Baker of the Month and Best Cake Ever Winner: Donna Bracchi Sullivan
Baker of the Month & Best Cake Ever Winner: Donna Bracchi Sullivan
So much goes into the baking and creation of a truly great cake. We all know by now it’s not just about ingredients and oven temps and sprinkles. In addition, to all the things you need to make a cake, it takes someone with the heart and soul of a true baker to produce a confection of exception.
Donna Sullivan of Flemington, NJ, is that person and was recently recognized as winner of this year’s Icing Smiles Best Cake Ever Contest for her artistry with a cake she called Little Red Riding Hood. Her submission was made out of hand-painted gum paste.
“The wolf eyes were painted directly onto the top tier cake and the tree on top was made from modeling chocolate,” Donna explained. “The background diorama, depicting the moon and night sky, were painted directly onto a sheet of gum paste which I dried over a cake dummy in order to get the diorama effect. I was very happy with how the hand-painted elements turned out.”
The Best Cake Ever Contest, sponsored annually by Icing Smiles, has been a fun way to show off one’s confectionery expertise and help a great cause for the last several years. Participants enter their cakes and then engage with their community to promote it, get votes and raise donations for the Icing Smiles mission. “Seeing my cake on the leader-board was exciting,” said Donna, who recently got her first call to action to create a Dream Cake for a little boy in Princeton, NJ.
Donna said she was very much looking forward to her first experience working with a family and is honored to be part of the Icing Smiles team. “I became involved with Icing Smiles immediately after I became aware of the organization through a New Jersey based cake group I joined. The minute I heard what you do, (as a Sugar Angel) I knew I had to volunteer my time,” explained Donna. “My feeling was that, if I could use my skills to make a child feel special and bring something joyous and positive to his/her day, then any amount of time or effort would be more than worth it. I felt it was a fine way to do something good for others. It’s a small but wonderful thing I can do to bring happiness to someone else.”
Donna also shared her thoughts on the contest experience. “Everyone I spoke to, during my fundraising campaign, echoed the same thing and loved the idea that an organization such as this exists!”
Donna, who was also selected as Baker of the Month, set an initial fundraising goal of $1,000 and more than doubled it, ending the contest with $2,205 coming from 68 separate donations! She was awarded a trip to The America’s Cake Fair in Orlando (generously provided by sponsor Chef Rubber) and the opportunity to train one-on-one with Beth Townsend, a Satin Ice Artist of Excellence, Food Network Christmas Cake Wars Winner and owner of Cake Pro Shop.
So, who will be the next to enter and win our Best Cake Ever Contest?!