Editors note: This is another installation of an ongoing series of “Meet the Chef” by Democrat food writer Faith Bemiss that profiles local chefs, cooks, bakers, and others versed in food and drink. This week features Cindy Blatterman.
Cindy Blatterman, owner of Icing on the Cake Bakery LLC in Sedalia, is all into cake baking and decorating — with a phone number 829-CAKE and a license plate IBAK4U, she said she likes to “push the envelope.”
She didn’t actually set out to be a baker but she’s found it’s something she will continue to do for quite sometime. Blatterman has been making cakes for 12 years and it all began with her daughter’s birthday and a pre-ordered cake that didn’t fit the bill.
“I ordered one from a store and I went to pick it for my daughter, she was probably 5, and it wasn’t what I expected,” she said. “I decided that I would do it myself. I’ve always been a little dabbler in this and that.”
Her daughter, Chelsea, now a freshman at Columbia College, picked out the napkins and Blatterman sat down and started drawing.
“Little girlie things, butterflies and flowers,” she said.
She finally settled on a Barbie cake. The rest is history.
And although she wasn’t into baking much before, she began making and experimenting with cakes for family and for her daughters Chelsea and Kaytlin, now a freshman at Smith-Cotton High School.
She began working for a local grocery store bakery before opening Icing on the Cake four years ago, where her experience came not from necessarily reading but from doing.
“It was really from trial and error, just messing around,” she said. “And when I first got sort of serious about it I bought demonstration cards and magazines. That’s how I kind of learned a few of the techniques, like piping.”
She would look at the card and follow it on creating a border or a scroll. She found the decorating techniques easy and stopped using the cards, eventually giving them away. Then, while working at the grocery store bakery, she found she loved to try new techniques and new ideas, to stretch her creative abilities.
“I’m always kind of pushing the envelope,” she added. “I started making gum paste flowers… I don’t do it a whole lot, because it’s something that’s time consuming and people don’t want to pay the extra.”
Gum paste flowers are made with cookie cutters and Blatterman is able to create realistic type orchids, roses, sea shells and other edible flowers. She is known for making crooked cakes and reverse cakes where the smaller tier is on the bottom versus the top.
“I like trying new things, I don’t like making the same old cake every single day,” she said. “And I do have the capability of doing the images on cakes with a special printer and edible ink. People use that a lot for graduations and major birthdays.”
All of her cakes are homemade, not produced from a box, and customers have complemented her on the moistness of her cakes. Blatterman said she believes over-baking leaves a cake dry and she tries not to bake them too long. Over time, she has also developed a sixth sense for when a cake is done.
“It was trial and error, as far as how long,” she added. “I know that chocolate takes longer than white to bake.”
New cake flavors are always not far from her mind either.
“Last year I tried some new flavors,” she said. “I made a whole bunch of cupcakes and took them around to businesses, for reviews. And I kind of wanted people’s feedback on them.”
She made pina colada, key lime pie, candy bar and peanut butter chocolate flavors. The most popular were the key lime, candy bar and peanut butter chocolate, although her most requested cake type remains white and chocolate.
As far as cake trends, Blatterman said cupcakes are popular now, even with brides as wedding cakes.
“The simplicity of it you know,” she said. ” You may not want to have somebody (there) to cut the cake, and that way you know you have x-number of cupcakes. It’s just there and you can pick it up.”
She added that their popularity extends to television shows about cupcake contests such as the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” and and TLC’s “Cake Boss.”
“People send me some pretty out there things because they’re out there watching all those shows,” she said. “They want something different, extravagant, but they don’t always want to pay for that. Right now cupcakes are huge and so is rustic elegance, like burlap and messy icing, that’s really huge.”
With rustic elegance she creates a stucco-like effect with butter cream icing and adds burlap or raffia ribbons and silk flowers. Blatterman also said Duck Dynasty is popular now, in general, as well as “bling” decor for weddings.
“They like the diamond type (decor),” she added.
She spends approximately two days a week baking and three to four days decorating cakes, cupcakes and sometimes sugar cookies. Delivery is an option; she has clients as far away as Kansas City.
“Wedding cakes I deliver wherever, obviously for a charge,” she said. “But in town … there’s no charge for that.”
For more information on the bakery contact Blatterman by phone at 829-CAKE (2253), visit her website, icingonthecakebakery.net, or her Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Icing-On-The-Cake-Bakery-LLC/269878811455.