How the little girl in the photo became a cake decorator

You could say Alex Shelton has a bun in the oven, but for the moment, she’s taking a break from baking cakes.

That’s because this talented cake decorator is expecting her second child, Sophia Grace, on June 18. She’s staying off her feet until the baby comes, yet the requests for sugary fantasies have not stopped coming.

Alex’s cake-decorating operation is now based in Pulaski, Virginia. The photos of her creations are stunning. The pandemic didn’t interrupt her work. In fact, she created a cookie-decorating kit for Easter that was a hit.

She lives in Pulaski because her husband, Will Shelton, is pastor at First United Methodist Church in Pulaski. In addition to all the people celebrating birthdays, weddings, graduation, retirement and even addiction recovery, Alex’s customers have included church groups.

“I made a cake for Dublin United Methodist Church, to celebrate a pianist who was retiring,” she said. “I made one for the United Methodist Women’s 150th anniversary, with a cake for each month. So there were 13 cakes in all.”

Alex says she discovered her joy of baking as a child. She has a photo of her standing on a chair while baking with her grandmother.

“God makes us with our own tendencies and preferences and desires. Baking is something that’s part of me. It makes me happy,” she said.

The decorating business came about in 2013, after Alex graduated with a degree in music business and married Will. She took courses from the Wilton School of Cake Decorating and “realized I had a knack for it.”

In addition to teaching classes, Alex worked as a cake decorator for bakers and restaurants in Athens, Tennessee, where Will served as associate pastor at Keith Memorial United Methodist. When the Sheltons moved to Pulaski in 2018, Alex’s business really took off.

Alex not only realizes she is gifted to make beautiful cakes and cookies, she also loves making other people happy.

“People don’t buy cakes because they’re hungry for cake … It’s because they’re celebrating something or someone,” she said. Of all her creative confections, one of her favorites was the Puppy Dog Pals cake made for her son Covington’s 1st birthday.

“What is more special than celebrating your own kid?” she said.

As she pipes and swirls frosting for those who call on her to help celebrate a loved one, Alex prays they’ll be gifted with the smile she saw on her own son’s face.

Find out more about Alex’s cakes on her website!

You may reach me directly at annettespence@holston.org.

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