ebecca Hauger and Mara Hodge call being on the Discovery+ show “Cakealikes” a mirror image of the hard work they put into their business, Geek Desserts.
The show is a comedic competition program in which bakers create life-size cakes that are spitting images of famed celebrities. On the episode that begins streaming on Thursday, Jan. 28, the two North Valley home bakers and their peers are tasked with creating a cake of rapper Flavor Flav. The Public Enemy alumnus helps judge the cakes with Kalen Allen and Natalie Sideserf.
The winning team brings home $10,000.
“It was almost like a dream come true,” Hodge said. “It was very magical, and I kept pinching myself.
“The magic of Hollywood sprinkled its way onto our set. Hollywood and LA really consumes you and makes you feel like you’re in the Academy Awards. It makes you feel like this is a big deal.”
Hodge said she felt she was doing something “profound that not a lot of people are blessed with.”
“Cakealikes” contestants are kept in the dark about their task. Hodge and Hauger were asked if they accepted a blind challenge, and Hodge said, “We were crazy enough to accept a challenge like that.”
“We had no idea until the moment it was announced on camera, on set,” she added. “Those reactions are genuine. We did not know what we were getting into until that moment.”
Hauger said they “worked their butts off” to get to this point. Two years ago, the pair merged their respective baking companies to found Geek Desserts. Custom cakes are at the core of their business.
However, last holiday season, they found themselves in the center of another trend.
“We accidentally fell into the hot cocoa bomb business,” Hodge said. “My business started out as a chocolate business, so I have a lot of background in chocolate. Becca saw this idea when it started to come into the scene.
“A hot cocoa bomb is a hollow sphere of chocolate with hot cocoa powder inside. It took off for us. Last month, we were rocking them out like crazy.”
The two bakers are reality show veterans, but “Cakealikes” stands out. It is set in a real studio and they were treated like stars, Hauger said. That doesn’t mean the cake was a breeze.
“It was so much work,” Hauger added. “It was exhausting and exhilarating. It was so much work — a crazy amount of work.”
Hodge enjoys focusing on cakes and chocolate, as the work is unpredictable. She called herself an “artist to the extreme.”
“I look at each piece like a work of art,” she said.
A software engineer by trade, Hauger has a penchant for art as well. She uses cakes as her artistic outlet.
“It speaks to me,” Hauger said. “I love seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces when they see our cakes. We are hoping to have a storefront. If COVID-19 didn’t hit, we probably would have one. We work out of our homes right now.”
Their job isn’t all in vain. Hauger and Hodge donate cakes as “sugar angels” through Icing Smiles, a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by a child’s critical illness.
“We’ve been doing that since the start of our baking career,” Hauger said. “We do one to two a year — whenever they need somebody. That’s when we get to do our crazy cakes. That’s when we stretch our talents. We enjoy adding to this little brave child’s birthday. It fills our hearts.”