Baker creates hyper-realistic confections that look nothing like cakes

“You’re unique, shouldn’t your cake be too?” baker Debbie Goard posts on her website for her artisanal cake company, Debbie Does Cakes. Unlike a typical bakery that may whip up a  standard sheet cake or tiered confection, Goard's cakes are custom sculpted pieces of art, made exclusively for each client.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Goard has been making cakes professionally for over 20 years. She launched her own business in 2005, after considering giving up on baking all together.

“While working at an erotic bakery and planning again to leave cakes, my co-worker suggested something I had never considered: why not start a business that focused exclusively on what I enjoyed and did best?” Goard told 

“It was then I created a business plan, followed by a website launch in 2005 and the rest is history.”

Cake enthusiasts who may think that these cake creations may favor design over flavor need not worry. Goard uses "tried and true" traditional recipes for each cake, ensuring that they taste good and hold up when structured.

“Believe it or not, cakes don’t really ‘want’ to be manipulated into sometimes gravity defying shapes,” she said. “My customers tell me that they are surprised that the cakes were both wonderful to look at but also moist and delicious."

Debbie Does Cakes offers different cake bases including Devil's Food and Red Velvet, topped with frostings and fillings like Raspberry Jam, Salted Caramel Buttercream, Mint Cream and more.

From champagne bottles to French cheese plates to buffalo chicken wings and designer heels, Goard has created cakes that look so real, she says customers aren't sure if they can actually be eaten. However, Goard assures on her website that every cake she makes is 100 percent edible.

While architectural cakes are not out of her wheelhouse, Goard tends to gravitate towards the ones that are a bit closer to the ground.

“I made one giant bank replica for its 150th anniversary, to rave reviews, but I think it scarred me for life!” she said.

Goard doesn’t have a retail shop but, like many small business owners of the modern age, uses her social media pages as a storefront to showcase her work-- and communicate with her customers. Currently, she does not ship throughout the U.S. because her cakes are  too fragile but Bay Area residents are lining up for their custom creations. Goard needs at least two weeks to fulfill orders.