The wedding cake – it’s the centerpiece of any wedding reception. In an attempt to decide on the perfect blend of flavors for themselves as well as their guests, couples usually attend multiple cake tastings and dream about the perfect cake while away from the bakery. However, what if you are looking to have a more untraditional item as your centerpiece dessert? How about cupcakes!
Deemed the Southern Belle of the competition during one of her initial interviews on TLC’s “The Next Great Baker,” Megan Rountree wowed viewers with her cake and cupcake creations. Although she did not win the $50,000 and the coveted position as a pastry chef at Cake Boss Buddy Valastro’s family-run bakery, Carlo’s, she jumped at the chance to open her own bakery, Legacy Cakes, in Dallas on December 22, 2010.
After graduating from Baylor University with a degree in Entrepreneurship, the 23-year-old business owner went on to study culinary arts at Le Cordon Blue. Below, Megan talks about her experiences on “The Next Great Baker,” the perfect cake and cupcake creation ideas for your wedding, as well as future dessert trends.
Going to the Chapel: Why did you decide to audition for TLC’s “Next Great Baker”? What was it like being on the show? How do you feel the experience helped you?
Megan Rountree: I auditioned for the “Next Great Baker” to compete! I love a good challenge! The show was an amazing experience: I gained priceless experience and amazing friendships! My experience on the show made me a much better cake decorator, baker and boss! I learned the importance of being respectful to others while still maintaining a leadership roll, as well as how crucial it is to have the best support possible in a cake!
GTTC: I love the cupcakes you create! Are cupcakes one of your specialties?
MR: Cupcakes are definitely one of my specialties! It is so fun to get to try all sorts of different flavors! Right now we have several different offerings of flavors including: Bananas Fosters, Banana Pudding, Cinnamon Roll, Cookies n’ Cream, Smores, Cherry Almond and Orange Dreamsicle.
GTTC: One of the biggest trends in weddings, and events in general, is cupcakes. Do you feel cupcakes are a good choice for a wedding, or do you feel a cake is a better option?
MR: As long as it is sweet… I think it is a great option!! I think that either option can be a great fit for the couple. Some couples choose to provide more flavors to better accommodate their guests and to do that cupcakes can often be the best option. As far as a grand appearance, you can’t beat a big cake! My wedding cake was 7-tiers, it had a wonderful appearance in the room, which is exactly what I wanted!
GTTC: If a couple felt that cupcakes might be too casual for their event, how would you create a more elegant look/feel?
MR: I love to customize cupcakes for weddings! We can create a very elegant chocolate filagree, prepare handmade flowers or create a sophisticated look with hand painted gold or silver accents!
GTTC: What are your favorite wedding cake or cupcake recipes?
MR: By far my favorite wedding cake flavor is almond! To top off the deliciously moist cake, I like to pair it with either an almond or chambered buttercream! It is truly amazing!! As far as cupcakes, I have quite a hard time deciding! I LOVE my peanut butter icing, but love some of the unique flavors we have been coming up with! Our Smores cupcake starts with a graham cracker crust on a chocolate cupcake, filled with ganache, topped with marshmallow buttercream and a toasted marshmallow! It is ooey gooey and awesome.
GTTC: What are your favorite pastry trends right now? What do you feel is going to be the next big trend?
MR: My favorite pastry trends right now are incorporating savory items into sweet things! Chocolate with bacon… Delicious! I think that the next big thing in pastries might just be tarts! They are precious looking, as well as extremely flavorful! They create a unique single serving dessert, which makes anyone feel special!
Ultimately, Megan says, “I wanted to own my own bakery in order to provide cakes that actually taste as good as they look!” Her cakes look amazing, and I would imagine they taste amazing too. For more information about Megan or Legacy Cakes, visit her website. Be inspired for your own wedding cake or cupcakes by checking out some of the examples below of cakes created by Megan at Legacy Cakes Bakery.
*all photos courtesy Megan Rountree