A large round jungle themed cake with a pink and gold cheetah print, shiny animals, green leaves, and large pink flowers; cakes in the form of letters or numbers with butterflies, flowers and chocolate covered strawberries; and cakes with liquor bottles coming out of the top.
These are some of the creations cake decorator Ashley Williams has made since launching her business, Ashley’s Baked Goods, in 2019.
And while their main focus is on personalized cakes, the Milwaukeean also makes cupcakes and dessert jars.
Williams has grown her business through social media and has decorated cakes only from her home – until now. She recently moved into her own baking shop at 5228 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., Suite 16, and plans to hold weekly bake sales there.
From the layoff to the realization of his dream
When Williams was fired from her warehouse job in 2019, she took the opportunity to pursue her dream.
“I just knew I didn’t want to be miserable in any job for the rest of my life,” she said. “I wanted to have something that I could pass on to my daughter.”
Williams frequently watched cake decorating videos on YouTube and Instagram, and wondered if making cakes like the ones she saw would be difficult.
She first became interested in baking when she was around 10 years old.
“Everyone knew I was the one baking a boxed cake or cookies or something,” said Williams, a 2015 Marshall High School graduate.
But it would be the first time she had pursued him professionally.
She learned tips and techniques from videos on YouTube and then it was about experimenting and learning from her mistakes.
“You can just create whatever you want,” she said. “I think that’s what I love the most, that it’s like art.”
After training, she started sharing her work on Facebook.
“People started ordering, I started decorating more and just got better and better,” she said.
In 2020, she spent about six months as a cake decorator at Walmart, where her apprenticeship continued. As his skills improved, so did his clientele.
Opening of his own pastry workshop
Now Ashley’s Baked Goods has moved into its own line of cakes.
“I’m proud of myself because it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, but I never thought I could really do it,” said Williams.
She said her family is her biggest support. They helped her renovate the space, with pink walls, signs with her logo, a fridge, a table and a TV; and supplies, such as a special printer that produces edible creations that can be placed on cakes.
While she will always make the cakes at home, all of the decorating will be done afterwards.
The suite will only be open to the public on bake sale days, which Williams plans to host once a week. Information about this will be shared on his company’s Facebook, bit.ly/ashleysbakedgoods, and Instagram, instagram.com/ashleysbakedgoods, pages.
A grand opening sale will take place on Saturday from 1 p.m. while supplies last.
Customers can expect banana pudding, strawberry crunch, chocolate covered strawberry and caramel cupcakes; and dessert jars of red velvet, banana pudding and strawberry cheesecake.
The cupcakes will be four in number for $ 10 and the dessert jars will cost $ 8 each.
Going forward, Williams – who is a Door Dash driver on the side – hopes to open a storefront so people can stop for her treats whenever they want.
Orders for personalized cakes and cupcakes can be placed by sending a message to Ashley’s Baked Goods on Facebook or Instagram. Cakes typically range from around $ 100 for a 6-inch four-layer cake that feeds about 12 to 14 people to $ 400 for a wedding cake that serves around 75 people, Williams said.