An exceptional baker, Amy Cullifer of Amy Cakes comes from a family of creatives.
“Both of my great-grandfathers were brilliant painters. My grandfather also painted beautiful landscape paintings of Kansas that remind me of spending summers there as a kid,” said Cullifer, who was born in Kansas and raised in Stillwater. “I do love painting cakes, but I feel my strengths are in sculpting.”
Clearly, she’s found a happy medium, as every cake she produces is a sculptural work of art, with the added bonus of being downright delicious.
How did baking, designing and decorating cakes come into your life?
I took a part-time job in a bakery – reluctantly – at the age of 19. I fell in love with everything about it. I’ve always enjoyed baking. It’s something you do from the heart, to give to friends and family, and it always brings so much joy. I didn’t realize the design part and all the possibilities. I was hooked and never looked back. Here I am, 31 years later, still as excited about what I do as back then.
Is this something you feel that you had in you, or something you trained yourself to be?
I honed my baking skills working with some amazing bakers over the years, and the design part just came naturally. I have taken a few classes from some of my favorite cake designers over the years, as well. Cake decorating is always evolving and has changed so much. I am always up for a challenge and creating new designs with cake.
Where do you find inspiration for designs?
Architecture and fashion are where I look for inspiration. My phone is full of things I see that would make a gorgeous cake. I think I see cake everywhere.
What are the hardest and most rewarding aspects of your business?
One of the hardest things about creating cakes is making sure my vision and my client’s vision is the same. The next would be delivery and transport of the cake, especially big ones in the Oklahoma heat. Cakes are extremely fragile and sensitive to weather – and riding in a car on a bumpy road. So many things can go wrong. It takes nerves of steel to make it happen, and you only get one shot; no backup cakes hanging out at the bakery. The reward of making it to your destination and seeing the happiness it brings far outweighs the stress.
Do you have any all-time favorite cakes that you have worked on?
My personal favorite cakes to design are wedding cakes. I love collaborating with my brides, choosing the perfect cake for them and being a part of their love story, in a way. Cake brings a smile to everyone’s face. I enjoy seeing families grow, making cakes for their children and celebrating other milestones with cake. I’ve made so many friends over the years. I feel very blessed, and life sure is sweet. I’m not sure there is one cake I could say was my favorite to make. I love them all.