It seems like just yesterday Heather Baumgard was making cakes from a box, throwing a few ingredients together and calling it good. This perspective changed when their daughter Olivia was celebrating her first birthday. This special occasion 11 years ago challenged Baumgard to think outside the box, as she crafted a customized chocolate butterfly and bug cake masterpiece - the first creation for Baumgard and the start of Playful Cupcaketions!
Out of Baumgard’s licensed and inspected home, this “stay at home mom” has fallen in love with baking and created a career she initially never imagined. For the past eight years, she has established herself within the local cake business and now makes custom masterpieces for all occasions and in all sizes, whether the delectable creations are cakes, cupcakes, French macarons or decorated sugar cookies.
“I wasn’t a baker before my kids, but I come from a family where you see something and say, ‘I think I can do it!’” she said. “I started by making my own kids’ cakes and then family members asked me to make their cakes and then my friends.”
The Wedding Cake Process
Once Baumgard decided to officially make cakes for others, she knew she wanted to take the process to another level. “I knew I needed to step it up and move forward to get better,” she said.
She gets her cake supplies in bulk and half the kitchen is organized for holding all the contents. While Baumgard makes cakes for all occasions and events, wedding cakes are one of her favorite works of art. She offers over 30 flavors and has never turned down a challenge and is willing to try a new recipe.
“Just as long as I have enough notice to make sure I can get the ingredients needed, I can try to make the cake in any flavor your heart desires,” she added.
On her website playfulcupcaketions.com, a future bride can discover pricing, contracts, and a tasting form. This initial information is vital to the final product, as Baumgard discovers likes and dislikes. Many brides will provide different pictures, and Baumgard will ask which aspects of each cake are favorites. From there, she discovers what is really wanted and compares the selections to her recipes.
“I find what they want, how many people are coming, and can often guide them through what works or doesn’t,” she said.
Wedding Cake Layers
Baumgard said wedding cakes tend to be easier to make then cakes for other occasions, as generally there are fewer frosting colors to craft. Layers tend to be made into different flavors, and she generally uses a buttercream for the frosting.
“There has been lots of failed attempts through the years to discover the right consistency for frosting,” she added. “I’ve learned how to tweak recipes to get the flavor, texture and thickness I want."
There are over 30 flavor options Baumgard can create and frosting and filling flavors can also vary. Fresh fruit and candies can be added, as well as special fondant frosting designs. The couple can have a tasting session where they can decide the different flavors for the tiers or cupcake selections.
“I will put together four of their favorite flavors and send them home with them to try,” she said. “I don’t have to watch them eat them, and they don’t have to worry about hurting my feelings if the flavor isn’t for them.”
She said most people select a two-tier cake and then add cupcakes or sheet cakes for extra amounts. In 2019, a favorite choice was the addition of donuts, so she incorporated a cake and donut masterpiece. For those who prefer multiple flavored options, Baumgard suggests picking different flavored cupcakes.
“Generally, people pick a white frosting and maybe a cream. The most common four or five flavors are White Russian, Pink Champagne, Vanilla with Raspberry, Peanut Butter Cup or a Candy Bar,” she said.
Baumgard uses fresh flowers, silk flowers, or fondant creations for cake designs. She has past floral experience, providing her the ability to easily create the final masterpiece.
“You don’t need a lot of flowers to create something really pretty. I will often take unused wedding florals or the florist will leave some options for me to put on the cake,” she shared. “Fondant options take more time and are more expensive, but you are able to be more creative with the final design.”
If the couple has another specific topper, she asks that the topper be left on the cake table on the day of delivery, as well as the cake knife and other accessories. “This lets me know exactly where to set the cake or cupcakes up at the reception,” she added.
Baumgard will also teach those cutting the cakes the proper way to make slices or how to cut a sheet cake. If the couple picks a variety of cupcakes for their selection, she will arrange them masterfully on the table or in cupcake stands – the final masterpiece designed perfectly for the special day.
For playful creations for all occasions, Baumgard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (712) 301-9867. She can be found on Facebook at Playful Cupcaketions and detailed information is provided at www.playfulcupcaketions.com.
Things To Consider When Ordering:
- The more flavors you choose the more your guests will eat.
- Plan on 1½ cupcakes per person or 3 mini cupcakes.
- You will need to have a color in mind for the cupcake liners.
- Have a design or style for your wedding cake.
- Who will be cutting the cake and do they know how?
- Will you need to rent a stand?
- Is your cake topper heavy and need to be supported?
- Will you be using real, silk, or sugar flowers?