DENVER – Three Tiers for Cake, a local bakery specializing in elaborate custom cakes, has reached new heights since its founder, Rachael Morris, appeared on Season 7 of Food Network’s Halloween Wars in 2017. While her initial foray into competitive baking was short-lived, Morris is back for redemption, competing on the Netflix original “Sugar Rush” alongside her husband, Matt, who’s become more involved with the business as demand has increased.
“The more and more people started asking for cakes, the bigger it got, and that’s when I had to start helping,” Matt Morris said. “She’s the artistic one and I’m the builder. I work at the nuclear plant, so everything I do is precision with exact measurements. Artistic brains don’t usually work that way, so she explains what she wants to do, then I make it happen and she makes it look good. We have to work as a team in order for it to work.”
“He does about 50 percent of everything now,” Rachael Morris added. “He does half the baking and makes half the butter cream, and he also does a lot of the tedious, repetitive tasks like structure building.”
“Sugar Rush” is a relentlessly fast-paced competition that challenges bakers to create treats that look beautiful and taste amazing, all while racing against the clock.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Matt because, since this started out as my business and my hobby in the beginning, he doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves,” Rachael Morris said.
“I’ve always been behind the scenes,” Matt Morris said. “We’ll be out and people will complement Rachael on a cake, meanwhile I’m thinking how it wouldn’t be standing if I didn’t build the structure. Still to this day, the guys that I work with at the plant, half of them still just don’t comprehend that I do this on the side with her. Nobody expects this big, bearded guy to bake cakes, but it’s grown into a passion for both for us.”
While competitive baking shows like “Sugar Rush” are designed to create pressure, whether through a strict time limit or the fact that contestants are being judged by some of the biggest names in the industry, there’s also the pressure of being in front of the camera, which is unfamiliar territory for most bakers.
“The most difficult part for me was overcoming the anxiety of the unknown,” Matt Morris said. “I struggle with anxiety enough as is, so to go into something like this when I don’t even have a background in baking, that was tough. I get tunnel vision when I get started on a task, so having that camera in your face and someone talking to you the whole time while you’re trying to work, there’s so much going on that you have no control over.”
Having already been introduced to competitive baking through Halloween Wars, Rachael Miller was more comfortable with the environment this time around, especially with her husband by her side.
“It was more comfortable for me, but mostly because he was kind of like my security blanket,” she said. “We can read each other really well, and there are moments on these shows where you can see that physical tension start to bubble up in somebody, so we were able to calm each other down and stay composed.”
“Having her there definitely helped me find my comfort zone too,” Matt Miller added. “I know her strengths and weaknesses and she knows mine, so we were able to work together and really help each other out.”
While their experience on “Sugar Rush” was stressful at times and uncomfortable initially, the Morris’s say they’d do it 100 times over.
“The biggest thing we’ve learned, and it’s something we’ll teach our kids, is that there’s no growth inside your own comfort zone,” Matt Morris said. “You’ve got to step outside your limits of comfort, whether you’re a baker, mechanic or athlete, if you truly want to grow and keep getting better.”
Season 2 of “Sugar Rush” will premiere worldwide Friday, July 26, on Netflix.
Search “Three Tiers for Cake” on Facebook and Instagram to check out the Morris’s work. For business inquiries, email email@example.com.