in the kitchen with…
She feels she is part of the events where her cakes go.
Story by Carol McGarvey
Photography by Ben Lochard
Featured in May/June 2022
Deanne Edwards of Des Moines is a video producer by day. In her off hours, she puts her creativity to work in a different way. “Like many little girls, I began making brownies in my Easy-Bake Oven,” she says. She has graduated to a sleek and efficient kitchen and has as much fun creating her decorated cakes as her customers do in picking them up.
For CAKE DSM, she loves the whole idea of transforming raw ingredients into something beautiful and delicious. It’s magical for her. “I feel I’m part of the events where my cakes go,” she says.
Baking is a stress outlet from her busy career. She has worked in news at WHO-TV, on special projects for Iowa PBS, and on commercial videos for area businesses in her current role with The Motion Refinery.
She says that Christmas is one of her busiest times for custom cakes and goodies. But she loves to bake and decorate wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and a variety of other treats, such as whoopie pies, salted caramel bites, lemon desserts, and shortbread.
As with the decorated cake shown here, Deanne says that today’s brides, almost without fail, prefer rustic textured cakes over those with perfectly smooth expanses of icing. She has worked diligently on perfecting piping flowers for cakes, such as the colorful piped peonies. She is self-taught and has learned techniques from YouTube.com and from Pinterest and Instagram.
Her secret touch comes in her icing, which has an ingredient she won’t share but will share her butter preference, Land O’Lakes, in her baking. She creates about 10 cake orders per month. Her most elaborate cake to date was duplicating the intricate blue pattern of Polish pottery.
During the past year, while under COVID-19 quarantine, she came up with a brilliant marketing idea. She purchased a horse trailer (no horse has ever been inside it) and had it retrofitted into a mobile dessert trailer “I have had such fun taking it to wedding receptions and corporate events,” she says.
She has found out one thing for sure: Wedding vendors and other small businesses in the Des Moines-area community have been so supportive of each other. “What an amazing group of people.”
Her family has played along with her 10 years of trial and error with new recipes. Her husband, Andy, is a software developer, and their two sons now attend graduate school at New York University and work in Los Angeles, respectively. “Ironically, they all actually prefer pie,” she admits. •