by Mary Rosewood
Laura Newhouse decorated her first cake 11 years ago for her first son’s birthday. It took off from there.
First, friends and family benefited, then customers at Crust and Crumb Bakery, Chico Hot Springs, and Moon River Cake Shop.
“I basically taught myself,” Laura said. “In the beginning I would watch YouTube videos. But honestly, a lot of it was just trial and error. I would look at pictures for inspiration, and I would try to figure out how to do it.”
In 2018, after her daughter was born, she decided to bake full-time at home. It turned out to be a good idea to go solo. Laura said she is now booked through January 2024.
“It picked up way more than I ever imagined,” Laura said.
Because Laura works alone, she can only handle about four to seven cakes a week, depending on how intricate the designs are. Some customers book a year in advance of their special occasion. If you want a cake, you will have to plan ahead, but occasionally there is a cancellation, so it’s still worthwhile to send an email with your request.
June through September are reserved for wedding cakes, but any cake can be ordered for other months.
To see why Laura’s cakes are so popular, go online to her Facebook account at “Cakes by Laura Newhouse.” Along with enjoying the variety of elegant, imaginative, and whimsical cakes, you’ll get a sense of Laura’s enthusiasm for what she does.
“I have to set timers for myself or I know I will totally zone out. I start making buttercream flowers, and I’ll start piping and piping, and before I know it, hours have gone by.”
One memorable cake she recalls
— “because it was super stressful”
— was a groom’s cake in the shape of Texas with a motorcycle on it. The bride’s cake was a fairly simple birch tree shape. But for the groom, Laura went back and forth thinking about how to begin and even considered ordering a toy topper. Finally, she managed to sculpt the motorcycle and sat with it carefully cradled in her lap all the way to the wedding in Big Sky. “They were super excited” to see the motorcycle, Laura said. “But after that, I thought, I’ll probably never do a motorcycle again. It’s too stressful.”
“I really love doing the intricate flower cakes. Unfortunately, I just got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, so those are the hardest for me to do because they really irritate my wrists.”
But meanwhile, Laura is still enthusiastically taking orders. The best way to reach her is by email at email@example.com.
Judging by the praise on her Facebook page, Laura’s cakes are as delicious as they look. Because of the massive amounts of flour and sugar she needs, Laura usually buys the store brand, along with real butter. But her specialty fillings can include local ingredients like Flathead cherries and Montana huckleberries.
When you combine your imagination with Laura’s talent and creativity, you are going to get the cake of your dreams.