Hey there! I'm Rose Atwater, the founder and cake decorator behind Rose Bakes. Thank you so much for being here!
Technically I've been decorating cakes since I was 13 years old (see my long cake story below), but I didn't really get to be good at it until I was in my 30's. I currently have over ten years of experience as a cake decorator, business owner, and food blogger.
I love my job so much and am so passionate about cake decorating, that even after serious hand and arm surgery, I could not wait to get back to it!
I'm also called dozens of other names: Best Friend. Jesus Freak. Blogger. Baker. Photographer. Chocolate Addict. Mathematician. Diet Dr. Pepper-aholic. Writer. Budget-er. Mentor. And so much more.
Things I love: good books, laughing out loud, PINK, flip-flops, ponytails, loud music, chocolate milk, late-night TV & Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes. When I got married (25+ years ago), my husband was in the Air Force and we moved many, many times, but I currently live in rural, southern Mississippi where I grew up!
What you'll find at Rose Bakes.
Today Rose Bakes not only is a place to share my cakes, tutorials, and sweet recipes, but I also share lots of easy, family-friendly recipes and sometimes, a sweet deal or two.
Savory Recipes. I feel like it's a little ironic that my most popular recipes are not cakes... but rather savory recipes. The most popular are green beans, black-eyed peas, and a cheesy chicken casserole. I'm not mad about it 😉 because the recipes are great!
Sweet Recipes. I share a lot of my most favorite and popular sweet recipes including cakes, frostings, fillings, cookies, and my ever-popular petit fours and Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting.... just to name a few.
Cake Tutorials. I love to share step-by-step cake tutorials when I can and I also try to share my favorite tools and online classes.
Cake Gallery. If you just want to see eye candy, I have a gallery of my most recent and popular cakes here. There are no links to tutorials or recipes - it's just a place to browse pretty cakes.
(March/April 2016 Cover Photo, Issue 401 Avant-Garde Fashion Edition)
My work has also been featured on several websites and local publications including...
- The Colinian Alumni Magazine for Copiah-Lincoln Community College,
- Eat. Drink. MISSISSIPPI. Magazine
- Visit Natchez
- and many more. See the full list of Media Mentions here.
My (long) Cake Story:
When I was 12 or 13 years old, I asked for a cake decorating kit for Christmas - you know – one of those Wilton kits from Walmart. From that Christmas forward, I dreamed of one day owning a bakery. I did use that kit, but my cake decorating opportunities were few and far between (and pitiful, I might add).
Even as a young girl and into early adulthood, I would do the occasional cake for a family member, church function and eventually my own kids... but I was never very good and I never pursued any opportunities to do it more.
However, I never completely lost my desire to do cakes.
Fast forward to 2008 when my oldest little brother got married (I have a youngest little brother too 😉 ). It's a long, rather funny story, but basically, due to a disagreement between my brother and his bride, I somehow got wrangled into making his groom's cake. She (my sister-in-law Amy who I now love more than I can say) was not happy with his decision for me to make it and honestly, I wasn't so sure myself. Neither one of us had any confidence in me - but my brother TJ insisted.
Mercy... that was his cake. He and I were both pretty proud of it ... he gave me full design freedom and I don't remember how I decided, but his nickname in college was "White Bull" and that's what he got - a white bull cake.
About a year later - in late 2009, my baby brother got engaged and I guess because I had made TJ's groom's cake... Jake decided that I would do his groom's cake and his wedding cake. He really insisted without asking, but I was not agreeable at first.
I said "no" several times before he finally convinced me to say "yes". I was so super nervous about doing the cake that I started volunteering to do cakes for anybody who'd let me - just for practice!
Those free "practice cakes" quickly turned into real orders and by the time he got married in 2010, I had already decorated more than 20 cakes within 6 months. Granted, I knew nothing about pricing and truly was just grateful for the practice, so I was pretty much giving them away (check out my How to Charge for Cakes post here for info on pricing and how I finally started making money!).
My first wedding cake, for my baby brother Jake in 2010.
