedding cake maker.

 

How did you get into cakes?

My mother dabbled in it, & we had a tradition of making a Christmas tree-shaped cake for ‘Santa’ every year. When I was 5 years old, I decided I was going to make it, so with her help I did, and decorated it with way too many sprinkles (is there really such a thing?). It sparked a love in me, and I started making all kinds of cakes. I self taught from her old Wilton yearbooks and would buy piping tips and tools along the way with my allowance. When I graduated high school, my parents gifted me with a full cake decorating course. Back then there was no fondant or many of the wonderful sugar mediums and tools we have now. It was just buttercream. I made cakes on the side for years for family and friends, who all of course kept telling me I should do it professionally. Then when the cottage laws were passed in South Carolina where I was living at the time, I found out I could sell cakes from home, and it took off from there!

 

What is your favorite cake you’ve ever made?

Oh my goodness, that’s like asking me to choose a favorite child! Because I’m a proud University of Georgia alumni and a diehard Dawg for life, my UGA Bulldog mascot cake is right up there. My Smaug dragon cake is the one that really put me on the map in the cake decorating world and earned me international recognition. I love my Bevo Texas Longhorn cake so much and of course he’s been the biggest hit in the Austin area. My life-size standing acoustic guitar cake was a real challenge from an engineering standpoint. Each one is such a labor of love and holds a special place in my heart for so many different reasons.

best Austin Wedding cake maker

Why are cakes so expensive? What is something a potential client may not know about?

The TIME and SKILLED labor involved. I love and hate the TV shows, because they have educated the public as to what is possible in sugar art, but they don’t show how long things ACTUALLY take (it’s the ‘magic’ of television) and they don’t talk about the costs. The amount of labor in even a simple cake is astounding. Let’s say someone orders a simple buttercream wedding cake. They meet with me for a tasting for an hour or more (which takes an hour to prepare for), there is the time my office manager spends emailing and invoicing, my pastry chef bakes the cakes and makes the icings, and one or more of my decorating team members stacks, fills, ices and decorates the cake. So each cake is touched by a minimum of 4 team members, and has at least 10 to 15 hours of time involved, in even a smaller cake. Some of our cakes have literally taken over 100 labor hours to create, which is two and a half WEEKS of most normal people’s work time. Plus we bake everything custom from scratch and use very high quality ingredients. And that doesn’t even count the overhead of the bakery, rent, equipment, tools, utilities, vehicles, insurance, etc. My refrigerated van alone costs me $1000 per month, so that’s a big reason that delivery is expensive, too.

Why are you passionate about making cakes?

I love creating art that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with sugar. I love blowing people’s minds when they can’t believe what we’ve created is actually a cake. And nothing is better to me than seeing the amazement and joy on the faces when we cut into a cake that they don’t even think LOOKS like it’s a cake, and then it tastes amazing. It’s intoxicating to be a part of the most important celebrations in our clients’ lives and to be creating the centerpiece of that celebration that represents them so personally. If you think about it, CAKE = LOVE. Every celebration where there is a cake, is because there is love. A wedding, obviously. But also a birthday party, because people love the person celebrating another trip around the sun. Anniversaries, baby showers, retirements, etc. Even funerals, because people loved the person who passed. We are in the love business!

When you aren’t slinging cake, what is your favorite activity?

I’m a former competitive bodybuilder and I love powerlifting, so you’ll usually find me in the gym, or out hiking for some cardio.

Where do you see your business in five years?

My dream is to franchise it and spread the sugar love far and wide!

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