Tracey Hawthorn admits she’s no cake boss as she leads the volunteer committee
It’s going to be a busy year at UBC as the university celebrates its 100th anniversary and the Okanagan campus marks its tenth year of operation.
And what’s a celebration without a cake? That’s why a group of volunteers at UBC’s Okanagan campus is busy planning to create an anniversary cake to share with the campus community at the annual Welcome Back BBQ and Fair on September 3.
“It’s going to be somewhat experimental,” says Tracey Hawthorn, a self-confessed recreational-baker. “This cake is well outside my comfort zone, but we have a great committee. I have a group of people who just want to help, love to bake, and some have wonderful cake-decorating skills.”
It’s a baker’s dozen for the committee, 13 enthusiastic UBC employees and students who have brought a variety of skills to the team. Hawthorn is a planner and organizer. Rosemary Jean Thompson, leading the design team, makes professional cakes as a hobby and is a whiz with fondant. Aramark Chef Mathew Morazain is helping with the recipes and overseeing the baking procedure. Nutritionist Sally Willis-Stewart is keeping an eye on sugar levels, and engineering student Jannat Bachhal worked with the design committee to create a computerized 3D model of the campus. The goal is to make the cake resemble the model.
Hawthorn explains that one way to mark UBC’s past is to also connect with its future — so the cake is going to resemble the Okanagan campus as it stands today but will be unveiled with the campus model showing the future build out. They are working with a model created for the campus master plan and, with a lot of luck, will create a cake similar to that model.
“We are also conscious of people’s dietary needs so there will be a vanilla cake and gluten free chocolate cake, and our buildings will be made with Rice Krispie squares,” says Hawthorn. “You can’t have cake without ice cream” and this will be served with the cake.
Making a cake to feed more than 250 people is a tall order; making a 4’ x 6’ feet cake that looks like a university campus, is even more challenging. But Hawthorn is confident, with her hard-working committee, the cake will be a masterpiece.
“It truly is a collaborative effort,” she says. “And it’s something we want to share with students, faculty, and staff.”
The cake is sponsored by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s office and will be served at the Welcome Back BBQ on September 3.