If you need some unique desserts to wow your guests this holiday season, search no more, because these sweet concoctions definitely take the cake!
With more than 4 million subscribers on YouTube and nearly 50,000 followers on Instagram, How To Cake It is a Canadian-based baking account with decked-out cakes ranging from cupcake ornaments to Santa-style cookies and, yes, even sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving.
But this particular dessert is entirely made out of sweet potato cake and marshmallows -- even the dish!
"We created this because we wanted to make content on our terms and try our hand at building a full brand -- A to Z," said Jocelyn Mercer, co-founder of HTCI and a business entrepreneur.
The idea for How To Cake It came to life after a baking television show for Food Network Canada was canceled. Mercer, along with fellow producer Connie Contardi, said they approached Yolanda Gampp, a baking specialist in the cast, to see if she was interested in building an entirely new brand on YouTube. Soon after she accepted, How To Cake It was born.
"Yolanda used to make one cake for one person at a time working as a cake decorator, but when the three of us collaborated, she had the opportunity to make one cake for millions of people at a time and that’s pretty awesome," Mercer added.
With a combined background in television, media, marketing and, of course, baking, Contardi, Mercer and Gampp worked for months to build HTCI from the ground up, elevating the brand, gaining followers and forming different sponsorships.
"Yolanda brings an out-of-this-world artistry and magnetic personality to the table," Mercer said of her co-founder. "All she needed was a platform to shine, and together we helped build a company which values creativity, collaboration, consistency and community."
With the three baking enthusiasts working long hours and with the help of eight additional team members, HTCI has attracted the attention of thousands of people across the globe. They even worked with companies such as Disney, Walmart, Kellogg’s, Google, Cadbury and Kraft to create unique cakes and mouthwatering content.
"Baking is a tough skill and I’m self-taught," Gampp said. "You see the cakes you see in front of you because I am 20 years deep into doing this -- it’s all about the repetition, so be patient, don’t be afraid to fail and remember that baking is a science, so pay attention to all the details."
"My absolute favorite creation is my turkey cake," she added.
Gampp, Contardi and Mercer said they have turned HTCI into a full-time job, working to bring viewers the desserts they crave.
"It’s been fun to create cakes inspired by different brands and products," Mercer said. "Through strategy, we constantly reinvent and implement great content. I help run our team, who do an incredible job. It definitely takes a village."
With the holiday season well under way, HTCI is working overtime to fit in all the seasonal desserts and baking recipes for viewers to enjoy during the most festive time of the year.
"We aim to bring surprise and delight to people’s lives, and provide a ton of value in helping them improve their skills," Mercer said of the popular channel. "Hopefully we inspire them to share that sweetness with someone they love, too."
Gampp agreed and said the key to her success is a lot of practice.
"Start simple and build from there" she added. "Don’t expect to make a realistic turkey cake on your first -- or even 10th -- try."
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