Exploring the world of custom cake making and baking has me in continual amazement. Any animate or inanimate object can be made into a cake. Superheroes, favorite people, places, weddings, birthdays, christenings, holidays, any of these can be molded, formed, and baked into a cake. Once frosted and iced, it displays to all eaters what particular event is being celebrated, what one’s treasured fantasy may be, or that unique and beloved person, place or thing.
Cakes make people smile, make stomachs growl and make mouths water. Even partaking in a somber event, if a cake is presented, it immediately brings a smile to one’s face. Most cake baker/makers are very humble about their work. Their greatest joy is when a client arrives to pick up their order and the “oohs” and “aahs” that abound once the client lays their eyes upon their particular cake.
Yum Bunnies Cakery in Belmont, MA is a nondescript custom cake shop that resides along a busy street with other unique food purveyors. The owner is an affable, cake-loving young woman, Jessa Sahakian, who works hard to create any design that is brought to her to bake.
Twelve delicious flavors are offered including the most popular ones: gold, chocolate, red velvet and marble. Many times cakes are dyed to match whatever theme a client has requested if one has chosen a white cake, for example pink. The most popular size being the 10 inch round, which is 4-4.5 inches tall.
Icings are in an assortment of colors and flavors all using the standard buttercream base: confectionery sugar, butter, egg whites, and vanilla extract. The flavorings, chosen by the client, are numerous and include such favorites as; chocolate, caramel and vanilla. The consistency of the buttercream has to be perfect. First it is made to be airy. Then it must be put into the mixer and beat continuously to get the air out before the color is added, then used to spread upon the cake, or squeezed through pastry tube. There is also the option of a mousse flavored filling between layers, such as white chocolate, peanut butter or chocolate. While fruit paste can be used for a fruit flavored filling, such as lemon curd.
As I watched this cake baker create a Pinkalicious cake with a steady hand adding precise adornments and designs with frosting, I thought how this profession was similar to the work of an artist, sculptor or painter. Therefore, I asked Jemma if she had a background in art or considered herself an artist.
Her reply was simple, “Most artists create a work of art that a person then hangs upon a wall, or places on a table to admire and look at. When I make a piece of cake art, people then eat it! It doesn’t last. It’s created, eaten and gone!”
Every cake is different. Some take all day and night to make, while others are just a few hours. But bear in mind, that any order must be placed one week in advance in order to be completed. Knowing a thing or two about cupcakes, Jessa even competed on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and can bake you an order making them to be whimsical, or simple. Whatever you request, she creates.
Does cake make you happy? If yes, then ordering a custom cake will make your eyes twinkle, possibly tears trickle, your mouth salivate, a smile widen across your face and your stomach fulfilled.