By Christina Fernandez-Morrow
Carolina Hudman, Colombiana and principal owner and baker of Euphoria Cakes creates works of art in her home bakery. Surrounded by shelves full of cookie cutters, silicone spatulas, ingredients like gum paste, fondant and two commercial-grade refrigerators, Hudman’s cookies, cake pops, cupcakes and custom cakes are almost too beautiful to eat. She creates and photographs her work in a spacious kitchen that shares space with professional lights and cameras to showcase her work for social media and to update her clients on their sweet treats.
She began cooking and baking when she was 22 but grew up with grandmothers who baked everything from traditional Colombian pastries to wedding cakes. Her maternal grandmother made all the cupcakes and the lavish cake she had for her first birthday and she still recalls how special it was that everything had been made with such love and attention to detail. That feeling drives her when clients come to her with cake requests. Her goal is to make something that communicates the care and personalization she puts into every order. Her favorite part about being a baker is using her creativity to make a client happy based on the information they share about the event and the people they are celebrating. “I feel like I’m part of their celebration through my cakes and I like that they make people happy.”
She first started baking for special occasions while living in LA. She was a service manager for global watchmaking companies, but her love of baking moved her to make cakes for her co-workers, who soon started requesting custom creations for their loved ones. After learning some decorating techniques on her own, her husband saw the light in her eyes when she baked and encouraged her to take it more seriously. Soon after, they moved to Chicago where Hudman took courses at The French Pastry School and at the Wilton School where she developed advanced cake decorating skills like using fondant, modeling chocolate and how to sculpt cakes into unique shapes. She began posting her assignments from those courses on social media and gained a following. A year later she got her first order from one of her followers. That was right before the pandemic hit. She thought that would be the end of her budding baking business but she was wrong. Demand increased during the lockdown.
“People never stopped celebrating birthdays during the pandemic, even if it was just immediate family. I had orders for 5-6 people, not 30-50.” Seeing the joy her cakes brought to those she delivered to, she placed an ad on Facebook and saw orders increase. At the same time, she and her husband began their search for a smaller community where her business could take off. Her husband, a Hawaii native posted about their search in a Facebook group for Hawaiians living on the mainland and several members suggested Des Moines. They decided to visit and knew right away it was perfect for their vision of the bakery Hudman plans to open. In December of 2020 they moved to West Des Moines and she began building her business again in her new city. She loves how welcoming and helpful Iowans have been of her work. Other business owners have offered tips, introductions and encouragement, fueling her desire to open a bakery in the next year.
In the meantime, Hudman keeps busy in her licensed home bakery baking cakes for business grand openings, special birthdays like Sweet Sixteens and Quinceañeras, weddings, baby announcements and for businesses that want to send a customized sweet treat to their clients.
Recently, Hudman decided to update her logo to feature a happy, smiling cupcake dancing with an equally excited cake pop. The colors are vivid and fun, a lot like the artwork on the cakes, cookies and cake pops Hudman specializes in making. When her bakery opens, she hopes the happiness of the characters on her logo extends to those who order her baked goods, as well as those who take the baking and pastry decorating classes she plans to add, as well as the baking and cake decorating supplies she’ll sell to those who want to decorate their own treats.
Look for Euphoria Cakes on Instagram (@euphoriacakesdsm) and Facebook and remember the name Carolina Hudman because she was recently contacted by Food Network producers for a baking competition and may be the next Latina Baking Champion!