In the opening seconds of a video posted by social media personality Neurotic Mom, aka baker Amy Droubay, you might be shocked to see her unceremoniously scrape the stiff red rosettes and stiffly piped white ruffles from a humble Walmart cake. bought in store. But 30 seconds later, the dessert comes out completely transformed. Now this is a beautiful white and yellow ombré design suitable for a desert chic spring wedding.

It’s Droubay’s specialty: giving store-bought cakes a complete shine by throwing away their machine-made layers of frosting and replacing them with sweet TikTok-worthy embellishments.

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“I just started with a single level base. It was $10,” Droubay told Delish. “I came home and started playing around with ideas. And the first one I posted went viral. And so I started doing more and people really responded to it.

The retired professional dancer has since posted more than half a dozen Walmart cake hacking videos on her TikTok channel, each attracting between 40,000 and four million views. It’s the final chapter in Droubay’s second act as a cake influencer, which began when she started posting videos of herself decorating cakes four years ago after a lesson. of cake decorating.

“I made my first cake at 42. I liked it. I was hooked,” the 46-year-old said. “I had the idea to film one of the time-lapse cake decorating processes on my phone. I posted it on my Instagram, and those videos started going viral. It grew from there. .

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Droubay’s penchant for transforming store-bought cakes was originally inspired by a report about a professional baker who, while transporting a just-finished wedding cake in her car, accidentally ruined it afterward. slamming on the brakes to avoid an accident. “I thought, ‘What would I do?’ “recalls Droubay. “And then a few weeks later someone commented [on Instagram] and said “You should take one of the cakes from the bakery and give it a shine”, and the two ideas kind of came together.

Walmart cakes, she noted, are great for redecorating because they’re iced by machines – “I’m not destroying anyone else’s work” – plus they’re inexpensive and the chain has a wide selection cake flavors. But do they taste good enough to justify all the extra effort? “They are delicious,” Droubay assured us. In addition, what better way to get a personalized cake at a low price?

“I had dozens and dozens of people commenting and saying ‘I had to do this for my wedding’ or ‘My dog ​​ate my cake’ – it was a legit comment,” she said. . Complying with demand, Droubay filmed an in-depth YouTube tutorial that walks viewers through the process of turning a trio of store-bought cakes into a beautiful three-tiered wedding confection that looks like it will cost hundreds of dollars.

“I have experience in decorating [so] I did mine in 30 minutes, [but] I think someone could do it in about an hour,” she said. “And I spent less than $50 for the whole thing, with fruit and everything. It turned out wonderful.

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Want to give your own store bought cake a shine? All you have to do is scrape off any unwanted decorations, let them sit in the freezer, and hone your piping skills. Droubay is convinced that any motivated amateur baker is up to the task.

“Just learn how to go with simple rosettes or little ruffles,” she said. “It’s such a great idea for people on a budget.”

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