Gender-reveal parties get creative with custom designs by Michelle Ashley Custom Cakes

By now, most parents-to-be and their friends and family have heard the horror stories about gender-reveal parties gone wrong.

There is no shortage of mainstream and social-media accounts of the tragedies that have resulted from prospective parents determined to engage in one-upmanship when announcing the genders of their babies-to-be.

Hoping to thwart local outlandish trends, Michelle Ashley Custom Cakes is creating gorgeous, scratch-made-to-order, gender-reveal cakes that elicit tons of oohs and ahhs without any harmful activity (except maybe for the cake slicer).

Michelle Ashley knows how to carefully insert middle layers of luscious blue or pink fillings such as strawberry or blueberry in the center of cakes or cupcakes. She and her team can also add custom-colored M&M candies, sprinkles, or other giveaways inside her delectable cakes.

She has been fashioning cakes with lettering such as “Twinkle, twinkle little star … how we wonder what you are” for about five years now. One of the perennial favorite gender-reveal cakes she bakes includes the words “Surprise Inside,” and has both pink and blue trim and then features pink or blue sprinkles spilling out of the center when it’s cut open.

Michelle Ashley Custom Cakes can also write the words “He or She – Cut Open to See” or “He or She; can’t wait to see” on some of its creations as well as the popular “Boots or Bows” or “What will it Bee?” with a sweet bumblebee theme.

Michelle can also create funny cakes with words such as “We’re just here for the sex” written on them. She said cupcakes with custom fillings designed to match the baby’s gender are also popular right now.

Clients bring Michelle envelopes containing their sonagram (the result of an ultrasound test) results and most often ask her not to reveal the baby’s gender to them. They want to be as surprised as their guests, she said.

She loves making the cakes or cupcakes for families knowing that oftentimes, only she, the doctor and ultrasound technician know a baby’s gender.

“It’s the best feeling,” Michelle Ashley said. “It’s very special to me and my crew, and my heart feels joy knowing only a couple of us know the result. I absolutely love it.” 

It takes Michelle and her team about one week to create a custom gender-reveal cake, but she prefers three weeks’ notice to ensure her team has adequate time to complete an order as special as a gender-reveal cake. The team includes another cake-decorating artist (in addition to herself) and a filling specialist. Michelle and her team have been featured on the HGTV television show “You’ll Be Home for Christmas” that aired last December, and are known for their customized festive treats, which, pardon the pun, take the cake.

Michelle knows cakes, cupcakes, and cookies are often the centerpieces at gender-reveal parties, which have become increasingly popular since they were first introduced in the late 2000s, so she works diligently to create fabulous desserts that clients can get excited about. Orders are taken based on the mother-to-be’s theme, Michelle Ashley’s own inspiration, or a combination of both using her ideas and theirs.

Michelle said she is very open to suggested cake designs, which rival many of those used at weddings and bridal showers. Most cakes are picked up by customers, but the bakery can deliver, for a fee, if needed.

A small, 6-inch gender-reveal cake starts at about $80, and Michelle Ashley Custom Cakes can make any size cake to accommodate large parties. The sky is the limit on pricing.

“I don’t like to say ‘no,’” Michelle Ashley said. “I want customers to know they can bring me any idea, and I’m going to give them the most creative, fresh-baked cake they can imagine. That’s how we roll at our bakery.”

To order a cake go to michelleashley.com and click on the chat option to connect with the bake shop or give them a call (971) 304-7737. You can also visit the bakery and pick up some delivious treats at 2195 Hyacinth St. NE, Suite 101, Salem, Oregon 97301 in the 45th Parallel building.

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