By Tara Bitzan
Those who know Abecca Erickson of Alexandria know she is a competitive, driven, “bring-it” type of gal.
Currently employed as a digital marketing specialist at Douglas Scientific in Alexandria, Erickson is well known for her passion and competitive spirit on the volleyball court – and from the sidelines.
She’s not the type of person you’d expect to see in her kitchen late at night patiently applying perfect rows of pink frosting or creating intricate marzipan flowers to adorn her cupcake creations.
But that’s exactly what she does. She’s exceptionally good at camouflage and sports cupcakes also.
Like everything else she decides to do, she gives it her all and has become known as one of the best cupcake makers around.
When did you first begin decorating cakes for fun? When did it turn professional?
I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking. Several years ago I received a cupcake decorating coffee-table type book and I was just enthralled with how the cupcakes in the book were so ornately decorated and some didn’t even look like cupcakes! That’s when I began to experiment with recreating the creations I found in the book.
How did your business get its start?
Last April, the company I was working for downsized and I lost my job. I found myself with some free time while job searching and decided to start baking. I had friends and family members who I had made cupcakes for tell me I needed to start selling my creations. I took this as a joke; they were just being nice.
But as I thought about it more, we really didn’t have a shop in town that filled the need for cupcakes, so I thought maybe I could fill that void. I finally decided that I would see if there was an interest in the area for people to even want to buy cupcakes, and knew I needed some kind of name.
The lakes in this area are so special and I knew it made our community unique and a lot of people took pride in them. So Lake Cakes was born.
Currently it’s just me making the cupcakes from start to finish out of my home kitchen. Customers order through my Facebook page. I do cupcakes, as well as smash cakes – small cakes usually ordered for a child’s first birthday to “smash.” It’s definitely kept me busy!
What changes have you made in your process since you first began?
When I first started I tried to do everything in one night – the night before I was delivering the order. Sometimes I still do. But typically, I prepare in stages now. If there are custom decorations that need to be made for an order, I typically do those a night before actually making the cupcakes.
I also know what consistency I want for my frosting now, but when I first started there were a few times where I would have to take several attempts at getting it right.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas come from all over the place. I’ve seen ideas on Pinterest, the Food Network, in magazines, on social media – and then I try to make them my own. A lot of inspiration comes from my customers. Typically they come to me with a theme or an idea and then I’m able to run with it.
What are your greatest accomplishments to date?
I’ve been able to donate cupcakes for a couple different events in the area. I’ve really appreciated that other businesses and individuals thought of me and wanted to have my products at their events. It speaks volumes to me that they want to showcase my talents and help me grow as a business.
I would say creating 75 “sliders” as well as a “Whopper” cake for a retirement party was also a major accomplishment. Seeing the look on the client’s face when I delivered that order was definitely memorable.
What are your future plans for the business?
I don’t have any immediate plans to change the way things are. Maybe in the future, if I’m still having fun with it, an actual store front could happen. But for now I’m pretty content with what it’s become.
A BIT ABOUT THE CAKES!
Cupcakes start at $2 per plain cupcake and $2.50 per filled cupcake.
Decoration starts at an additional 50 cents per cupcake.
To see more photos of Erickson’s work, visit the Lake Cakes Facebook page at facebook.com/alexandrialakecakes