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Edible Sculptures

Side Dishes: Hinesburg transplant launches Caketopia

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purse cake
  • purse cake

Four years ago, Julie Almond was watching the wedding-cake sequence in the film 27 Dresses when she was piqued by the idea of baking sculptural cakes. “Why not? Do it!” was her husband’s response. So Almond researched dough, icing and fondant, combing through cookbooks to render endless practice cakes.

After the couple moved from Buffalo, N.Y., to Burlington earlier this year — Almond’s husband, Dave, is the district manager for Panera Bread — the time seemed ripe to launch Caketopia from her new home kitchen in Hinesburg.

Almond makes her own marshmallow fondant for special-occasion cakes, such as a perfect facsimile of a Coach bag (pictured) and a three-tiered autumn cake covered in leaves and topped by a pumpkin. “They can be a real conversation starter,” she says of her creations, available at caketopiacakes.com.