Because she was “her mother’s daughter” and grew up on a sheep farm, baking became a regular practice for Kerry, who was adept at it by the time she was 12. “The touch with the sponge [cake] and with the scones—and getting it right—differentiated those who knew what they were doing from those who didn’t,” she explains.
After Kerry married, her husband’s career moved the couple to London, Singapore, Mexico, and Holland, among other places. They became part of the consular-party circuit in each place and entertained often. Her baking skills were impressive enough for her peers to dub her “dessert queen,” though she says her icing and piping skills were somewhat basic. In 1983, Kerry and Doug settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, into what they hoped would be a calm life—that is, until a friend asked Kerry to make a wedding cake. The rest, as the saying goes, is history—sugar-art history.
The cake, covered in buttercream roses, which she had just learned to make, was such a success, all the bridesmaids wanted Kerry to make their wedding cakes when the time came. Because she wanted her creations to be unique, she bought Australian books on the subject and spent two years learning how to make rolled fondant and gum paste, techniques not in much use in the United States at that time. Kerry gained recognition as a master sugar artist, and soon her spectacular wedding cakes were winning awards and being featured in Brides magazine. Her expert skills, as well as a jovial, tell-it-like-it-is personality, earned her a long stint as a judge on Food Network Challenge and later as host of Save My Bakery on the same network.