How Sweet It Is Cakes Preps For Massive Masterpiece

Posted at: 08/15/2013 10:22 AM | Updated at: 08/15/2013 12:46 PM
By: Brittany Falkers

Eileen Brown has been creating extraordinary treats for 19 years with How Sweet It Is Cakes, but on Friday she'll unveil one cake that's like nothing her shop has seen before.  The local bakery is creating a massive 10 by six foot cake for Black Bear Casino's 20th Anniversary.

Located on Downtown Duluth's Superior Street, this shop offers sweets and a delicious deli that'll have you coming back for more.  How Sweet It Is is bustling with people looking for their fabulous cupcakes, pastries, sandwiches and of course those custom made cakes.

Often referred to as the Cake Boss of the Northland, Brown puts her hart and soul into everything that comes out of the shop.  However, she'll be the first to tell you she does not do it alone. 

Brown works with a team of about 17 culinary artists and each and every one of them has been helping to make this massive culinary masterpiece become a reality.  This has been an opportunity to take their talents to the extreme for Black Bear's big milestone.

"They were looking for something enormous and very unique for their 20th anniversary," Brown said.  "We sent them over a few sketches and it started from there and we ran with it."

Ran with it they did.  The cake will be 10 feet tall and six feet wide making this the largest cake our area has likely every seen.  Brown says it's definitely the largest they've ever made.  "We're going big or going home.  So, we're just really excited about that," Brown said.

It's a huge undertaking with a big time commitment, but Brown says it's humbling to have this opportunity.  "It's exciting, it's a huge opportunity for us to grow and we're very excited about the opportunity," Brown said.  "We're excited to actually help Black Bear. I mean it's such a neat process to work with such a wonderful company."

The cake is build off a main mountain shaped structure that will be covered with edible paints, waterfalls, rocks, trees and even bubbles.  Then it will be topped with a life-size bear cub, which is the Black Bear Casino's logo. "He's not small," Brown said.

"We've got some great things going on with this cake," Brown said.  "It's a three dimensional landscape."

At the back of the cake will be a 10 foot structure.  That will be sculpted and painted to look like the aurora borealis out of sugar and will be lit with LED lights.

The team won't be able to see the finished product until Friday's big reveal.  That's because the How Sweet It IS team is actually putting it together at the Casino.

"The three dimensional bear that goes on top of the cake will actually be placed on site with a cherry picker," Brown said.  "So, it's separate piece works that go together all as one. It's like a puzzle."

There are many details to keep an eye on throughout the process to make sure everything comes out just right.  But Brown says making sure the structure has the weight to support this heavy cake is crucial to preventing mishaps, especially when they're transporting the cake from the shop to the casino.

"It's been our biggest task, making sure everything is going to stay in one piece," Brown said.  "The cake comes in two different pieces. So, we're going to lift it up and we're going to strap that puppy down and it's not going to move."

The How Sweet It Is team pust love and passion into all of they're cakes and tasty treats, but for this one they're pulling out all the stops.  "There's some new tricks.  Sugar pouring is one of them and the fact that we're building a sculpture is huge," Brown said.

It take a lot of hours to create a cake this big, 45 days to prep in fact.  That includes design, planning, building the structure, ordering ingredients and of course baking the actual cake.  Needless to say, the team has been working around the clock to bring this cake to fruition.

"I think some are overwhelmed, but everybody has a buzz of excitement.  It's a really really neat project and it's something that nobody here has seen at this scale," Brown said.

This labor of love also requires a lot of ingredients.  A lot.  "Thousands and thousands of pounds," Brown said.  "The sugar waterfall alone will be about 400 pounds of sugar and then on top of that you have flour, sugar, eggs."

The flavor, cranberry wildrice with a vanilla bean base.  Can you say yummy?  But it doesn't stop there.  In addition to the colossal confection Brown's team will also bake 1,000 cupcakes for Friday's event.

"And actually there's another flavor, they chose two," Brown said.  "There's also a maple wild rice with vanilla bean.  The reason for that is we wanted to represent the tribal nation's flavors into the cake."

This may be the shop's greatest challenge yet, but that doesn't mean the day to day deliciousness has slowed down.  Not one bit. "There's no sleep.  There's a lot of work going on 24/7," Brown said.  "We're working a number of very long shifts we do have a number of weddings lined up in the shop and it's fully operational in the shop during this time."

You can try out the cranberry wildrice cupcakes at how sweet it is right now.  It's their flavor of the month through August.

Brown's crew will be leaving her the shop around five a.m. to make the trip to the casino.  Then they'll assemble the massive cake on site. How Sweet It Is invites the public to Black Bear Casino Friday for the big unveil and to help celebrate the 20th anniversary. 

For more information of How Sweet It Is Cakes & Other Deliciousness and Friday's event CLICK HERE.





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