A new show on Food Network is putting the cake decorating skills of North Texas bakeries on display to the world.
These creations from local bakeries are anything but “a piece of cake,” as the saying goes.
“I feel like a good portion of our job is engineering.”
The multilayer edible art pieces featured on “Dallas Cakes,” can take hours to complete over a span of two to three days. The skills required aren’t just about getting the frosting smooth or stifling the cake crumbs from appearing on the outer layer, either.
“I feel like a good portion of our job is engineering. We are building support structures for all these crazy ideas we have,” said Bronwen Weber of Frosted Art Bakery and Studio in the inaugural “Dallas Cakes,” episode this week.
In the show, her Dallas team assembled a 2-foot-tall and 3-foot-wide cake replica of a buckle for the 100th anniversary of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. Custom-cut boards and pipes formed the backbone for the squares of butter cake infused with coffee buttercream, bourbon, and pecans.
Elizabeth Rowe, a Lewisville cake decorator featured on “Dallas Cakes,” is putting her years learning from her carpenter dad and stepdad as well as her own DIY projects to work at her shop, The London Baker. You can’t buy a support system for these over-the-top, complex creations referred to as “showstopper cakes,” said Rowe, who has no professional culinary training.
“I think I probably own more power tools in my garage than a lot of men do. I’m definitely a do-it-yourself kind of girl,” Rowe told Dallas Innovates.
“I think I probably own more power tools in my garage than a lot of men do.”
She said even her simpler cakes usually require some research to deliver a quality look and to ensure it captures a real-life essence. For something like the dragon she created on “Dallas Cakes,” she looked into reptiles and the placement of their muscles.
“I thought about biology, like where their muscles would be accentuated for the creatures — like around the thigh area for lift off and around the shoulders for the wings,” Rowe said.
Tackling a project is something she learned from her studies in fine art and graphic design. She said skills she picked up in that learning such as color matching and blending have also come in handy in crafting cakes.
When things don’t go according to plan, these bakers have to adapt on the fly.
“Sometimes when you do things you haven’t done before, you have to account for error. We always bake some extra cake,” Weber said in the show.
The other bakery featured in episode one was Creme de La Creme Cake Company in Fort Worth. Jamie Holder and her team put together a Chinese New Year-themed cake with three beveled layers resembling takeout boxes topped off with a lion dancer made of rice treats.
“On this particular cake, we’ve done a lot of edible image. This is edible paper, which is really fun, and you can actually put it through a printer with edible ink,” Holder told viewers.
So far, Food Network has ordered up a total of 10, half-hour episodes of “Dallas Cakes,” airing Monday nights. In each one, viewers can expect to be a fly on the wall with three local bakers as they bring these elaborate confections to life. You’ll see more of episode one bakers as well as Roshi Muns of Society Bakery; Heidi Allison, Sugar Bee Sweets; Dylan Humphrey, Kool Kakes by Dylan.
“Audiences will be captivated by the expert baking techniques and decorating skills used in every detail of these unique, jaw-dropping cakes — each one living up to Dallas’ larger-than-life reputation,” said Courtney White, senior vice president for programming for Food Network, Travel Channel, and Cooking Channel, in a statement.