From Ohio to Austin: The Remarkable Rise of Natalie Sideserf in the Cake Decorating World

Renowned cake artist, entrepreneur, and content creator Natalie Sideserf has left an indelible mark on the world of edible art, captivating audiences with her hyper-realistic cake creations. Boasting a substantial following of over 10 million across major social media platforms, Natalie’s journey from a small town in Ohio to the forefront of the cake-decorating world has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Natalie’s unparalleled talent has set her apart as a trailblazer in the trendy hyper-realistic cake movement. Her intricate works of edible art, ranging from lifelike animals to iconic pop culture figures, have garnered international acclaim and positioned her as a true pioneer in the industry.

Having collaborated with top-tier creators, musicians, celebrities, and brands, including Mr. Beast, Willie Nelson, AMC Network, RAM, and WB Games, Natalie’s influence extends far beyond the world of cake. Her iconic Willie Nelson cake catapulted her to viral success and marked the beginning of a journey that would redefine the possibilities of cake decorating.

Natalie’s artistic journey traces back to her childhood, fueled by an unwavering passion that led her to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Ohio State University. Transitioning from traditional sculpting to the mesmerizing world of hyper-realistic cakes, Natalie’s artistic evolution has been nothing short of remarkable.

In a strategic move to unlock more creative possibilities, Natalie and her partner made the transformative decision to relocate to Austin, TX. Over the past decade, they have become household names, starring in two seasons of Food Network’s “Texas Cake House,” achieving viral success online, and establishing the renowned Sideserf Studio brand.

As Natalie and her partner anticipate the arrival of their first baby, they envision a future filled with innovative products that resonate with both parents and children. Among the exciting ventures on the horizon is the launch of their line of edible clay, set to debut in 2024. This venture represents a new chapter for Sideserf Studio, as they continue to push the boundaries of edible artistry and creative expression.

Natalie Sideserf stands as a testament to the power of passion, creativity, and unwavering dedication. Her journey from a small Ohio town to international acclaim showcases the limitless possibilities that arise when artistic vision meets unparalleled talent.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Natalie and here’s what went down:

Your hyper-realistic cake art has garnered immense popularity on social media. Can you share the inspiration behind this unique and intricate approach to cake decorating, and did you anticipate the overwhelming response it received?

I graduated from Ohio State University in 2008 with a degree in Fine Arts and a concentration in painting, and I have always been inspired by hyper-realistic artists like Ron Mueck and Evan Penny. Therefore, throughout school, I studied and created hyper-realistic art. Around 2010, a friend of mine who was into watching Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes at the time suggested I try making a sculpted cake (I made a cow skull), and I fell in love with the edible medium right away. My now-husband Dave and I moved to Austin in 2011 because we thought it would be a good place to create a market for hyper-realistic cakes that didn’t really exist yet. As I started growing my online portfolio in 2012, my cakes started getting attention quickly, so rather than going the bakery route, I stuck with producing content online, and, eventually, I started channeling all my energy into my YouTube channel. Because there was so much interest right away, I felt more people would enjoy my work if I could get it in front of as many people as possible.

Transitioning from traditional sculpting to hyper-realistic cakes is quite a journey. How did your background in fine arts influence this evolution, and what challenges did you encounter in bringing your artistic vision to edible creations?

My sculpting and painting background has been a tremendous help because early on, I had the opportunity to work with various traditional sculpting materials and really understand the basics of color theory (which I often use in my cakes). When I moved to Austin, the first thing I did was find a job working in a bakery to familiarize myself with edible materials in a professional setting. I had the opportunity to experiment with cake and was learning every day, so it was an invaluable experience. Many people were working primarily with fondant at the time, which has its utility in many cases. But it’s also very difficult to sculpt with. I came across modeling chocolate, which acts a lot more like clay, so it’s a lot easier to manipulate, and that really helped me take the next step in making my cakes hyper-realistic.

You’ve collaborated with top creators, musicians, celebrities, and brands. How do these collaborations contribute to your artistic growth, and can you share a memorable experience from working with someone like Mr. Beast or Willie Nelson?

What’s really fun about working with other creatives is that they often come up with many ideas I would have never thought of. I once got to stand on stage with Willie Nelson after making a bust cake of Asleep at The Wheel frontman Ray Benson, which was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And I made the toilet cake for Mr. Beast’s Willy Wonka video, which was also an incredible experience. I can’t overstate my respect for people like him, who set goals and go after them. It takes a lot of hard work and effort, and it’s inspiring to see it pay off.

Your move from Cleveland, OH, to Austin, TX, marked a significant chapter in your artistic journey. How has the change in location influenced your creativity, and what opportunities or challenges did you face in establishing Sideserf Studio in a new environment?

In retrospect, I don’t know how possible it would have been to build Sideserf Cake Studio without having moved to Austin. Working with Tim League and the Alamo Drafthouse for several different events was instrumental in establishing the brand here. But Cleveland will always be home, and there is always something to do so long as you know where to look. I also think Cleveland has one of the most underrated food scenes in the whole country, and that alone is enough for me to try and come back at least once a year.

Appearing on Food Network’s “Texas Cake House” and starring in various cooking series on platforms like Netflix and Discovery+ has made you a household name. How has being a part of these shows impacted your career and the visibility of hyper-realistic cake art as a recognized form of artistic expression?

I’ve learned so much working on TV shows, and each one helped me gain the confidence needed to start a YouTube channel. I feel like I got in at the tail-end of television because when I’m out, it’s rare that people recognize me from any of my TV appearances. It’s always Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, and it’s so sweet because they’ll repeat some of my catchphrases to me, like “Do you wear clothes or know someone who does,” or “I make cakes that don’t look like cakes.” I really appreciate it.

As the founder of Sideserf Cakes, you’ve not only established a brand but also a community around your art. How do you engage with your audience, and what role has social media played in connecting with fans and fellow artists?

Overall, I try to keep my content as positive and inspiring as possible, and the comments I receive on my videos are great at doing the same. 85% of my audience is under 40, but I know many of them are parents who enjoy watching with their children, so I try to have fun and make content that they can enjoy together. I also know how hard it can be for parents sometimes to trust the content their kids are watching, so I also keep that in mind when I’m making my videos.

Becoming a first-time mother is a significant personal milestone. How do you balance the demands of your artistic career, business, and upcoming product launches with the joys and challenges of motherhood?

That is something I will have to figure out day by day! But my husband Dave helps a lot and handles most of the emails, editing, and dinners (laughs). That allows me to focus on my next cake and gather everything I need to make it happen. The two of us work well together – we make a great team! I know this year will definitely be a lot of work, but I’m here for it.

Can you provide a sneak peek into your upcoming products, such as edible clay, and share your vision for expanding your product line, especially those focused on family-oriented creations?

So, I have a few things in the works, but along with our new site and merchandise, I will have my own brand of modeling chocolate available that I like to call “edible clay.” It can be used for making hyper-realistic cakes like the ones I make on my YouTube channel, but it can also be used to make much more simplistic sculptures at home. I think kids will have a lot of fun playing with it, and it will be perfect for crafting with parents. The edible clay will definitely be available this year, but if you like cakes that don’t look like cakes, you’re going to love what we have coming out soon! Anyone who would like to be the first to know when they’ll be available can sign up for my newsletter at

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