Hobby leads to business venture for local East Valley woman

by msterling | November 21, 2012 | Comments Off

By Ciara Archer


Catherine Morris is as sweet as the cakes she makes.


A 21-year-old education major at Mesa Community College, Morris started decorating cakes six years ago when she took just one lesson at her church.  She then developed her skills by working at Walmart for 10 months decorating their cakes. From there, she began making cakes out of her home for her friends and family and is in the works of opening her own business, Cat’s Cakery.


“Initially I thought this was just going to be a hobby,” Morris said.  “But then prices went up for ingredients and then recently I thought this could potentially be a business.  I would have to go to school and get a business degree and train under someone, but I would love to open up my own bakery one day.”


Morris has made in the hundreds of cakes, she reckons, ranging from birthday cakes to wedding cakes and for other special events.  Describing her cakes with pride and a sense of accomplishment, she says each one is “thrilling.”


“Once you put frosting on a cake, you can’t really take it off,” Morris said.  “There’s no going back.”


Recently, she made a three-tiered wedding cake for a friend.  The bottom tier had a swirly, filigree design, the middle covered with flowers, and the top had a quilted pattern.  Each tier had a ribbon separating them.  This cake took about a day and a half to make, baking time included.  Though on average, most standard, 9-inch round cakes take a few hours to construct.


The cake the made her realize she could do more than just frost was one she made for a friend for her birthday.  It looked like an open book, with pages and a bookmark and along the sides had flowers and fondant all over.


“It was really creative for me,” she said.


Despite her being around cake all the time, Morris said she still enjoys eating it.


“I eat cake a lot.  I try not to eat the frosting but it always happens.  I make cakes for myself and my family and I always think I am going to get tired of them, but I haven’t so far.”


Morris admires the work of Chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore. Goldman’s bakery was the star of Food Network show “Ace of Cakes.”


“I wish I could make a cake with him!  His cakes are incredible.”


Her favorite technique as of late includes frosting a cake with a straight edge, putting it in the freezer for 45 minutes and then using the straight edge again to chip off the excess frosting.  Morris said it makes for a perfectly smooth surface and a nice blank canvas.


The advice she gives to aspiring bakers:  “You have to stick with it.  I have already come so far but have a lot to learn,” she said.  “I never dreamed that I would be doing any of this.  It has really been a blessing in my life.”

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