Bold with baking

Freshman elevates desserts with impressive baking techniques


Photo courtesy of Edison Gilbert

When in the kitchen, freshman Edison Gilbert uses a lot of decorating techniques to elevate her cakes. One of her favorites, includes using the drip technique to emphasize the otherwise basic design. By using this bottle, Gilbert can control the topping and decide where she would like the drips to fall on the cake but the process to get here does take some time. “Each cake I make usually takes about two days to make completely,” Gilbert said. “I like to make the cakes a day prior and then decorate them the next day. I’m a really impatient person and don’t like to wait for the cakes to cool down and would rather just do it all in the same day.”

Chloe Parker, Staff Reporter

Cake. It’s one of the most well-known desserts throughout the world and has had many variations throughout the years. What started out as simple fruitcakes and gingerbread in the mid-17th century has now evolved into much more, with elements like frosting and fondant being added to the simplistic dessert.

Using these additions to her advantage, freshman Edison Gilbert has taken one of the most basic desserts and turned them into works of art.

“I’ve had a love of baking for as long as I can remember and I’ve known I wanted to make this my career ever since I was 10,” Gilbert said. “Rosanna Pansino on YouTube was also one of my big inspirations. I thought that what she did was amazing and I wanted to be able to do what she does.”

After introducing herself to the world of baking at this young age, Gilbert has devoted her time to crafting and perfecting the skills to create the cakes she displays on her Instagram page (@cakes_by_the_minute). Here, viewers can see the wide selection of cakes Gilbert has made, each using different designs and techniques. Some simpler cakes feature elegant gradients that use a blend of vibrant colors, while other cakes have different parts that go along with them to help create an effect. Each one takes about two days to make with one day for baking the dessert, and one for decoration. Gilbert has also mastered several decorating techniques for the top of the cake that help bring all of the components together. 

“One of my favorite decorations to make are roses out of frosting,” Gilbert said. “I use either regular buttercream or buttercream made from shortening, which doesn’t melt. I then take the frosting and put a dollop on a piece of parchment paper. I spin it around and make petals of whatever size I want. I then will either freeze them to use for later or use them immediately after.”

After showing her creations to the public, Gilbert was contacted by relatives and close friends, all interested in receiving a cake made by her for occasions such as birthdays and wedding showers. 

“I’ve had several people, such as my mom’s friend, who have paid me for making the cakes,” Gilbert said. “I try to make all of my cakes using all-natural and organic ingredients so I tend to charge a bit more. It’s usually around $35 to $40.”

Among the people who have requested a cake made by her is freshman Mabriee Verkler, who also has a passion for baked goods. She tries to learn from observing Gilbert work in the kitchen.

“She [Gilbert] has expanded my mindset on what people can actually do with their talents, after seeing her bake,” Verkler said. “I helped with the turtle cake that she made and had a wonderful time with that. Usually, when I’m with her, I help pick out flavors and taste test them.”

In addition to Verkler, Gilbert got the opportunity to create a cake for her cousin, Maddie Stemm, who had no previous knowledge that Gilbert was making a cake for her wedding shower. 

“When she walked in with the cake I was so excited and it was such a fun surprise,” Stemm said. “It was so beautiful and everyone at the shower wanted to get in contact with her and have Ed make them cakes too. It not only looked great but it was absolutely delicious.”

Even though Gilbert has already made several challenging cakes, she has plans on what her next baked creation will be.

“One of my favorite designs that I’ve made so far is a drip cake where the frosting runs down the sides,” Gilbert said. “I’ve made a few of those and they are really fun to make. I really want to make one of the Agot cakes, which are the ones where you take a section of the cake out and fill it with rock candy to look like a geode.”

Even with Gilbert’s advanced level in baking, she continues to work on developing new ideas and designs to concoct in her kitchen and sampling them to family and friends. She hopes that by displaying her talents she will inspire others to try baking and create their own designs and flavors.