I think my appreciation of cake art began on my 18th birthday when I got a cake that definitely wasn't square.

On the day celebrating the beginning of manhood, my parents thought outside the box.  A family friend made a cake in the shape of a ladies torso, complete with a strategically placed tape measure of fondant with the words "Finally Busted 18" on it.  I would never look at a cake the same way again.

Fast forward years later when the Food Network appeared. If there was a competition on about creative cake decorating, I watched.  Then came "Ace of Cakes" out of Baltimore.  Followed by "CakeBoss" from Hoboken, N.J.  Where's Texas in all this?  There's got to be someone around here that can blow these guys out of the batter bowl!  I wanted someone to make me a cake!

There were a few Texas contenders featured in some of the televised competitions but none that checked off all my boxes.  That was until I ran across Natalie Sideserf of Austin and her prize winning Willie Nelson cake.  DING! DING! We have a winner!

Originally hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, she studied art at Ohio State.  Anyone can make art with plaster or clay, but flour and sugar?  Natalie set out to prove you could.  Hearing the call of Austin's art scene that have drawn so many to it, Natalie made the move from Ohio and got a job at a local Austin bakery to pay the bills and hone her skills.

The Capital Confectioners’ Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition is a showcase of talent in the baking industry that took place earlier this year and was the perfect place for Natalie to make her competitive appearance. After a suggested idea from a family member and 30 hours of work, the Willie Nelson head cake was unveiled, winning numerous prizes in the competition and photos of it going #1 globally on Reddit.  Check out this video of the winning sculpture.

She doesn't have a brick and mortar location yet, but I'm pulling for her.  A Kickstarter campaign earlier failed to reach its goal, but if she does it again, I'm in.  She currently works out of her home or rented space.  Sideserf Cake Studio cakes start around $60 and up.  In a few weeks she'll be making a special cake for a horror themed wedding at Alamo Drafthouse.  It'll run about $1500, but I think she gave the groom a price break, considering she's marrying him.

And you might be asking yourself can I bake?  I love to cook.  Get me over a stove, grill, or oven, I'll knock you out.  But sadly, I can't bake a cookie without it coming out of a tube.  Thank God there's folks like Natalie.