Once upon a time — actually, about nine years ago — Amy Craparo sampled a fantastic-tasting cake from a local bakery in Florida and ultimately decided to buy the business. Without any formal schooling in cake design, Craparo dived right in, training with cake designers around the world. After moving to Charlotte recently, she relaunched her business in the form of her shop The Wow Factor Cakes, in which she specializes in customized wedding cakes and other party cakes. And her clients lived happily ever after.
Creative Loafing: Can you describe the most outrageous, extravagant cake you've ever designed?
Amy Craparo: There are things now that I'm doing with poured sugar. Like last weekend, for example, I did a grooms cake [a cake served either the night before the wedding at the rehearsal dinner or the night of the wedding alongside the wedding cake] that was a cooler, a North Carolina cooler, and I poured sugar beer bottles in it and poured sugar ice cubes and all of that and then I did some of his favorite sports balls in the front and the back. So I'm getting into a lot of things that are 3-D. In terms of wedding cakes, things with sugar flowers all over it. So I kind of go from one spectrum to the other where it's kind of cool, fun and funky for the grooms but then extremely elegant for the wedding cakes.
What's your personal favorite cake flavor?
That would probably be the vanilla cake with raspberry and white chocolate mousse.
Do you ever get tired of dealing with cake?
Nope -- I'm obsessed with it. I love learning new things and doing new things. Like this cooler cake was something new for me, where I was working with a new medium and poured sugar and I just love it. I'm always wanting to learn more things. I eat cake every day. Sometimes it's my breakfast. It's a very active job in terms of, I'm always rolling out fondant, or lifting heavy things and the cakes are heavy. It takes a lot of physical endurance and strength, so that's how I'm able to work it off. I don't need a gym membership; I just do my work.