Enumclaw-born baker competes on Cake Wars

In their bakery

What started as a small love of cooking for Natalie Vorpahl while growing up in Enumclaw, has led to an appearance on the Food Network Channel’s Cake Wars.

Vorpahl, co-owner of Baked Custom Cakes with Kristina Serfass,  said she enjoyed the once in a lifetime opportunity at the competition and the overall experience.

“It was kind of a pretty crazy experience with the cameras in your face constantly. It’s nerve racking enough making a wedding cake without being filmed,” she said.

Vorpahl’s love for baking and her experience with the culinary arts predates her appearance on Cake Wars.

Vorpahl started baking at a young age and knew she wanted to be in the culinary field, but her love for cakes and wedding cakes in particular sparked when she attended the Seattle Culinary Academy and graduated in 2006. During some of the classes that focused on the design and the art of cakes, Vorpahl discovered what she wanted to do.

“I love the precision and accuracy in baking more so than cooking,” she said.

After she graduated from Seattle Culinary Academy she traveled to Paris and was submerged even more in the artistry of baking and the world of cakes.

When Vorpahl come back to Seattle she wanted to open a bakery of her own to share her love of the art and the delicious taste of her cakes.

Vorpahl said it may seem like an odd job to make cakes all day. Sometimes she makes new cakes and sometimes she makes the same cake over and over depending on current design trend, but Vorpahl loves what she does and it shows in the final product of the cakes.

“It’s therapeutic for me,” Vorpahl said. “I like to bake. I like the precision of everything and getting all your ingredients weighed and measured out. Having a blank canvas at the beginning and matching the vision to the customer and seeing the look on their face when it is above and beyond what they expected.”

One day when she was leaving a job at the Eats Market Cafe, she met a new employee, Serfass, who was filling her old position. They instantly became friends, discovering they shared a love for baking and eventually joined together to open Baked Custom Cakes in their commercial kitchen, officially opening in May 2010.

Along with their culinary talents, Vorpahl’s and Serfass’ hard work and dedication to each and every client and their custom cake led them to being a contender on the new baking show Cake Wars.

Cake Wars is a televised competition to make the perfect wedding cake and put Vorpahl and Serfass’ cake skills to the test. Throughout the competition the contestants  have two challenges. One to bake a cake that includes the surprise secret ingredient. The other will be to include aspects from the theme of the wedding.

The winner will provide the cake for the main event and receive the grand prize of $10,000.

The co-owners of Baked Custom Cakes will be on the episode of Cakes Wars airing 8 p.m. Monday, July 13 on the Food Network.

With this new experience under their belts, Vorpahl and Serfass will continue to use their artistic designs to make unique cakes for every customer.

Baked Custom Cakes is located on  2604 California Ave SW, Seattle and can be contacted at 206-307-4847. Cakes are made by order only.