Pastry Chef Makes “Dream Cakes” for Kids with Critical Illness

Julie Couturier believes in the importance of taking care of one another. In her work as a pastry chef, that means volunteering to make cakes through Icing Smiles, an organization that makes custom cakes for kids battling critical illness.

“We just need to look up a little bit,” Julie shares. “It doesn’t have to be a huge grand gesture, just a smile.”

Video Transcript

Meet Julie Couturier: pastry chef

(Julie decorates a cake and mixes batter)

Julie Couturier: I firmly believe that being a part of a society means taking care of everyone in that society. 

Julie is a baker who volunteers to create custom cakes. Icing smiles bakes cakes for families with a child battling a severe illness.

(Julie take cakes out of the oven to cool and cuts fondant)

They don’t always have a whole lot to smile about. So, the fact that we can create something that might maybe have some smiles… So, we want to give them something that, even for that split second, they’re just like, (gasps) that’s awesome! So, that’s why we try and go big.

Parker is his name. He’s turning 13. They picked the theme Thomas the Train. Because it’s a dream cake, you wanna go and make it something out of a dream. 

(Julie shows her sketch of how she wants the cake to look)

And then this is my super-awesome drawing — it’s fantastic (laughs) — of what, kind of, we’re planning on doing.

I’m just texturizing the fondant to look a little bit more like wood for the railroad ties since that is what they’re made out of. So, whether or not anybody else notices, it doesn’t really matter to me because I just want to make sure if Parker does notice, he would probably think it was kind of cool that it looks like it’s made out of real wood. 

(Julie decorates the cake with fondant, Thomas the Tank Engine trains, and the words “Happy Birthday Parker”)

We just need to look up a little bit. Except for when you’re rolling fondant, look down, because otherwise you’re gonna smash your fingers. But, (laughs) you know just… It doesn’t have to be a huge grand gesture. Just a smile.

(Julie swirls two different batters together in cake pans)

So, if you’ve ever wondered how marble cakes are made, it’s like this.

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