GREENSBORO — Monday night’s episode of “Wedding Cake Championship,” a cake baking competition on the Food Network, was almost the first and last round for Greensboro bakers Erik and Traci Rankins.
“It was crazy, that’s for sure. I was sitting on the edge of my seat… even though I lived it,” Traci Rankins said by phone after watching Monday night’s previously filmed episode, which was the season two premiere.
The couple, owners of Easy Peasy Decadent Desserts, are one of six teams of two chosen to compete for a $25,000 prize on the second season of the popular competition.
“It was definitely on my bucket list,” Traci Rankins said.
But the dream almost soured along with the curdled buttercream she whipped up for the first round’s challenge, which was to create a wedding cake for professional puppeteers who wanted to blend a traditional wedding design with a puppet theme.
The competition took place outside in a tent at an ocean-side vineyard in Southern California. Heat and humidity wreaked havoc on the bakers’ attempts to create the perfect cake.
“I’ve never baked in conditions like that,” Traci Rankins said.
After the collapsed buttercream, Rankins quickly jumped into action to whip up a second batch that came out perfect.
The judges liked the cake’s dual design of a starry night and whimsical puppet figures, but were cool on the cake itself. Unlike the light and airy wedding cakes she makes in her bakery, her competition cake came out much heavier.
“What I ended up with was very dense, almost like pound cake. I was not happy. I was so scared. I thought we were gone,” Rankins said.
But the their efforts were just enough to save team Rankins for another round.
“It’s a good thing I don’t bake like that every day or I wouldn’t have a bakery,” Traci Rankins said with a laugh.
Rankins said she had mixed feelings about the narrow victory over the team that was sent home.
“I felt bad and good at the same time. I couldn’t believe we were going on,” Rankins said.
Find out how Easy Peasy does when the second round of “Wedding Cake Championship” airs at 10 p.m. June 10 on the Food Network.
Catch a repeat of Monday night’s episode at 1 p.m. Saturday.