SUMMIT, NJ — Samantha Kestin is a former professional cake decorator who currently teaches classes to teens and tweens in Springfield and Summit. The classes take place once a week at the community center. The six-week course introduces students to baking, decorating and candy making.
“We made emoji cakes in Summit during our first week’s class,” Kestin told LocalSource over the phone on March 24. “In Springfield, we made chocolate cakes with chocolate ganache. The next class will make ice cream sundaes, and I will teach students to make whipped cream and a chocolate shell.”
Kestin also teaches private lessons from her home in Springfield. She is a self taught baker who developed her own business called “Sweet Samantha.”
“I followed a lot of cookbooks,” Kestin said. “I also watched a lot of videos on YouTube. I’m an art therapy major so decorating came naturally to me.”
Kestin teaches students the basics of baking, such as measuring, candy making and decorating. She says the classes are meant to challenge students so they learn to bake, but she also keeps it at a level where they are capable of learning.
“The classes are adult-style but for younger capabilities,” she said. “They really get a good education. I like to teach new things but nothing overly complicated.”
Kestin’s favorite thing to bake is cake with buttercream frosting. “I’m a vanilla girl,” she said. “I love a plain vanilla cake.”
Kestin started teaching other moms to bake in her kitchen in Springfield. She still offers classes to adults in her home and will schedule them according to the needs of her clients. Kestin also attends events such as weddings and birthday parties to teach decorating or baking skills.
“I started my business teaching other moms to bake in my kitchen,” she said. “I thought ‘Sweet Samantha’ sounded like the right name for my business because I teach baking and cake decorating.”
Kestin is also a former television star of Food Network She appeared on two shows during the last few years.
“I’m a former runner up on Food Network’s Cake Wars,” Kestin said. “Four years ago, I was on Food Network’s ‘Sweet Genius.’”
During the summer months, Kestin teaches classes at summer mini camps instead of the classes at the community centers. She’s interested in teaching more classes in local venues in the future.
“As long as it’s local to Springfield I’d definitely like to teach more classes,” she said.