Nine years ago, Michelle Kupiec was encouraged by a doctor to watch cooking shows with one of her twin daughters, Amanda, who was recovering from severe spinal surgery.
Now her daughter is a student at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York, and instead of watching cooking shows, Kupiec will be featured on one. Her Elkridge bakery, Kupcakes & Co., will be on Wednesday night's episode of the Cooking Channel's "Cake Hunters."
Kupiec marvels at how things have come full circle.
"That's when [Amanda's] love of baking became known," Kupiec recalled of watching such programs with her daughter.
Kupcakes & Co. will go up against two other cake designers during the episode in an attempt to wow a soon-to-be-married couple with their wedding cake. (There's no monetary prize — just bragging rights.)
"I'm so excited and just overwhelmed with having this opportunity," said Kupiec, a former Howard County elementary school teacher who launched the bakery with her husband, Bill, after leaving work to care for her daughter after her spinal surgery. "I want the world to see how passionate we are about baking. When you love something as much as we love this — owning a bakery, the camaraderie of our team, making delicious desserts — we can't wait to share our work on TV."
Kupiec and her employees pulled out all the stops to win over the bride and groom. The Kupcakes & Co. team tried to incorporate as many details about the couple as they could into the seven-layer cake.
To reflect the couple's "outdoorsy" nature, the cake's base was shaped to resemble the trunk of a tree. The cake featured a layer of candied flowers, which were inspired by the weddings colors of gold, pale pink, mint green and gray. A homemade sugar veil was created to replicate the bride's dress. They also topped the cake with little candy figurines of the couple; the groom figurine wore American flag suspenders to honor his military background. To add extra opulence, the creation also was adorned with 24-carat edible golf leaves.
"The bride said she wanted a showstopper," said Kupiec, who added that the cake costs $7,500. "They saw a picture of our cake and their reaction was 'Oh my gosh. This is stunning. I can't imagine this in real form.'"