Megan Rountree learned to bake when she was only 12 years old, and she loves being creative by taking her delicacies as far as her tasty imagination will allow.
“I have always loved creating new flavors and getting to make the centerpieces for special occasions,” said Rountree, owner of Legacy Cakes on Main Street in Grapevine.
She was at her best for a most special occasion recently as she came away with the top prize in the Food Network’s “Winner Cake All” competition. She and partner Rachelle Dempsey shared the top prize of $10,000 after their unique creation of a Baby Shower Cake for the final round.
“We love to create things that are one of a kind,” Rountree said. “We love a good challenge, and look forward to digging deep into our artist skills to make something awesome for each cake.”
The national TV competition was hosted by renowned chef Giada De Laurentiis. Bakers from across the country compete, creating themed cakes.
“Rachelle and I teamed up to create the design. We wanted it to be show-stopping and not just your typical tiered cake,” Rountree said. “The 3D palm trees that had the entire cake balancing on top was the perfect anchor to our showpiece.”
The idea for the cake came from a couple who asked for a glam baby shower cake that consisted of the Los Angeles skyline, greenery, a pool party, and lots of green and gold, Rountree said.
The base of the cake was four palm trees that held up the solid gold skyline. On top the skyline was a 3D-carved beach ball, and balancing on top of that was a hand-painted water tier that had waves carved into the top to tie in the pool party aspect. The topper consisted of a baby bear floating in a pool float on top of the water tier.
Rountree said they were asked to try out for the competition. After saying yes, they went through a series of interviews and a timed challenge as part of their audition.
“We created a 3D standing Wonder Woman in under six hours for this challenge,” she said.
“Once the clock started, Megan and I fell into sync quickly because we make a really good team and we each have our own unique strengths that we bring to the table,” Dempsey said. “We’re both really passionate about cake decorating, so it made the whole thing so much fun. Winning the competition felt like such a great reward for our passion and hard work.
“She’s also one of my best friends in the world, and the only person who could get me to go on television.”
Rountree said it helped that she previously competed in a national TV baking challenge in 2010. She finished second in the Learning Channel’s “Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker.”
“Not only do I have a lot more experience under my belt, but it was so helpful in understanding the pressure, time constraints, and knowing how to adapt better to the pressure,” she said.
To reach the finals, Rountree and Dempsey created a Gender Reveal Cake. They made a baby rattle out of white chocolate and filled one of the spheres with pink sprinkles. The rattle was sitting on small blocks that spelled out “baby” from the front.
Rountree said she got the idea from an earlier creation connected to her own family.
“I created pinata cookies that we broke open for my own gender reveal for my daughter’s reveal to my family,” she said. “We all loved the effect and interaction, so we wanted to bring that same effect.”
Rountree said winning has also been good for business.
“We have had a lot of people coming in looking for the winning flavor, which was Blackberry Mojito,” she said. “Several people have also come to us to create some awesome custom cakes for them.”
But, she said no one has asked to buy a version of the winning cake — yet.
Rountree hasn’t ruled out having her own TV cooking show someday. After all, she is a nationally known commodity now.
“I would love this. I have the most amazing team,” she said enthusiastically. “We always have the best time together. Work is always fun and I look forward to it daily. I would love for the world to see our cake family.”