Combine a cup of talent with two tablespoons of ambition, fold in a heaping spoonful of memories, and add a dash of fate. That’s the special recipe that led Newburgh, Indiana, resident Lexi Bailey to whip up her own baking business about four years ago.
“I’ve been baking 9-10 years,” she says. “My grandmother baked when I was growing up. Once, during snow days off school, I watched ‘Cupcake Wars’ and made six dozen cupcakes that week.”
Her passion didn’t stop there. As a 2017 graduate of Reitz Memorial High School and a member of the swim and dive team, Bailey elected to provide weekly homemade treats for the team.
“The team had Cupcake Wednesdays, and everyone bought boxed cupcakes. I went out of my way to make them from scratch,” she says.
Soon, Cupcake Wednesdays bloomed into cookies and other baked goods for loved ones who couldn’t get enough.
“I kept baking for people and thought, I guess I should start charging for it,” Bailey says.
Born from that thought was Lexi Bailey Baking. Bailey’s inventory of custom orders includes baked goods for all occasions, from floral wedding shower cupcakes to a superhero smash cake for a child’s birthday. Cookies, cake pops, and multi-tiered cakes also make the cut.
“I’m a self-taught baker. I watched YouTube videos, and I worked at Piece of Cake for a summer during college,” says Bailey, who counts Susan Porter, another local baking enthusiast and the mother of a fellow Memorial swimmer, as a mentor.
Bailey savors the creativity afforded to her by each order.
“I like when I get a theme and I get a lot of creative freedom,” she says. “Sometimes I sketch out cake designs if there’s a theme, or if I have a specific idea in mind.”
Lexi Bailey Baking’s kitchen operations are set up in the Newburgh home of her parents Don and Kristi. The spacious basement layout originally featured a kitchenette; when Bailey’s baking took off, her parents added an oven and extra refrigerator. Aside from occasional help with deliveries and pick-ups, Bailey fulfills all baking-related activities herself.
Bailey is wrapping up an online bachelor’s degree in business administration from Purdue University Global. After finishing school, she plans to pursue baking full time.
When asked by the staff of Evansville Living to create a white cake for our November/December issue, Bailey chose a two-layer spice cake made with brown sugar and buttermilk enveloped in a delicious cream cheese frosting.
“Spice cake is warm and perfect for winter,” Bailey says. “It’s easy to make, and it’s so versatile.”
For readers who wish to try out Bailey’s recipe, she advises that the process of preparing, baking, and decorating the cake takes about five hours. Not comfortable in the kitchen? Don’t fret. You can have your cake and eat it, too — a similar cake can be ordered from Bailey Baking for $60-$70.