Cake has made its way into our mouths since ancient Rome — both figuratively and literally. And for many of us, decorating this universal dessert is no cake walk. While most of us worry how to even out the icing, cake designer Sharon Goick contemplates how to create an edible droid telephone. Goick has been imagining, baking, designing and transporting cakes since 1980. Born in South Dakota, she found herself moving around quite a bit. Goick, who had previously resided in North Carolina before moving to Colorado, moved to Charlotte three years ago. When this down-to-earth cake designer isn't designing the perfect celebration cake, she works at Michael's as a Wilton instructor. Goick says, "Family, teaching and designing cakes is my life. It makes me happy just to be a part of everyone's celebration."
Creative Loafing: How did you get mixed up in the cake business?
Susan Goick: [The cake business] started because I have two daughters. My first was born in 1979. I decided that I wanted to design all of their cakes, so in 1980, I took a cake design class. I ended up donating cakes to my daughter's school and the whole thing blew up from there. A passion for design has melded in me for a while. I went to college and first studied food and nutrition before studying interior design. Although interior design and cake design seem dissimilar, you'll find they're really not all that different. If you go through the fabric department of a store, the draperies and colors are design tools that you can incorporate into the cake world as well.
What has been the most intricate cake you have had to design to date?
Well, all of the cakes are intricate in different ways. Some cakes, such as the droid telephone cake, are pretty difficult in themselves. But then you have a two-tier Mickey Mouse cake or a Sesame Street cake with little pieces that also contain a certain level of intricacy — it depends on the cake. I must say, the wedding cakes are pretty these days, but they aren't as much fun to do because of how simple they are. I love working with detail; it's my passion.
Have you ever dropped one of your cakes?
Oh yes, one of the layers came off of a wedding cake as I was setting it down. That was off-the-charts stressful and scary. The reception was going to start in a little over an hour and I had to create the entire layer all over again. Right as the bride and groom were announced into the reception, I had placed the final accessory onto the cake — the bride had no idea what had happened. The cake came out great, so you would have never known. For a while after that, I didn't want to make wedding cakes, but since that experience, I have invested in a support and transport system. Unless the car is in a wreck, the cake isn't going anywhere.