Bake My Day: Local baker wins award from Martha Stewart

Savannah Vasquez
Anna Reece and Heidi McAnulla worked together to create the award winning cake, a four tiered butter cream elegant work of culinary art.

Heidi McAnulla, owner of Destin bakery Bake My Day, can’t remember when her love for Martha Stewart began but she does remember every detail about the day her cake was featured on her idol’s wedding website.

McAnulla said Dec.17, 2014 started like any other day at the bakery.

 “I came into work that day and my computer was having trouble,” she said. “I saw something in my inbox from my wedding planner but I didn’t think anything of it and I started the day. I helped get the girls started with the orders and just get into the swing of things before I finally went back and pulled up the email.”

The email from her wedding planner Eva Clark read, “This wedding was quite a hit with Martha Stewart Weddings and friends.  Your cake is the latest award-winner!”

A month prior, McAnulla and Clark had been featured on Martha Stewart’s website as two vendors from a beach wedding they helped put on in WaterColor for brides Amanda and Teresa from Atlanta. Thousands of weddings from all over the world are featured on Martha Stewart’s wedding site each year, and from those only 17 cakes were chosen for the honor of Best Wedding Cakes of 2014. Bake My Day had made the cut.

“It finally hit me exactly what had happened,” said McAnulla. “I screamed, thanked God, and screamed again. Then I thought, ‘Oh my God this is really real!’ then my computer crashed.” 

McAnulla told The Log that she did not expect to be featured anywhere because she did not enter a contest or send in a photo of her cake, in fact she admitted she still doesn’t know quite how her cake got such high caliber notice.

“All I know is that the wedding coordinator sent me an email in November saying we were featured on Martha Stewart’s wedding website, and I was just thrilled with that. The whole wedding made her website, but what really surprised me was that out of all the weddings featured, she chose my cake.”

The featured cake was a four-tiered vanilla cake with butter cream icing that included fillings of citrus, raspberry, coconut and mango between the layers. For embellishment an antique broach was fastened to the center tier with a silver ribbon and sugar flowers were placed on the bottom and top of the cake.

“They called it Delicate Ruffles on the site,” said McAnulla. When asked why she thinks her cake was chosen, McAnulla just shrugged.

 “I pride myself in working from scratch, unique design and what the couple envisions,” she said. “So in the end I thanked the couple because it was their design to a degree; It was Amanda’s broach, and the wedding coordinator, she really did everything.”

But don’t be fooled by McAnulla’s  humble view of her win, her two decades in the dessert industry includes time working under Emeril Lagasse as a pastry chef in New Orleans and a stacked eight years running her own business. But McAnulla still refused to take all the credit, and instead commend her employee Anna Reece for her contribution to the cake and adding that she is just thankful for the whole experience.

“It’s enough for me just to be acknowledged by someone of that caliber, especially in the wedding industry. I mean it’s Martha!” she said. “It’s still kind of surreal. I’ve been such a big fan of hers I mean she’s really a person I’ve looked up to pretty much my entire life. It definitely has made me want to ramp up the caliber of what I do here; take it up to the next level.”

To see the award winning wedding cake CLICK HERE. For more information on Bake My Day CLICK HERE or call 269-0763.