Cakes are more than sweetness


She removes the cake from the oven, allowing it to cool as she blends a fresh batter of frosting to reach a whip-like consistency. Spilling from a tin container are instruments that the average person couldn’t name, but a baker wouldn’t dare mistake.

The final product consists of a blanket of freshly sliced peaches, sitting between two layers of vanilla, whose juices flow down to create a moist bottom layer that has a melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

That is junior Jazmin Herrera’s favorite type of cake.

Tasting is just a treat; beyond the decadent flavor, Herrera loves to decorate the blank canvas layers of flavor she creates.

Herrera bakes cakes for small family events, holidays, birthdays, and other occasions. Varying in flavor, these cakes range from being a decorative jack-o-lantern to a complex fondant birthday present.

“I like the art aspect of it more,” she said. “I make my brother dinosaur cakes because he likes them, and they are really fun to make.”

When creating a tasty cake with such fine detail in its appearance, Herrera has to consider many uncontrollable factors.

“Sometimes the frosting gets too liquidy, and I can’t use it. I prefer buttercream because it is thicker and holds better,” she said as she filled a piping bag with bright pink frosting that she uses to make edible roses.

Starting to really pick up the hobby her freshman year, Herrera said, “It’s a side thing; it’s not really what I want to do.”

Herrera hopes to become a marine biologist, but her mother encourages her to continue making cakes for some extra cash on the side.

“I don’t want to work at S-Mart, but if it was like Buddy (from “Cake Boss”) then yeah!” she said. She continues to learn from her aunt who works for a bakery and teaches Herrera when she goes over to visit. Other than the instruction from her aunt, Herrera enjoys watching “Cake Boss” because “it actually shows you how they make it, unlike most shows.” In some cases, she recognizes the tools and techniques they use. In others, she is struck with a ravenous, eager mind to learn more about the “pros.”

Herrera identifies the next hurdle she wants to jump is fondant. “It’s like clay and it’s hard to work with,” she said, motioning her hands as if there was playdough between the tips of her fingers.

Even though she has created a cake with it before with assistance, she wants to do it “all on (her) own.”

“It’s fun!” is the best way the talented baker can put it into words.

After she is done with one of her masterpieces, she washes her food color stained hands and begins to clean up, returning all her supplies to a single tin container in which she stores her materials.

Then, they all eat cake.