Ravenous is a column powered by our friends at ZESCO—and it’s always incredibly delicious.
It’s not a party without a cake, but thankfully, Indianapolis is ripe with talented artisans and bakery owners who are skilled at whipping up wow-worthy treats for any occasion. Whether you’re planning a celebration or just want to enjoy a little eye candy, you’re going to want to check these out.
MEGAN RITZ, CAKE CURATOR/CEO OF CLASSIC CAKES
We designed this cake for a styled photo shoot at Laurel Hall with the talented photographer Lauren Peterson; it was inspired by ornate gold molding and elements from cakes by other incredibly talented cake artists. This is one of my favorite aspects of our industry—we all have the power to strike inspiration for each other.
This cake has a buttercream foliage stencil, torn layers of fondant, and hand-painted gold brooch work. The custom monogram topper is made from gum paste. An inset riser gives a smaller cake a little more height and a unique personality.
ASIA COFFEE, CAKE ARTIST, CAKE DECORATING INSTRUCTOR AND OWNER OF CAKES BY COFFEE
The prettiest cake that I’ve ever made was this three-tiered cake for Jenna’s 18th birthday! This cake was very special, but not for the obvious reason. What makes this cake special is that I answered a “Dream Cake” call-to-action for Icing Smiles and created this birthday cake for Jenna based on her love of horses and the color pink.
Icing Smiles is a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child, and I’m proud to be a Sugar Angel volunteer for this wonderful organization. This cake features many different techniques: Airbrushing, stenciling, stamping, hand painting, molded fondant, and an edible image, which is my original artwork. My favorite details are the gravity-defying lasso topper and the message plate on which I arranged Jenna’s name by hand. This cake was a lot of fun to create, and it was truly my pleasure to do so.
ALANA COBB, OWNER OF PRINCESS CONFECTIONS BAKERY
I am obsessed with this cake design because it is simple, clean, and elegant. My favorite tier is the one covered with ruffles—the sugar ruffles are individually made and attached to the cake. In my opinion, this tier adds interest to the overall design. I definitely enjoyed creating this beauty!
AMANDA RENINGER, OWNER OF SEA SALT & CINNAMON
I am IN LOVE with the pressed, edible floral trend we are seeing in cakes right now! My style tends to be a little more natural, with textures that aren’t “perfect,” and edible flowers are a beautiful addition for any boho, wildflower-loving bride. The organic flowers for this cake were grown locally by Woven Blooms!
SANDRA K. TAYLOR, OWNER OF HART BAKERY
This magical custom mermaid cake uses fondant on the bottom tier to make the mermaid scales. The top tier was also covered in fondant, and luster dust was used to create the purple-to-blue gradient. The other decorations are also fondant cutouts using cookie cutters and molds, as well as luster dust to add the pop of color.
MARSHA QUARLES, CO-OWNER OF MARSHA’S SPECIALTY DESSERTS & TIERNEY’S CATERING, AN INDIANA ARTISAN
This is one of my most favorite cakes that I have ever done. It is a baby shower cake, with the theme “Oh Deer … She’s Almost Here!” We are able to customize desserts based upon the theme of any event, and in this instance our customer provided the deer figurines and pictures of all of her paper goods and accessories. She wanted to make sure that even though the theme was woodland, it would still be pretty and feminine with soft shades of pink and flowers.
All of the flowers are made out of fondant, and the bottom tier of the cake was made to look like a wooden stump with texturized buttercream. I used a toothpick to get that effect, as well as five different shades of brown. The cake completely matched the décor, and our customer and her guests were all amazed.
JESSALYN LARSEN, CAKE ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE AND BOH GENERAL MANAGER AT THE FLYING CUPCAKE
Designing beautiful wedding cakes is always fun, but my favorite cakes are the ones we do for kids. I love creating something special year after year for a child growing up. It is one of the best parts of this job. I love our customers, especially the ones that return each year for their birthday cakes. I love the brand we’ve created, I love our product, and I love our style. Very few things are off the table when it comes to a child’s imagination. It’s a very special thing to know you’re involved in creating a memory for a child’s birthday, and even more special when you’ve done it for years as they grow up.
One of my favorite cakes was one we created from a young boy’s drawing of his imaginary superhero friend, “Chumonga Man.” Nothing beats handing a child a cake that they helped create. It was a very special moment.
FELICIA BROWN, BAKER AND OWNER OF TREATS BY FEE LLC
A customer wanted something different, not the typical unicorn cake, to match her daughter’s birthday party. She suggested that I put my own spin on the cake’s decorations. They loved it! It’s made with three layers of 6-inch cake, vanilla buttercream, and white chocolate ears, lashes and horn—and I added some bling and ribbon to jazz her up.
Stephanie Groves is an Indy-based freelance writer who tries to bake something with her daughter at least once a week.