CURWENSVILLE — Morgan Warrick, of Curwensville, takes pleasure in creating edible art. She enjoys transforming a simple cake into a thing of beauty using sugar art.
The Curwensville Area Jr./Sr. High School senior said although she has been baking cakes as a side business for just two years, she has been an avid baker since she was very small. For her the craft conjures up heady family memories. “I’ve always enjoyed baking. I would bake with my grandmothers, Becky Lee, of Clearfield, and Pamela Hendershot, of Osceola Mills. We would make cookies for holidays and other special events,” Warrick said. Chocolate chip cookies were a favorite but Warrick said they would bake many kinds using family recipes. Recipes that she has and uses as the backbone of her aptitude – but with her own twist.
Warrick said she has had no formal training in cake baking and decorating but has studied videos on YouTube and other tutorials on the internet and practiced to refine her skills. “I taught myself,” she said. ”Even though I’m not trained, I try my best and bake all my cakes 100 percent with love and hard work. My work is always the best that I can do.”
While some may find baking stressful, for Warrick mixing batter, baking cakes, turning out frosting and embellishing beautifully has the opposite effect. “I find baking relaxing. I’m a perfectionist but when I’m alone baking I’m relaxed. I just explore my creativity and try new things, it’s calming for me.
“My first big cake was a two-tier wedding cake and 250 matching cupcakes,” she said, adding, “I never gave baking much thought until about two years ago when my volleyball coach asked me about making a cake. The cake turned out well and I thought, ‘I can do this.’”
Warrick said her favorite thing to bake are cupcakes. She said the small cakes are very versatile. “You can make them any flavor and make them really dazzle.” She said although lemon blueberry is her favorite flavor – her number one seller is chocolate peanut butter. “Chocolate peanut butter is a family favorite and lots of other people seem to like it too.”
Recently she baked and decorated a cake that turned out to be among her favorites. Warrick produced a unicorn cake for a child’s birthday. “I was asked to make a unicorn cake and I said I’ll try. It turned out pretty well. I used the internet for inspiration and found multiple pictures from there. I also drew the design out on paper. I like creating my own designs and conforming things I see into something I can make.”
The unicorn cake featured frosting flowers and swirls and the components for the mythical creature’s face were made of fondant. The horn and ears were a kit she found at a local store.
Her parents’ co-workers are among her best customers. “I’ve done a lot of birthday cakes and holiday cakes for them including Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.”
Warrick said currently she is working on creating a basic batter that she can use for any cake or cupcake project. “That way I can add my own flavors and make it what I want it to be. You need a good batter for your cakes. One that is delicious, that you love and you can depend on it to be good for any type of cake and that you can fall back on if the experiment doesn’t work out.”
She said she has pretty much perfected her batter recipe using some old family recipes and adding some secret ingredients that she is not sharing. “My batter has several secret ingredients that work for me. Everyone who has tasted it seems to love it and compliments me on the cake whenever I bake the batter recipe.
“I keep a big binder with all my recipes and I make notes on my phone whenever something inspires me or I see something I want to try,” she said, adding, “Sometimes I think of things I need to bake and I write that down so I know what I’ll need and can get it.”
As much as she enjoys cake baking and decorating, Warrick has plans to become a physical therapist but said she will continue to bake cakes on the side. “It’s nice to have something to fall back on.”
She has been accepted to Penn State DuBois for the fall semester and plans to commute. “A lot of my customers are excited about that and they are still able to get cakes.”
Warrick may be contacted at 577-1964 or by emailing her at email@example.com.