American Fork—If there’s anything to be learned from romance movies, it’s this: don’t try to deny your true love. That’s what Cassidy Budge learned when she went to culinary school, her heart set on baking and decorating wedding cakes. Enrolled at the Utah Valley University’s culinary school, professors tried to change Budge’s mind—but during the solitary wedding cake decoration assignment, Budge rekindled her passion for the craft.
“Everyone in my class hated it so much,” said Budge of the Styrofoam dummy-cake assignment. “I thrived. I did not want it to end. It was my favorite. I figured, if I loved it so much, that’s what I wanted to do.”
After that, Budge began making wedding cakes for her friends, then her mother’s friends’ daughters, and then scores of others. Although her business, Flour and Flourish, has taken over her life and all her free time, Budge says she doesn’t feel like she’s working—it’s all just fun. She enjoys baking and designing the cakes and making intricate sugar flowers with which to decorate her cakes. Budge prides herself on making flowers that seem so lifelike, people have to look twice to ascertain if they’re real or not.
“I loved [making sugar flowers] so much that I started playing around with it,” said Budge. “I’d convince my friends to have sugar flowers and not real ones on their cake. I’d practice in my free time—I just loved it. It felt like play. I am not an artist. I cannot draw anything, paint anything—but I can make sugar flowers. That’s as far as my artistic reach is.”
Love of detail is the name of the game for Budge. Her recipes are all homemade, and her culinary background allows her to freely play with flavors with confidence in her taste. She never freezes her cakes, so every wedding cake is guaranteed to be fresh for her brides. As wedding cakes can never be decorated the day they’re baked, Budge bakes one day, fills the next, and decorates the last.
Flour and Flourish offers around seven cake flavors and ten filling flavors. After tastings, Budge says the most popular flavor is her chocolate cake. She fills and frosts the cakes with European buttercreams, although the chocolate filling is American buttercream—there are differences between Italian, Swiss, French and American buttercreams, and Budge says the American version is the chocolatiest.
Flour and Flourish also offers small finger desserts for weddings, like macarons (now hugely popular), cupcakes (waning in popularity) and éclairs (the once-popular wedding food of yesteryear).
When it comes to designing wedding cakes, Budge favors simple designs: smooth textures, clean colors, and one big flashy detail (see: sugar flowers). While she’s willing to execute any wedding design, from piping to fondant overlay, Budge warns brides against going with designs that are too on-trend, lest it ruin the cake’s flavor or give them buyer’s remorse years later.
“Naked cakes are such a popular phase right now. It’s totally trendy,” said Budge. “I personally don’t like them—they get so dry. To avoid the dryness—which will happen if it’s outside and exposed to the elements— I always stack the cake only an hour to two hours before I deliver it, so it doesn’t have as much time to dry out.”
Budge’s advice to her brides?
“Keep it classic!” she said. “A lot of brides want what’s cutesy and in now—but you can’t go wrong with classy and simple.”