Some people make art in a sun-filled studio.
Kevin Moulder creates his masterpieces in a hot, noisy kitchen.
Moulder is a pastry chef. For the past decade, he’s turned out hundreds of cakes, each one unique: cube-shaped structures decorated in vibrantly colored layers of thick sugar paste called fondant; traditional round layer cakes iced in graduated shades of blue; even a cougar sculpted in cake.
“I do get the occasional client who wants the traditional white cake with the bride and groom on top,” Moulder says. “But I definitely encourage them to get a little bit creative.”
Moulder stumbled onto baking by accident. During his high school years, he had a job in a grocery store. One day his manager asked if he’d be willing to help her out with a surprise for her young daughter’s birthday.
“I was an art student,” Moulder explains. “She asked me to make a Dora the Explorer cake. I’ve been doing this ever since.”
If you bake at home, you know it takes precise measurement and timing to whip out batches of perfect cookies. The same holds true for cakes, according to Moulder, but a good wedding cake involves a lot more planning.
“You have to bake the cake first, let it rest, then chill, then you go into the filling, frosting and decorating.”
He’s gotten pretty good at this routine over years, but Moulder admits sometimes he does a practice run when he has to turn out a particularly complicated cake.
Moulder prides himself on unique visual designs, but the cakes have to taste good, too. That’s what guests remember when they’re asked to recommend a good wedding cake baker, and most of Moulder’s business comes from word-of-mouth.
Summer is Moulder’s busy season. That can be a challenge.
“I have experienced hot Seattle weather,” he laughs. “I’ve had icing start to glisten and melt, so you have to become great friends with refrigeration.”
Kevin Moulder has spent most of his time in Seattle working for caterers, but this summer he’s setting out on his own.
His new bakery will feature the Mexican-style pastries he learned from his grandmother in Texas, but Moulder will continue to offer custom wedding cakes.
Oddly, for a guy who has spent 10 years baking cake, Moulder confesses he doesn’t like to eat them.
“Brownies are my jam,” he smiles.
Who knows? Perhaps that new bakery of his will feature a wedding cake made of brownies.
An earlier version of this post included photos of cakes not made by Kevin Moulder. We regret the error.