Rita Horvath was searching for castle cake tutorials. The Brooklyn momma wanted to bake a castle cake for her daughter’s third birthday. Simple, in theory, but as any of us who has ever attempted to make something they saw while scrolling Instagram or Pinterest knows, the reality is normally anything but straightforward.
“I looked on YouTube, but it was so intimidating I ended up buying one from a bakery and felt like I failed,” says Horvath. An easy setup for a Nailed It! episode.
Enter Cakest. Horvath turned what she considered a failure into a cake kit delivery service with fellow Brooklyn mom Judit Major. Launched in May 2017, Cakest makes it simple(r) to create stunning kids’ birthday cakes.
Kits begin at $55 and, according to Horvath who describes herself as not a baker or a crafty person, are designed with first-time bakers in mind. Pop over to cakest.co and see the more than 10 types of cake they offer, including a rainbow cake, a fire truck and a giraffe. I chose to try the panda bear cake.
“The panda bear is one of our most popular,” Horvath says. “If you’re not creative, you can follow the instructions to a tee, but if you are creative you can use the basic design and play with it.”
Each cake kit comes with tools such as a mini rolling pin, offset spatula and disposable cake baking pans, ingredients for a gluten-free chocolate cake, fondant and frosting (you’ll have to add a few items, a full list of which is on cakest.co) and instruction cards. The instructions were incredibly well thought out and broke down the different parts of the process even suggesting the best way to break it over a couple of days. Being impatient, I did it all at once but I would recommend you follow the suggestions for breaking it into parts as it took me several hours.
Horvath and Major spent more than a year baking and trying different cake mixes looking for a chocolate cake (they currently only offer a gluten-free chocolate cake mix but hope to expand into additional flavors) that was rich, moist and free of gluten, soy, nuts and preservatives.
“We tried at least 15 different frosting recipes that can be used in hot or cold weather and we tried a lot of different kinds of fondant. This one tastes the best and is pliable, it’s easy to work with,” say Horvath and Major.
All that delicious work paid off. While making the panda cake was time consuming it was easier than I thought it would be and for those that are both creative and patient the kits provide enough extra fondant to let you really be a cake artist. And the cake was overall very tasty.
The pair hopes to offer some seasonal kits in the future and maybe eventually a castle kit.
“There are some cakes we would love to make, but in the testing process it wasn’t easy enough, one of those being the castle cake,” Horvath says. “We couldn’t figure out a way to make it easy enough for those who are inexperienced.”