RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — When it comes to cake, Tammy Dunwoody of Oradell always has been a trendsetter.
After she opened The Art of the Cake, an Oradell bakery, she became one of the first in the area to start summer baking camps for kids in Ridgewood.
The idea caught on, and now children love learning to work with fondant, flour, ganache and more at Dunwoody’s Fondant Cake Decorating Camp, Baking Camp, Buttercup Bakery Camp for young children and Cooking Camp.
Dunwoody’s career in cake was further propelled by appearances on The Martha Stewart Show and Cupcake Wars.
When her phone rang, it was The Bob Hope Family and Ellis Island calling to order one of her creations.
Dunwoody closed the bakery in 2013 to care for two sick family members.
But the camps went on, and as of this summer, more than 700 children have taken them at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ridgewood.
Last Thursday, older children at her camp concentrated, experimented and had fun decorating fondant cakes and making a ganache cookie dough cake.
Meanwhile, young children created cake pops and ate the results.
This month, Dunwoody will pioneer yet another trend when she opens the latest incarnation of The Art of the Cake – a studio on Westwood Avenue in River Vale.
It’ll be a place for families to have birthday celebrations and for women to enjoy wine and cake decorating parties, as well as for anyone to pre-order custom cakes.
“One of the biggest trends right now are makerspaces, so I’m going to have a bakerspace,” Dunwoody said.
“People will be able to come in, try things out and use all of my tools,” she added. “They can decorate a cake, learn how to make a cookie favor for a wedding, or do fondant-covered cupcakes.”
Dunwoody’s summer baking camps for children will continue in Ridgewood. The cooking camp will be at the new place in River Vale.
Somehow Dunwoody has never lost the rush of enthusiasm she felt for artful cake one day, some 18 years ago, when she stopped at a Florida bakery and saw a fondant cake in the form of a Christening gown. Feeling moved to recreate it, she bought some fondant and proceeded to make a perfect replica.
That was a watershed moment for a former Wall Street stockbroker who went on to work at a bakery. As she likes to say, things took off from that one cake in Florida.
They haven’t stopped since.