MOSES LAKE — Shawna Sloane said her love of baking has its roots in family tradition.
“I have always loved to bake, ever since I was in high school, “ she said.
Her grandmother loved to bake, she said, and was a cake decorator. Sloane said her mom thinks she inherited that interest and talent from her grandmother.
“For me, it’s very, very relaxing,” Sloane said. “I feel like I’m giving back to the community,”
Sloane runs her business, Risen Indeed Cakes and Pastries, and makes her cakes, pies, cinnamon rolls, cookies, banana bread, among many other confections, in her kitchen.
Monday afternoon, she was building a cake for a quinceañera, using lemon cake, buttercream frosting and blackberry filling. All of it was, and is, created from scratch.
Her cakes, pies, breads, rolls and cookies start with recipes she developed, she said. She keeps a stack of tried and true recipes on her counter.
A good recipe is developed by experimentation, she said.
“Trial and error. Definitely,” she said.
Some of the tried-and-true options are based on recipes she’s found and adapted to suit her tastes. Some, like the cheesecake recipe, date back to her days at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland.
“That is a never-fail cheesecake recipe. That is probably the best cheesecake I ever had,” she said.
While she loves baking in general, Sloane said it wasn’t her intention to specialize in cakes.
“I actually enjoyed making bread. That’s initially what I was going to school to learn,” she said.
In fact her cinnamon swirl bread is one of her biggest sellers. But in school she realized she had a talent for cakes.
“In my cake-decorating class, that’s when I realized, this is my forte,” she said.
Some customers come to her with suggestions, while others want to tap her expertise.
“I make a lot of character cakes,” she said.
Those include Disney characters, anime and video games. She bakes cakes, cupcakes and cookies for birthdays, baby showers, funerals, holidays and, of course, weddings.
The initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak meant a lot of weddings were canceled and others postponed, which initially cut into her business. But in the long run the pandemic actually has boosted her business — and allowed her to spread some good cheer at the same time.
“Since (the pandemic started), my business has been booming. It’s just because people have been wanting to show love and compassion to others, and they’ve used baked goods, like having me deliver cakes to their loved ones, who they can’t see. I just think that’s so amazing.”
Baking is a process, balancing ingredients and flavors, she said. She tries to use the freshest ingredients possible.
The blackberries in the blackberry filling come from her mom’s place in Skagit County. There’s just something about berries grown close to the sea, she said.
The quinceañera cake was built in layers. The two lemon cakes were sliced into thirds, then restacked with the blackberry filling between each layer, sealed with buttercream piped along the edge.
“This is the European style,” she said.
Because it was destined for a weekend event, Sloane covered it in buttercream, what she called a “crumb coat,” and stashed it in the freezer to be finished Thursday with a final coat of frosting
Transportation, even from the kitchen to the freezer, can be perilous.
“I have to be super-super careful,” she said.
There was the day she tripped over a cord while carrying a just-completed cake to the freezer.
“It was a specialty cake,” she said. “I always have buttercream frosting, but it was strawberry buttercream. It was a chocolate-covered strawberry cake, with strawberry filling and ganache.”
All of it ended up on the garage floor — and that concrete was tough to clean, she said.
There was also the wedding cake that had to be delivered on a 112-degree day, in a vehicle without working air conditioning. And she was forced to hunt for the venue. She managed to get the cake there before it got too soft.
“We made it, thank God,” she said.
People who want more information about products, pricing and ordering can find it at https://www.facebook.com/shawnasbakery.
Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.