Family and friends will tell you:

Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Feb 20, 2013 - 01:50 PM

Photo: Ruth Ann Hutson completes icing a six-layer chocolate cake, at left. (Photo by Betty Wrenn Day) Above, a wedding cake put together in a motel room in Florida. Below, a favorite child’s birthday cake.

Ruth Ann Hutson completes icing a six-layer chocolate cake, at left. (Photo by Betty Wrenn Day) Above, a wedding cake put together in a motel room in Florida. Below, a favorite child’s birthday cake.

Does she make cakes to sell? "Absolutely not. You can’t put a price on a child telling you ‘Ruthie, you are the best cake maker ever.’" And the best cakes ever are what Ruth Ann Hutson has been making for family and friends for a long time. "Not as much as I once did when my children were small, but grandchildren, nieces and nephews came along and there are weddings in between. Wanting to do special cakes for my children was how I got into cake decorating. Until they started to school I was a stay-at-home mom so I took a class in cake decorating in the early ’70s. But now my children’s decorative cakes have turned into a six-layer chocolate cake. It’s the standard birthday cake now."

Ruth Ann says she loves to cook and that she learned by "watching Mama and then challenging myself as I grew up. It’s a labor of love." She is always making cakes and breads, another one of her specialties, to give away. "When Michael (her husband) sees the mixer coming out, he always asks who this cake is for."

Ruth Ann makes the art of cake making and decorating appear easy and simple and it was on one occasion all of her skills, knowledge and ingenuity were especially evident. "My nephew J.W. Thomas was getting married in Florida. Because I had made the wedding cakes for his sisters’ weddings, he wasn’t going to let me get out of making the cake for his wedding. I baked the cake layers and made icing at home. Packed it up and drove to Florida. Moved it all into our motel room and began putting it together. Here’s a picture of it." And it is gorgeous.

Ruth Ann shares tips that will make your cake making and decorating much easier. "Line bottom of baking pans with wax paper or parchment paper to prevent them from sticking. Line serving plate or cake board with wax paper to keep the plate clean. Gently pull it out after you are finished icing and decorating cake. Always use a crumb cover of icing and let it dry before beginning the final icing. For a six-layer cake I use 1¼ to 1 1/3 cups of batter to an eight-inch pan. For young cooks and those you would like to learn more, I suggest going to the internet. You can find a great deal of information on cake making and decorating."