It’s not often students get to create the prettiest — and surely the most romantic of all — wedding cakes. Forty-five advanced baking-pastry students at Kent Career Tech Center were invited to do just that. This fall, they made individual cakes as a centerpiece for every table at the couple’s reception.
The wedding cake challenge — a first for instructor/chef Sarah Waller’s class — originated when she was asked to bake the bride’s wedding cake. With the request brewing in her mind, Waller realized the wedding would occur during the curriculum’s cake-baking fundamentals and could give students a professional project to work on, instead of a planned classroom assignment.
“It’s a really unique approach to have individual wedding cakes at each reception table,” Waller said. “I thought the kids would have fun with it, but I didn’t expect them to get into it this much. Every day, they would leave me little sketches of their cake. One student wrote a poem to stencil on his cake. I almost cried when I read the poem, it was so beautiful.”
In Waller’s class, cake-baking is elevated toan art form. Students are learning to “properly make a cake; to make the cake tall enough to cut in three layers; to keep the filling in the cake, and not become the frosting; to frost the cake cleanly with nice angles and without bubbles and flaws,” she explained, ticking off the learning targets.
Decision Day was Nerve-wracking
The morning of rehearsal dinner, the bride and groom — Lauren McKee and Dean Myers — visited The Tech Center’s kitchens to select from 18 wedding cakes. Each was positioned on a stand and photographed for students’ portfolios.
A two-tier red velvet cake filled with cream cheese and wrapped in ombre-hued buttercream that was crafted by Kezia Stinson, a third-year student, won the bride’s heart. “I was happy when she choose my cake as the display cake,” said Kezia, a 2017 Kenowa Hills High School graduate.
“I started bawling when I saw the beauty of it all,” said the new Mrs. Myers, a charter fishing boat captain. “What those kids did was incredible, just breathtaking. So much heart into all of those cakes, and it made our wedding spectacular!”
Kendal Scherer, Potter’s House High School senior, crafted a dreamy almond cake with raspberry filling, topped with a pair of fishing poles with the lines shaped into a heart and underneath scribbled “hooked for life.” The newlyweds loved it.
“It was a little nerve-wracking,” said Kendal about decision day.