- Amanda Fox Walker is a 2004 graduate of River View High School who now lives in Texas and has the “It’s a Cakewalk” home baking business.
- Walker will appear on Food Network’s “The Big Bake” at 11 a.m. Monday. She leads a team of three making a cake themed on elves working at the North Pole.
- Walker is self taught and makes novelty and 3-D cakes with specific structures that take her a long time to create for customers.
- The episode taped last November in Canada. Walker and her team had 5 hours to make a 4.5 foot tall cake that was then critiqued by a three judge panel. The winner got $10,000.
COSHOCTON − A Coshocton native is entering the competitive and high profile world of cooking and baking competitions on the Food Network.
Amanda Fox Walker will appear on the episode of “The Big Bake” airing at 11 p.m. Monday on the Food Network, with a rerun at 3 a.m. Tuesday. It’s the ninth episode of the program’s fourth season. Titled “Wreck the Halls,” the baking teams will create cakes of the North Pole crew up to no good. Judges are Ron Ben-Israel, Eddie Jackson and Danni Rose.
On the show, professional baking teams have five hours to design, bake and decorate grand-scale cake creations based on Halloween, holiday or spring themes. The winner gets $10,000.
Walker can’t speak on how she did until the episode airs, but said taping the episode was an experience like none other. She owns It’s a Cakewalk in Farmersville, Texas. It specializes in creating unique novelty, structured and 3-D cakes.
The 2004 River View graduate majored in criminal justice at Cedarville University. She worked for the Internal Revenue Service for four years and was transferred from Dayton to the Dallas office. She now works in law enforcement with her home baking business being what she called a “side hustle.” But it’s something she’s serious about. Her height was 102 cakes in 2020.
“It really started when I was still in Ohio. I made my mom and dad a couple of cakes and I just started working with fondant and things like that. It was always something I was always doing on the side as an artistic avenue,” Walker said. “If you can go to a bakery and buy that type of cake, I’m not your baker. I do the crazy, outside the box type stuff.”
Walker remembers making an R2-D2 cake for her son that fell apart two minutes before it was shown to him. From that day forward, Walker vowed to make sure she understood cake structure the best she could. She’s never had another cake collapse. She has only taken one cake class, but is self-taught and has watched numerous YouTube videos.
“The cakes I do take an extreme amount of time. I put a lot of detail and a lot sculpting into what I do. I have to be really diligent in the types of cakes I take. I always want to make sure I’m putting my best effort into every cake,” Walker said. “I want to make sure my clients are getting the best product and the best of my artistic skill I can give them.”
A Food Network casting director reached out to Walker after seeing her work on Instagram. Walker said many people have told her she should be on television, but that wasn’t something she was interested in doing. However, when the offer was made, she couldn’t say no.
“I didn’t want to be under that kind of stress, that kind of pressure to put out a product I’m not proud of,” Walker said. “But, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I don’t know if this will ever come around again. I’m just this little, tiny home baker. I was asked by the casting director, I didn’t reach out to them.”
The episode taped last November in Canada. Walker works by herself, but tapped two other Dallas-based cake decorators to comprise her team. One she knew personally and the other she knew by reputation. They had never worked together until the taping, but Walker couldn’t be more pleased in how they all came together.
“As team leader, I was very open but also very strict on how we were going to do this,” she said. “They were perfect and they’re some of my best friends now.”
While she hasn’t seen how the episode was edited yet, Walker said there was no manufactured drama or starting and stopping of the cameras. The team worked five hours total and the time crunch was different for Walker, who likes to give herself as much time as possible to create a cake.
“Everything that happened was legitimately real,” Walker divulged. “If something goes wrong, something really goes wrong and they don’t help you…They don’t shutdown the show for it.”
Presenting to the three judges was nerve wracking, but she felt they were fair in their comments.
“All of the judges were so incredible. They were so sweet and such good people. While they did give criticism and feedback, they were also very supportive,” Walker said.
“I hope the people who see this show appreciate the artistic side of cakes and the crazy things you can do with them if you know how to work the structure,” Walker said.
Leonard Hayhurst is a community content coordinator and general news reporter for the Coshocton Tribune with more than 15 years of local journalism experience and multiple awards from the Ohio Associated Press. He can be reached at 740-295-3417 or email@example.com. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @llhayhurst.