Bride-sized cake gets woman on CNN site

Bride-sized cake gets woman on CNN site

When Chidi and Innocent Ogbuta decided to renew their vows for their 10-year anniversary, they knew they wanted to make it special. But they couldn’t guess their celebration would gain them fame on CNN’s Web site a few months later.

It began when the couple started thinking about a wedding cake and Chidi had an idea.

“Growing up, I had always wanted a doll made in my likeness,” she said. “So when we started planning our wedding, that thought came back to mind. So I decided I’d like my wedding cake to do that.”

Innocent said he had no reservations about helping his wife fulfill a childhood wish.

“It was something that she liked and if there was a way to make it happen, why not?” he said. “It was fun.”

For the cake, Chidi called Nikki Jackson, of Absolutely Edible Cakes in Rowlett, who had been making cakes for years.

“It was a challenge and I wasn’t sure I was up for it, but the bride would not take no for an answer,” the 25-year dessert professional said.

Jackson said she even tried to avoid Chidi for a while before the bride finally convinced her to take on the task.

“She came up with this wild idea and I wouldn’t return her calls,” Jackson said, laughing.

Jackson designed the body of the masterpiece, using multiple layers of cake for the dress and the torso had to be made from Styrofoam. The head, though, had to be sculpted by another wedding cake expert.

“One day in August, Chidi called and said she was interested in purchasing one of my traditional posed cake toppers,” said Elizabeth Bonura, of Austin, “but she said she’d like it a little bit larger and she wanted only a head.”

Bonura usually made bride and groom decorations that are a few inches at most in height. To make the head out of polymer clay, Bonura used pictures of the bride to guide her. She had never worked on something of this scale and often relied on artist friends for their suggestions.

“When I first talked to Nikki, she said she already had the bodice carved out,” she said. “She said it was going to be half-scale.”

Bonura said she started to get nervous when she got the Styrofoam bodice and realized the project was larger than anticipated.

“When I took it out of the box, it was bigger than my own torso. So I called Nikki and asked, ‘Are you carving this down?’ I said this is life-size!” she said. “I’m 5-2 and this is life-sized for me!”

Bonura had to rush to complete the job and ended up driving the finished head to Dallas from Austin. Unfortunately, Bonura was not able to complete the arms as originally planned. The solution? Jackson made them out of Rice Krispie treats and fondant icing to match the facial tones.

“My husband ended up having to cut off about two inches of the arms. I felt like I was doing an autopsy, and I thought maybe I should get paid extra …’ she said, jokingly.

Jackson also said she had planned to do the groom’s cake but did not have time due to the efforts put into Chidi’s month-long project, which served more than 600 people.

“It was quite a challenge for them, but they took it up,” Chidi said. “They were quite excited.”

When the couple’s friend and relatives saw the cake made in the bride’s image, many didn’t know what to think.

“They were all surprised. They were all taking pictures with their cameras and cell phones,” she said. “They were calling their friends to come over.”

She said people didn’t seem to have a problem enjoying slices of her dessert doppleganger, but one of her four children was a bit scared.

“She was like, ‘Mommy, I don’t touch. I don’t touch,’” Chidi said.

How did CNN learn of the cake? Chidi said she and a friend submitted pictures and were later contacted by one of the news channel’s representative asking for more pictures.

Although some couples may freeze part of the cake for future anniversaries, Chidi said it was not part of their Nigerian traditions.

She also said the cake did not last a week in the house with her husband and their four children.

Although some people have made negative comments to CNN’s site about the cake, Innocent said he was just trying to make his wife happy.

“I love her, and I felt that if that was what she wanted, it was not a big deal to me,” he said.

When asked how much the cake cost, Innocent played coy.

“I can’t discuss that,” he said.

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