Sweet dreams:Young resident creates cake decorating business

Photo courtesy Brittany Colberg: Caroline Colberg poses with one of her cake designs. The 14-year-old creates event cakes including birthday and baby shower.

It has only been about five months since she started baking and decorating cakes, but 14-year-old Frisco resident Caroline Colberg has culinary skills well beyond her years.

Caroline, a home school student, first began her cake-making adventure for her 9-year-old sister Ava’s birthday.

“I have always enjoyed baking … ever since my mom first taught me,” Caroline said.”For my sister’s ninth birthday I had this grand idea to make a Hawaiian waterfall cake and I had never really done anything like it before. It actually turned out pretty good and I actually realized … how much I liked cake decorating.”

After making her sister’s birthday cake, Caroline tried her hand at decorating again with her own birthday cake in October, and with a friend’s birthday cake. She said she also met with a friend of the family who owns a cake decorating company, April’s Cakes, and learned several pointers on decorating.

The teenager, whom her mother Brittany said “has an entrepreneur’s heart,” had played with the idea of creating her own business for several years, but it wasn’t until she posted pictures of her cake designs on Facebook that she started receiving requests for her culinary service.

“Somebody saw it [Caroline’s cake designs] and said ‘will you make a cake for my daughter’s birthday?’ and that was her first paid cake,” said her father Erich. “At that point it wasn’t even ‘Hey Caroline has a business’ it was somebody approached her and said ‘Will you make a cake for me.'”

Erich said after the family realized the public’s interest in Caroline’s designs, they decided to create a business for her.

Caroline said she has made about 35 cakes since she started, including birthday, wedding and baby shower cakes. She also added that she has two orders for wedding cakes, one of which she will create in March and other, in April. Some of her designs include animal print cakes and baby block cake.

“My favorite kind of cake is probably — I love zebras and cheetahs and that kind of stuff — that’s really fun for me to do, like pink and lime green, just fun girlie stuff,” Caroline said. “I like carved cakes, I made a grand piano cake and it’s just different, and that’s why I like it.”

She also made a cake which featured a sugar Manolo Blahnik heel, show box and Neiman Marcus gift bag.

Her family will step in and help her if she is bus she said, but the home-school student primarily runs the business and designs herself.

“I don’t usually draw out my cakes, because usually they’re not big — I haven’t really done any humongous cakes that need to be drawn out,” Caroline said. “But I always plan stuff out with my dad and if it it’s going to take some extra support systems or anything I always, I talk through it with my dad and he always helps me with structure.”

Through she has not formally timed her work; Caroline’s basic cakes will take two and a half to three hours to create while her more extravagant cakes will take 12 or more hours.

“I don’t sit down and do it straight through, I divide it up over days and I take breaks, it’s not like one continuous thing,” Caroline said.

Caroline said for the more intricate cakes she spreads out her time over three days and by the third day the customer will come and pick up their creation. Due to the Texas Cottage Food Law, which went into effect in September 2011, Caroline is able to bake and sell her cakes out of her parent’s home, something that she would not have been able to do before the law was enacted.

Erich said his daughter’s customers have been surprised at the designs she can create at such a young age. Brittany added that “people give her a lot of excitement” because of her age and the quality of the cakes both through taste and the design.

“People will give her comments [feedback] and she’ll put them on her website and there’s always, ‘It’s the best cake I’ve ever tasted,’ ‘It’s so pretty,’ ‘I can’t believe that a 14-year-old made this’,” Erich said. “Some of them are ‘I can’t believe this is a cake.'”

Caroline said most of her clients are Frisco residents, but some have been from Plano and McKinney, and some have come as far away as San Antonio.

One day, her dream is to own a bakery on Main Street. For now though, she said she has learned how much she enjoys running her own business.

“I’ve just learned a lot about cake decorating and cakes over these past few months,” Caroline said. “I just feel grateful to be getting to celebrate with people with a birthday, or a baby, or a wedding or anything like that.”

For information, go to carolinescakery.com.

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