.......when I heard this uttered by restaurant patrons in response to a cake I had made I knew I had stumbled upon something.
Some of you may know that I have had a love /hate relationship with cake for a very long time. When I first started doing cakes I looked at it as just a job. Surely this was just a stepping stone on my path to , well something other than cakes. Two decades ago, people were not exactly clambering to become cake decorators. Oh how things have changed! Over the years I tried to get away from cake. I was a muralist, a handbag designer,a sushi chef all with varying degrees of success.Still, there was always a draw pulling me back to cake. It was something I was good at, even if I had burned out on it so many times.Flash forward to 2001. I was preparing to move from my native North Carolina to The San Francisco area.I knew I would need a job and I inevitably heard the siren call of cake again. This time around, I was working in an X-rated bakery (name withheld to protect the less than innocent). I'm a very open minded person , but I'll admit it took a bit of getting used to calling for the baker to add another large c**k to her baking list! When the novelty quickly wore off there I began to grow tired of cake again. The hours were long and the heavy production in a retail bakery were not at all conducive to creativity. Now, before you ask yourself "just HOW creative can you get with c**k cakes??" the answer is a decided VERY, but we did make other cakes as well. My main responsibility at the unnamed bakery was the sculpted cakes. I did my best there but when the clock is ticking and your boss is peering over at you with that "are you going to take all day, time is money!" look ... well, I did my best. When I wasn't getting the look , and when it was slow, my boss would pretty much give me free reign.One of these slow periods coincided with my boyfriend's birthday so I decided to make a cake in the likeness of our dog Pepino. Actually taking the time to do something I loved I could start to see a brighter future with this old frienemy of mine, cake.That night I surprised him with the cake at one of his favorite restaurants. Literally other restaurant patrons wondered aloud why there was a dog on the table.
A few months after that I decided to call a truce with cake . We decided that as long as I did what I enjoyed, on my terms that we could get along.It was that first dog cake that convinced me to leave the bakery and start my own business. Not long afterwards I had my first magazine feature, in not a cake periodical but instead a dog magazine called BARK.
I owe my whole career to dog cakes and I'll forever be grateful to Pepino for the inspiration .
Here are a few of my favorite dog cakes I've made since
Pepino again ! and finally how could I have forgotten this cute guy in a plane? Made for one of my sweetest customers!
Be sure to look out for three great friends of mine Wayne Steinkopf, and Chuck Hamilton of http://swankcakedesign.com assisted by Clara Gold of http://clarasdesignercakes.com as they compete this monday feb.8 on an episode of TLC's "Ultimate Cake Off" called "Top Dog" . Friends, dogs and cake what else could you ask for?