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August 8, 2020

7/22/2020 12:49:00 PM
Cake batter & frosting
Kenzie WIlson stands next to her proudest creation: A giant T-Rex sculpted out of rice krispies that she made for her son Maverick’s third birthday.
+ click to enlarge
Kenzie WIlson stands next to her proudest creation: A giant T-Rex sculpted out of rice krispies that she made for her son Maverick’s third birthday.
+ click to enlarge
TIps & Tricks
The following are a few of Amarigold Cakes owner Kenzie Wilson's tips for baking and decorating:

1. Use parchment rounds in the bottom of cake pans for easy release.

2. Run your mixer on the highest speed to really whip your icing and give it great texture.

3. Frozen cake is easier to sculpt: Level and layer your cake once it's finished baking and cooling, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer.

4. Use PVC pipe (wrapped in plastic wrap for sanitation purposes) for extremely large sculpted cakes.

5. For a smooth finish on buttercream cakes, run your offset spatula (long, narrow spatula used for spreading an even layer of frosting) under warm water.

6. For cookies, Wilson suggests using meringue powder for the perfect sugar cookie icing; it hardens and has a beautiful sheen once is dries.

7. Chill your cookie dough to make it easier to work.

Kylan Higgs

In her brand-new, kitchen, Kenzie Wilson (nee Caldwell) can be found surrounded by bowls of homemade cake batter and frosting.

Owner of Amarigold Cakes, Wilson, 25, has been designing and making custom cakes since 2017.

"It all started when my husband's stepsister asked me to make a birthday cake," Wilson explained. "She loved it so much that she kept asking me to make more and she would share my work with everyone she knew. The word got around and it grew from there."
Wilson's cakes became so popular that she decided to turn them into a business.

Originally called Cakes by Kenzie, Wilson eventually renamed her business Amarigold Cakes after her favorite flower, and her work really does speak for itself. On the Amarigold Cakes Facebook page, clients have nothing but good things to say about Wilson's creations. She receives 5 Star reviews along with lovely sentiments posted by satisfied customers.

"Kenzie goes above and beyond expectations!" one review detailed. "Our cake, cupcakes and cookies not only looked delightful but tasted delicious too! The strawberry cupcakes were a hit! Definitely found our new cake maker!"

Another reviewer commented "She did cookies for my daughter's third birthday party and they not only looked awesome but they tasted phenomenal! Everyone was talking about the delicious cookies the entire party! We will be using her in the future."

Though Wilson is quite successful at what she does, this wasn't the future she had originally envisioned for herself. "It was never the plan to turn cake making into a business," she said. Wilson initially enrolled at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis before transferring to IUPUC in Columbus. She majored in biology and was then going to enroll in graduate school to get into medical illustration.

Some might think that biology and art are two very different subjects, but Wilson wanted to incorporate her artistic talent into her everyday life. "I considered being a vet, but if I did medical illustration, I could combine my degree with my love of art."

It is amazing how plans can change, and even though Wilson did not originally intend to make a career out of making cakes, to her friends and family, it is not surprising that this is the path she has decided to follow.

"Kenzie has always been an incredible artist," said a childhood friend, "and she wasn't just good at drawing: Her talent transcended into any category of art, whether it was painting, sculpting, calligraphy or, of course, cake decorating."

Wilson has been making and decorating cakes since she was a teenager. In 2012, she won the title of Jennings County Fair Queen, and recalled winning the most votes for best cake at that year's Fair Queen Ball fundraiser.

Wilson runs her business out of her kitchen in the home where she and her husband, Gabe, are raising their two sons, five-year-old Maverick and one-year-old Silas.

"My kids are why this works so well," she remarked. "I can just stay home and bake cakes."

Motherhood is also a newfound joy for Wilson and she is thrilled she gets to exercise her talent and passion while nurturing her children.

Having a talented baker for a mom will guarantee some fairly epic birthday cakes. Wilson makes all of her sons' cakes and her proudest creation was the one she made for her oldest son's third birthday: a giant T-Rex centerpiece sculpted out of rice krispies.
"A lot of time, energy and supplies went into making that cake and I was floored when it was finished!"

Wilson also made a Power Ranger cake for her son's fourth birthday that was taller than him and, most recently, made a three-tiered Where-the-Wild-Things-Are-themed cake for her youngest son's first birthday party.

Birthday cakes are her biggest seller, but Wilson is partial to making wedding cakes.

"I love weddings. I love the experience and the atmosphere. I love working with the bride and seeing how my cake completes her vision for the perfect wedding."

Wilson involves herself in as much of the wedding process as possible from start to finish, from the cake tasting sessions and collaborating on the design with the couples to hand-delivering and assembling her finished product.

"I love that the bride can rely on me, that her cake is the one thing that she can count on that will be taken care of on her special day."

Wilson's creative repertoire includes creating edible decorations and flowers. However, customers can ask to use faux flowers on their cakes to better match their wedding colors and floral decor to achieve an overall cohesiveness. This alternative is also more cost effective. She is no stranger to fondant (a thick paste made of water and sugar used to decorate cakes) either, but prefers using buttercream because it tastes better.

Wilson's dream would be to one day open a storefront bakery. However, she is unsure if it would be composed primarily of custom cakes like she does now or if she would also have a more conventional bakery that sells fresh donuts and cupcakes every day.

Wilson has continued to branch out and grow her business since its inception three years ago. She now makes cookies, cupcakes and is trying her hand at pie-baking. Her cake and frosting are made from scratch and she also offers gluten-free and eggless recipes.

If you are interested in a custom creation by Amarigold Cakes, contact Kenzie Wilson at amarigoldcakes@gmail.com.

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