The email responses came in droves, and I saved them all so that when I someday went on Oprah I could share them with her audience. Unfortunately, this is Oprah’s last season, and all the emails were saved under an old AOL account, so they’re gone anyway. You’ll have to trust me to paraphrase some of them here.
Most of them had nothing to do with weddings:
My son is turning seven next month. He likes geckos and camping. Can you make him a birthday cake?
Some of them were actually quite sad:
My daughter is very ill. She was born with Cerebral Palsy. She is confined to a wheelchair. She loves Strawberry Shortcake. Can you make her 5th birthday cake?
A few of them were actually legitimate weddings, and I think I did about four or five free wedding cakes. Even at the time, I thought the people were nuts. (My first thought would be that anyone offering free wedding cakes is obviously trying to poison me and all my guests.) But for whatever reason, they trusted me to make their cake. Two of the photos were on my website for a long time, but I eventually became more skilled at my craft and wasn’t happy with the lopsidedness, so I replaced them with better quality cakes.
These are two of my free Craigslist cakes.
While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the free cakes route to someone looking to get into cake design, it certainly jump-started my career. I have no regrets about making them, and, I’d like to think, neither does anyone that got one.