Sweet success

Sophomore Rachelle Banister proves to be one person who likes to have her cake and eat it too — literally.

Throughout the week, 19-year-old Banister is usually working at Starbucks in the Union, attending classes as she works toward an early childhood education degree and hanging out with friends.

To add to the list, Banister spends what down time she has left baking and decorating individually designed cakes.

When Banister was 12 years old, her mother took a few cake decorating classes. Banister watched with intensity as her mother used what she learned in her classes to make her own personal creations.

“I remember one day I helped my mother actually make one of the cakes,” Banister said, laughing. “Since that day, she’s never made another one.”

Banister has made over 40 homemade cakes for all different occasions. One cake she made was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cake for her friend Jane Koch.

“Rachelle knew I was having a really bad week, and she made me a cake just to make me happy,” Koch said.

Every one of Banister’s cakes is made with precision and care.

Senior Stephanie Warnock, who has helped Banister color the frosting, describes the cakes as “amazing and extremely detailed.”

“She does a great job creating cakes that compliment the personality of whomever she is making the cake for,” Warnock said.

Banister is a self-proclaimed perfectionist and admits to getting frustrated.

“My cakes make people happy and, for me, that’s the greatest accomplishment,” she said.

Banister designs cakes for adults and children and gets request on a regular basis.

Last year, she designed a Starbucks-themed cake for an end-of-the-year work party.

She also designed her own graduation cake, which had an intricate design of Nickelodeon cartoon character Dora the Explorer.

Friends of hers have even gone as far as doing favors for her and asking to be compensated with a personally designed tasty confection.

“My friend’s boyfriend installed and did all the wiring for my car stereo system,” Banister said. “I was going to pay him, but I remember my friend calling me saying [her boyfriend] wants a cake instead.”

Although her major is early childhood education, which is also a passion of hers, she is interested in making a career out of her talent.

“I watch all the cake shows that come on television, and so many times I say to myself while I’m watching, ‘I want to do that someday,'” Banister said.

Her next big project, which she is very excited about, is designing a cake for her sister’s wedding shower.

Banister is also entertaining the idea of one day opening her own cake business.