California-based cake sculptor Debbie Goard has been a baker for over 20 years, but it wasn't until 2006 that she found her true calling: cakes that look like anything but.
"I don't make traditional cakes at all," she told BuzzFeed News.
The Oakland resident added, "There have been stories about my cakes being on full display for hours before anyone realized it was edible. That's pretty gratifying."
Believe it or not Goard, who formerly worked at an erotic bakery before starting her own business, Debbie Does Cakes, once found making cakes extremely tedious.
"I never really viewed it as a career choice," she said. "It was simply a job, a very hard job." But while working at that bakery and "plotting [her] escape from cake," a co-worker suggested she "find a way to come to terms" with her talents.
The 46-year-old's favorite part of the cake-making process is how varied each day can be.
"Since I rarely make the same cake twice, every day can feel like reinventing the wheel," she explained. "If I had to make the same cake over and over again I think I'd go crazy with boredom."
The baker and author's favorite types of things to make include food (obviously) and animals. She says her customers' creative requests keep her on her toes.
"Left to my own devices I'd have a much less diverse portfolio so I am grateful to be forced to step outside my comfort zones," she said. "I've heard 'That's a cake?' thousands of times."
Even the simplest cake takes her eight hours, and more complex ones can take weeks of preparation for steps like building the structure.
Goard doesn't only make food cakes, though, and frequently has to turn down overreaching requests.
Empty boxes or other hollow things are too difficult, she explained. "An item has to have mass to be made into cake. This concept eludes many."
After years of being a baker, Goard said she only has one rule for herself: "Always try to be better than last time."
h/t Boing Boing