Melissa Alt is an artist who makes stunning creations on a daily basis, except she’s using a rather unique medium: cakes. The Teaneck-based baker makes incredibly intricate cakes that are museum-worthy whether they’re full-on sculptures or beautiful paintings. But, they’re even better because it’s artwork you can eat. “I was always into art, painting and drawing, and somehow I got into cakes,” Melissa told OMJ. “I watched Cake Boss and wanted to try it out. That’s how I got started.”
During college at Pratt Institute, Melissa was making cakes on the side and landed an internship with Cake Boss Buddy Valestro where she learned the ins and outs of cake making. “They taught me fundamentals how to ice cakes,” she added. “From then on I just taught myself by watching videos and took many classes online. My art school background added a lot that as well.” Melissa even made a cake as her final thesis: a full size woman out of chocolate!
After graduating, the 24-year-old turned her passion for cakes into a career, launching Melissa Alt Cakes in 2015. “The business is really going,” revealed Melissa. “I’m Dylan’s Candy Bar cake vendor, I make lots of birthday cakes and wedding cakes. I’ll do about three big cakes a month.” Her cakes include perfectly sculpted lions, Chanel bags and icing decorations that look identical to the works of some great artists. “I love making these one-of-a-kind cakes for people,” she said. “They want a piece of art, that’s why they come to me. They know it’s hand painted and hand sculpted.”
And yes it’s as hard as it looks, sometimes taking up to 30 hours to create one cake. “When it’s the sculptural cake, the hardest part is getting all the dimension right,” she said. “There’s a lot of math involved. It has to support the weight and that goes way past basic cake making. All the long hours are worth it. When you ended up with the finished piece it’s the most satisfying part.”
While they all look delicious and impressive, we had to know what was Melissa’s all time favorite cake to make. “I’m most proud of the lion,” she revealed. “My favorite cakes to make are animals because I love animals and I love sculpting animals.”
Check out some of Melissa’s amazing cakes below: