Gracie's Cakes


To Grace McLeer, making and decorating bakery-quality desserts is just how she likes to spend her free time. But one taste of her cream cheese frosting, one doesn’t how how the 14-year-old has made it this long without going pro – and she isn’t even old enough to drive.

McLeer has grown up in the kitchen surrounded by relatives with their own dinner and dessert recipes. She picked up tips throughout childhood. Now with high school on the horizon, many girls her age would spend their free time back-to-school shopping or tinkering with their phones.

McLeer leaves hers in another while while she practices her homemade strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting and a hint of lemon zest. There’s no background noise as she works on a three-layer cake, deftly churning a bowl of heavy whipping cream into stiff peaks before icing her cake. She pipes simple designs around the base and tops it off with a few pearls and lemon zest.

McLeer’s parents jokingly call their daughter’s hobby “Gracie’s Cakes,” and so far the strawberry blonde has confined her talents to her own kitchen. Still, friends and family have sampled her desserts on enough occasions for McLeer to gain a bit of a reputation as a consummate cake maker.

While the teen is mostly content knowing her creations make others happy, she’s not ruling out the possibility of turning her hobby into a business some day.

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