Our next vendor spotlight is on Rachel Bakes! Rachel owns a baking and decorating business that specializes in delicious cakes and cupcakes! Rachel’s focus is to add to the special memories of your event by creating a cake that aesthetically compliments the style of your event and tastes amazing.  She hopes to create cakes that “wow” your guests with design and taste. Read more to learn about her business! 

Vendor Spotlight: Rachel Bakes on Let's Wed Hampton Roads

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Henson Photos

Let's Wed Yellow Dot Pattern

What inspired you to start your business?

To be honest, baking and cake decorating just fell into my lap and I ran with it. It starts with classes here and trying new recipes there, and before you know it people are offering to pay you to bake something for them. I have to say the person who pushed me the most to take the initial, big step was my sister-in-law, Liz from Elizabeth Henson Photos. She’s such a positive, encouraging person who runs her own business, so she gets it.  At some point you go from “I don’t know about this” to “I can do this” to “I am doing this” and you don’t even realize it’s happening!

What is your favorite part about baking & decorating wedding desserts? 

I love making sugar flowers!  They are time consuming and require patience and attention to detail, but I love sitting at my table, turning on some music, and disappearing into the sugar flower world.  My second favorite part is seeing the final product.  You spend hours baking, cooling, icing, and making decorations.  Then you see your masterpiece at the end and it is so worth it.  I get so excited when something turns out how I envisioned or I recreate something from a photo a client sent me.

Vendor Spotlight: Rachel Bakes on Let's Wed Hampton Roads

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Henson Photos

Who/what is your biggest baking/dessert inspiration?

I used to watch this show on TV (I don’t even remember what it was called)  and I remember they showed cake bakers and decorators making these amazing cakes; cakes that I didn’t even know were possible! One business really stood out to me, Cake Alchemy.  A lot of her cakes seemed so edgy to me.  I still remember her using beer on a groom’s cake when making a cigar box cake, pulling sugar so it looked like fringe, and having interns make sugar flowers.  It was so neat to me. That was easily 10-15 years ago and I never imagined that I would do what they do. Locally, I really love the work that Angela Morrison, Ebony Schoenfeldt, and Mimi Ospina are doing.  I would really love to expand my horizons to teach and offer tutorials like they do.

Your top 3 favorite cakes/desserts to make!

I love to make cakes, cupcakes, and cake pops.  I love cakes because you can mold and sculpt or tell a story with their larger canvases. I like cupcakes and cake pops because they allow me to provide various flavors and designs.  This especially becomes handy when brides and grooms want to make sure there’s a flavor that everyone will like or when they can’t decide on one flavor between the two of them.

Vendor Spotlight: Rachel Bakes on Let's Wed Hampton Roads

Photo Credit: Angie McPherson Photography

Vendor Spotlight: Rachel Bakes on Let's Wed Hampton Roads

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Henson Photos

What are some of the best desserts for the season?

During the Spring and Summer I love lighter cakes with fruit or cakes that stick with some of our favorite summer desserts:  Lemon Blueberry Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Banana Pudding Cupcakes. During the Fall you absolutely have to have a pumpkin flavored cake or something that incorporates cinnamon, caramel and/or brown sugar:  Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes, Apple Pie Cupcakes.  Winter is for letting go because you know a new year is coming with the chance to start fresh.  We all know it pretty much goes downhill with holidays once you hit the candy during Halloween.  So, I absolutely recommend richer cakes:  Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Icing, Coffee with Hazelnut Icing, and my favorite cake of all – chocolate with chocolate ganache.  You can never go wrong warming up a chocolate with ganache and adding a scoop of ice cream 🙂

Vendor Spotlight: Rachel Bakes on Let's Wed Hampton Roads

Photo Credit: Rachel Bakes

What do you do in your free time to relax?

I am not going to lie, I am a Netflix binger.  I also enjoy going to the movies or to a restaurant with friends.  If I need a mental break or have the urge to procrastinate I tend to clean so I can still feel productive.  I LOVE spending time with my nieces and nephew.  There is just something about watching children grow up and watching them try to figure out life that is amusing and makes you fall in love with them even more.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to a couple who is searching for a cake and dessert professional?

I always recommend having three pieces of information or topics in mind when searching for someone:  budget, flavors, and design. They don’t have to be exact, when you meet with your baker you can always get more details or inspiration.  Usually there is little wiggle room with budget.  If you have a design you want but cannot afford it, always check with the baker to see what they can do for you.  If you still can’t find something that works within your budget, they can probably recommend someone else to you and you should listen to them. They know exactly what it takes to make the cake you’re looking for and the skill level needed. When it comes to flavors it helps to know if you’re a person who likes rich cakes, fruit incorporated into your cakes, or if you’re just a vanilla/white cake kind of person.  If you don’t know, that’s fine – this is what cake tastings are for; just try one of each.  With designs I always recommend bringing photos and/or a mood board you might have created with your wedding planner.  It’s not that your baker wants to copy someone’s design, but it helps to show the colors and design elements you would love to incorporate.

Vendor Spotlight: Rachel Bakes on Let's Wed Hampton Roads

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Henson Photos

Let's Wed Yellow Dot Pattern

Connect with Rachel at the link below!

Facebook // Instagram