Heather Baumgard has been making life a little sweeter for newlyweds, birthday boys and girls, and anyone who’s been lucky enough to taste one of her cake creations for over 10 years.

Heather is the owner of Playful Cupcaketions based in Spirit Lake and has been creating tasty works of art in her home since 2010.

Heather jokes that she slowly made her way north to Okoboji. She was born in Aurelia, IA before her family moved and she graduated from Spencer High School. She met her husband, Allen, who grew up in Spirit Lake, and after they married, they moved to Spirit Lake in 2006.

Playful Cupcaketions started when she decided to make the cupcakes for her daughter’s first birthday. Her first cupcakes were just a box of chocolate cake that she added a bit of piña colada flavoring to.

“That’s around the time baking shows were starting to get popular and I was like, ‘I can do this. I can relate,'” Heather said.

And the word spread.

“Then my friends asked me if I could bake cakes for their kids’ birthdays and it slowly grew from there,” Heather said. “I started with friends, then friends of friends, then when you think about it, if you’re doing a wedding, then this couple wants you to do their baby shower, then kids’ birthdays and all that. He just to grow and grow.

Heather cooks all year round, but she is very busy from April to October and during these months she bakes an average of two wedding cakes and about eight to twelve orders of birthday cakes each week. She’s trying to do less by not taking as many birthday cake orders as she used to.

“I bake cakes every day. I take Sundays off, but otherwise I cook every day,” Heather said. “I added up last summer and spent 75 hours a week baking cakes, but in general that’s a good 40 hour job.”

Baking cakes, cupcakes and cookies is something Heather learned as she went along.

“I didn’t grow up cooking much. I learned completely on my own, but after I started my business, my father told me that my great-grandmother also made and sold cakes. I’ve never met her, but it’s cool to have that tie,” Heather said.

It’s a job she does from the comfort of her own home.

“I’ve always wanted a job as a stay-at-home mom,” Heather said. “I really thought bookkeeping was going to be everything, but it really wasn’t fun. So when the cakes came, it was great. I can do it from home and still have an income. Plus, I can be creative and it’s just fun.

Heather likes to get creative with her cakes, including toppings and decorations. She has a ton of flavors of cakes she makes and really loves the challenge of coming up with something new in terms of decorations.

“I love anything that’s different. It’s creative and something fun. I love figuring out how I’m going to make this idea a reality,” Heather said. “It’s fun for me.”

When a bride or someone really wants to order a cake or other treats from Heather, it’s best to do so well in advance. Weddings are booked approximately six months in advance.

“The first thing they do is a tasting and I send my tastings home with them so they don’t have the embarrassment of watching me while you eat,” Heather said with a laugh. “I give away three cupcakes of each flavor so there’s enough for everyone to try, and then they fulfill their contract and save their date.”

Twelve years after starting her baking journey, Heather still loves it.

“I do new things and learn new things all the time. If it was the same old boring thing all the time, I’d probably be tired of it, but it’s not,” Heather said. “Someone is always thinking of something new, which keeps me on my toes and learning new skills.”

Over a decade of Playful Cupcaketions means Heather has baked hundreds and hundreds of cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

Luckily, the company always brings her joy, and that joy can be savored in every bite she makes.