Student makes custom cakes in apartment


Sam Ortega

Business sophomore Sam Cade pipes icing detail on a Raising Canes themed cake in her apartment Tuesday evening. Before opening Cade’s Cakes, Cade worked at a local hometown bakery with other pastry chefs.

Jack Ken

If Sam Cade goes missing, just look for her in the kitchen. 

Sam Cade is the baker behind Cade’s Cakes, a novelty bakery the business sophomore from Dallas runs out of her Nueces apartment. 

“My roommates probably want to kill me,” Sam Cade said jokingly. “I’m always in the kitchen doing something.”

Even though Cade’s Cakes opened in spring 2013, it has become a popular destination for custom desserts. 

“I’m booked till December,” Sam Cade said. “I do cakes for people living in Austin, living in Dallas, living in Houston, wherever. People will drive in and bring them back home for their kids.” 

From creating a Whataburger hamburger cake to an edible yellow Ferrari, Sam Cade is just as much a sculptor as she is a baker. Her cakes have the detail and style of a veteran pastry chef, though she originally had no intention of baking cakes for a living. 

“It was just something I did that other people happened to like,” Sam Cade said.

She had all the makings of a successful dessert chef from a young age. Her mother, Betsy Cade, remembers her youngest daughter having a noticeably creative streak. 

“She was always making something. Scrapbooks, drawings and such,” Betsy Cade. “There was always some project going on.” 

Betsy Cade added that her daughter had a particular fondness for sugary food. 

“She loved sweets, every kind she could get her hands on,” Betsy Cade said. “Fancy donuts, tarts, anything.” 

Her father, Nick Cade, remembers his daughter having a very keen eye for design. 

“I was really surprised with her projects, how she used scale and proportion so well,” Nick Cade said. 

It was only a matter of time before Sam Cade’s grasp of form, desire to create and sugar tooth came together. The pivotal moment arrived at age 16. Sam Cade began baking frequently for her friends, sending samples over to their houses for tasting. 

That summer, she got a job at a nearby bakery, where she started out as a cashier. By the end of the summer, she was working in the back with the other pastry chefs. Anxious to spend more time baking, she even graduated high school early to work at the bakery full time. Though she loved her work, Sam Cade still did not consider turning her passion into a career. 

“It was just a hobby I did to make some side money,” Sam Cade said. 

Just weeks before Cade’s Cakes opened for business, a friend sent her pictures of a baking contest sponsored by the University Panhellenic Council. 

“She told me it was totally something I should enter,” Sam Cade said. “And I did.”

She won the contest, though she had wondered if she would even place. The victory convinced her to start baking and selling her cakes full time. With a solid following back home and reviews circulating campus, the orders began rolling in. 

Sam Cade feels comfortable with the demands of running a growing operation. She keeps a strict schedule of baking in the morning, going to class during the middle of the day and decorating her finished cakes in the evening. Now, she has made plans for the future with cake baking in mind. 

“After college, I want to go to culinary school,” Sam Cade said. “And hopefully after that, I’d like to get a place for Cade’s Cakes that’s not my apartment.”