Think about birthday cake.
You most likely picture something rectangular or round with lots of colors, possibly balloons drawn on in icing next to cheerful words.
Now picture a pink purse with money spilling out of it, a true-to-size New York Giants football helmet or an X-Box gaming console, which are all edible – now that's a birthday cake.
So it goes in the baking industry these days. Cakes, birthday or otherwise, are carefully created and subsequently appreciated as intricate works of art.
These sweet eats are not confined to the likes of television shows such as Cake Boss or DC Cupcakes either. At least three local bakeries churn out such elaborate creations all the time, from hairy tarantulas to race cars flying down a strip of pavement.
Much thought and planning are put into each design, a process on which Cathy Reppert of Truly Scrumptious offered some insight.
The cakes are baked one to two days before delivery, but the artwork is started about two weeks before that, she said. We made a realistic pool table as a groom's cake, which fed 150 guests. The design incorporated many aspects of the groom's pool team, such as the team logo. The wedding was in May; we started the artwork in January. One hand-sculpted flower, such as a flower with many layers of petals, may take up to a week to make.
These custom creations have a bit of a higher price tag, accounting for labor, number of servings, flavor, filling and the intricacy of the design. Prices range from business to business, but Truly Scrumptious' general price lines range from $4 to $15 per serving for tiered cakes and $8 to $20 per serving for sculpted cakes with a $50 minimum cake order.
Can you tell which of our pictures are of cakes – by Frosted, Pamkakes or Truly Scrumptious – as opposed to, you know, of actual objects?
• Frosted: Electric Street, Clarks Summit, 561-5478. www.justfrosted.com.
• Pamkakes: The Hometown Village Square, 220 Claremont Ave., Tamaqua, 668-1600. www.pamkakesonline.com.
• Truly Scrumptious: 271 Wyoming Ave., Kingston, 283-2253. www.eatcakefirst.com.