“Stop using box cake,” is the advice baker Lakeria Forbes would give to women attempting to step their cake game up.
Authenticity is key and learning never stops, a lesson Forbes learned early on in her business.
“I remembered the first set of cupcakes I ever baked, they were huge and ugly,” she bemoaned. “They were box cake and that was the first and last time I ever used box cake.”
To the average woman attempting to bake a perfect cake quickly, box cakes are the go-to, unless you find therapy in baking.
To Forbes, a cake baked from scratch tastes much better, especially if you’re going for something that’s tastier as opposed to something that looks good.
“Women who use box cakes aren’t really bakers. Decorating a cake is part of it but people mostly pay for the taste,” said Forbes.
While this is the advice Forbes would give to women today, when she first decided to open Pure Sweetness she ran the gamut of first-time-baker errors. But she never allowed her mistakes to determine her journey.
She vividly remembers her first cake fail and the lesson it taught her:
“I was making a carved logo cake which kept falling apart because it was too moist, due to me not giving it enough time to firm up in the fridge. It managed to stay together for a while but as soon as I took it out the fridge and tried to finish decorating, it fell apart. I was left with a big heap of cake.”
“I cried that day because I worked so hard, but now I’ve learned to chill my cakes properly and that heat + moist cake + a non-crusting frosting = DISASTER,” she added.
Forbes is no stranger to hard work and sacrifice; her endless toiling for other people, without seeing results, pushed her to open Pure Sweetness.
“One day I said to myself ‘if I’m working so hard for someone else and not seeing the results I may as well work hard for myself’.’” recalls Forbes.
However, sacrifice also meant that she has had to make tough decisions when it came to her family, especially her daughter. Ultimately, time management has played a tremendous role in how she divides herself between work and family, but in the beginning it was far from easy.
“I have learned to make time for my family, myself and to prep whatever I would need for cakes at the beginning of the week, instead of last minute,” said Forbes.
Her single decision to follow her desires to build beautiful cakes as she often saw on the Food Network, led her to fearlessly open her business where she not only caters to her clients, but gets to know them personally in order to give the best service possible.
Even when customers are unsure of what kind of cake they want, Forbes is able to make something that exceeds their expectations.
“If they are indecisive about what they want I simply ask them what they are obsessed with and what they love,” she said. “It’s usually a long list but I’m able to take the things they love and sketch out a cake that would fit their personality.”
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