The Seattle Space Needle is not something you normally want to take a bite out of but it is what a Penticton wedding party will do on Thursday, courtesy of a Kelowna cake company.
For the past two weeks, Tanya Jennens, owner of Whisk Cake Company, has been slaving over a more than five foot tall cake version of the space needle. Jennens has meticulously crafted a cake that is 1/120th of the structure’s actual size. She says the unique cake was chosen because the groom is from Seattle.
With the help of her father Rick Jennens, who she calls the “structural engineer” of the cake company, Jennens sculpted an edible version of the space needle.
“He started building the structural support of this in order to have it stand and then we started slowly progressing from there,” Jennens said.
The cake is centered around a PVC pipe and a threaded metal rod. The legs of the space needle are made of wood and covered with fondant and butter cream icing. The observation deck is made out of Rice Krispies.
“Cake doesn’t really have any structure to it so we used the Rice Krispie treats in there to hold it a lot longer,” Jennens said.
The space needle is a lemon lime chiffon cake with two layers of raspberry butter cream filling and one layer of blackberry butter cream filling.
“We have a ten inch cake here and then we have an eight inch cake, which I sculpted. I basically cut out a lot of the cake to get this,” she said, referring to the top of the cake.
Jennens says she has been consumed with the tiny details involved with the intricate cake, such as the tracks for the space needle’s elevator and the windows on the observation deck, that she has only just realized the magnitude of the project.
“I’m one inch from it, trying to do such detailed work that you don’t really notice some of this. It isn’t until you step back and set up the cake…it’s overwhelming. Like omigosh, I just made that out of sugar,” she said.
But she notes the hardest and most stressful part of the cake-making process is the delivery.
“Everything that could go wrong will go wrong in the delivery,” she said. “Crazy drivers, people that cut us off, construction. I didn’t sleep last night just because of that.”
Jennens’ father and fiancé helped move the base of the cake, which weighs about 75 pounds, into a box on her truck, which was then taped and roped down. The space needle was placed into a separate box that will sit on the lap of Jennens’ fiancé during the truck ride down.
The baker says custom cakes are becoming more popular thanks to shows like Ace of Cakes and Cake Bosses. She has sculpted creations such as a snowboard with a Canucks logo, a Gucci shoe as well as an ATM machine.