From then on, I considered this my "accidental cake business". The awesome thing was - I didn't have to advertise at all. I started posting pictures on Facebook and the pictures were getting shared and without any effort on my part, the orders were following.
And gosh, it was such a huge blessing. I really believe God had a hand in it. You see, at the time we were really struggling financially and I was actively looking for ways to contribute to our budget while continuing to stay home with our kids. I was blogging, mystery shopping, doing in-home daycare, and more! But then... cake.
Between Jake asking me to do his cake and his actual wedding several months later, I scoured the internet like crazy trying to learn as much as I possibly could about how to stack cakes, the best recipes for tiered cakes, how to cover cakes in fondant, and more.
See... I had never actually stacked a tiered cake and Ariel (his bride) wanted not only a tiered cake, but she wanted each tier to have three layers of cake. Yeah... each tier was almost 7 inches tall! I was in way over my head!
Sometimes I lucked out and found the info I needed, other times I had to learn by trial and error. It was very frustrating.
That frustration is what eventually led to me starting this cake blog! Because I couldn’t always find the help I needed with cake online, I decided that I’d offer that help to others every chance I got!
In the beginning, as my real-life cake business grew, that meant sharing my cake posts on my (at that time) frugal blog. I would share details of how I did this cake or that - sometimes recipes and sometimes tutorials.
Before I knew it, my cake posts became more popular than my frugal posts and I was doing so many cakes, I didn't have time to blog about deals anymore, so I decided to pursue my passion full-time and in 2012, Rose Bakes was born! (you can read more about that by clicking here.)
As of November 2015, I've decorated more than 1200 cakes - maybe even closer to 1500, but I really didn't want to count line by line in my schedule book 🙂 I haven't blogged anywhere near that many of them but I do try to share the very best ones along with my how-to's and details!
And while I still don't consider myself formally trained in any way, I have since taken many, many online classes through Craftsy and some other online forums. Those classes allowed me to learn new techniques, try new mediums, and expand my business in ways I'd never dreamed of doing!
How I Hope to Help YOU:
My primary goal here at Rose Bakes is to help other bakers and cake decorators be as good as they can possibly be! Whether you're a beginner or an expert, I hope you'll find some inspiration and answers to any questions you might have about my cakes!
I sincerely want to connect with my readers on a personal level so I answer questions and respond to comments daily. I also provide easy-to-understand tutorials, inspiration for beautiful cakes, recipes that anybody can make, and hopefully some fun and laughter sprinkled into every post!
Having said all of that, Rose Bakes is not limited to just cakes and decorating! I also share all kinds of other recipes - pasta being my favorite :)! And since I am still a deal-chaser at heart, I never miss a chance to tell my readers about a “sweet deal” that I think they’ll love (think aprons, wedding cake socks... haha, cake decorating classes & more!).
Also - if you think you'd like to start your own cake blog... or any kind of blog... check out my page here: How to Start a Food Blog and Make Money With It. I'm currently earning a solid full-time income from this blog and I'd love to answer your questions regarding that too!
Okay – are you ready to cozy up and stay awhile? Check out some of my most popular categories and posts:
My Big Family
Wanna know a little more about me personally? My big family is what seems to get the most attention! My college sweetheart Richy and I have been married since 1996 and we have 6 kids.. yes SIX!
I homeschool them while working full-time from home on this blog and running a real-life cake business. If you really like to know more strange and funny details, you can read 101 MORE things about me by clicking HERE.
Update (Feb 2022):
I currently homeschool the three youngest kids. My oldest son Joshua has graduated from a 5 year apprenticeship program, works as an electrician and owns his own home. My second son Caleb has graduated from college and is working as a mechanic. He lives with my oldest son.
My third child and only daughter, Sarah has graduated from high school and is still living at home and has started her own business (or two). I still run the online business from home and I still run a real-life cake business. I also own ButterySweet.com and PressureCookerMeals.com (along with a handful of other websites that I haven't built-out yet).
The three youngest boys, Noah, Christian and Asher are still living at home and keeping me busy!
Thanks so much for being here - it makes my heart happy!