Q&A with a Louisville cake decorator [Food and Dining]

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Age: 21
Job title: Head cake decorator at Sweet Surrender
Professional background: I've been a "professional" cake decorator for 3 years total. My real experience started about 2 years ago after I graduated Sullivan with my baking and pastry arts degree. I've worked in Louisville and Paducah doing wedding cakes, specialty cakes, and everything in between. And loved 88% of it.

Amber decorating a wedding cake


What made you decide on cake decorating?
I think it is the most artistic form of baking. It definitely is a creative outlet for me. I like baking-sometimes. But I love decorating- most of the time. I tend to be very precise and that can lead to a lot of aggravation but it also leads to good results.
What kind of cakes do you decorate?  
We do a lot of wedding cakes, specialty birthday cakes, and plain ole dessert cakes because it's a dessert cafe.
Do you have a favorite type or style?
My absolute favorite types of cakes are sculpted. I've done Wall-E, fish, cars, a Chinese take out box. They're really the wow-factor cakes. My favorite moment at the bakery so far was when a woman teared up and hugged me after seeing the cake she ordered as a surprise for her husband. It was a replica of the truck he built, complete with off-colored tailgate.
What's the most outrageous cake you've ever decorated?
Either the cake with the Chinese take out box as a top tier and a red bottom tier with a traditional golden Chinese dragon on it or a Gucci diaper bag cake. How absurd is that?
Assuming that you want to have a wedding at some point, what would your cake look like?
Oh man, that's a hefty assumption. Honestly, I have no idea what my wedding cake is going to look like! All I can really picture is that it's going to be epic. With as many cake decorator friends as I have it has to be.
 Most of my knowledge of cake decorating comes from shows like Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss. How real are those shows? It's TV and utilizes a lot of drama. Who carries a 5 tiered cake down stairs and then is surprised when someone drops it? They also give people high expectations with no real monetary consequences attached. But the glamor, stress, and fun are all pretty accurate.

(Cake photo courtesy of Amber Millay.) 

About Amy Talbott
Piscean. INFJ. Cat person. Runner. Mediocre housekeeper. Excellent cook. Scours the sleaze on Craigslist so you don't have to.
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