Connect
To Top

Inspiring Conversations with Crystal Baeza of Crystal Cakes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Baeza.

Hi Crystal, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started my love for all things sweet at a pretty young age. By the age of ten, I began taking over the kitchen with random recipes from my mom’s cookbooks. Around the same time, TLC had began showing Cake Boss and it was then that I knew cakes is where my heart wanted to be.

I come from a small West Texas town formally known as Andrews and there was only one cake shop in town called Celebrations. It had been established since the early 1970’s ran by Jane Vining (Momma Jane). You can imagine all the orders that came out out of her shop by the time I came around. Since I could remember, she was the one who made my family events a little sweeter with her custom cakes. I knew if I wanted to specialize in cakes, Momma Jane was the only one I wanted to learn from. By the time I was 16 in high school, I became her assistant helping her after school. I learned many things I thought I had already knew. I learned how to pipe buttercream flowers from the tip of a toothpick. She had me practicing piping all styles of cake borders and different ways to ice cakes. I was fortunate to take over some of her orders for customers and she would even help me with mine for my friends and family. Everyday was a learning experience but since Ms. Jane knew she couldn’t offer me more due to her age of 82 years, she pushed me towards furthering my education through culinary programs. That’s where I found The Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, Texas and began my studies in the fall of 2016.

My time at the CIA was everything I could have imagined and more. It was in my confectionary arts class that I had the idea to open my very own cake shop. I grew a strong love for the entire process; from speaking with clients about their cake orders, mixing ingredients and baking, making icings, and putting it all together. It’s fascinating to me the effect a single cake has on a person just by the way we shape, form and decorate them. By the spring of 2018, I graduated with my Associates in Applied Science, Baking and Pastry Arts. To further my studies on the business side of things, I then transferred to St. Mary’s University in the fall of 2018 for my Bachelors in Business Management. While introducing myself and future plans in class like one does on the first day, my classmates were extremely supportive of my goals and began ordering cakes from me for their loved ones. A few weeks later, that’s when Crystal Cakes was created in my small apartment. What I thought would be a slow lift off the ground actually became a quick leap for me just by putting my name, my brand, and my goals out into the world.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I can’t say it’s been a walk in the park but that’s the best part! I’m learning everyday and that’s what keeps me on my toes. I started Crystal Cakes my first semester at St. Mary’s University and had to quickly learn how to balance being a full-time student while running a whole business. One minute I’m writing a five-page essay for English class and the next minute I’m baking my life away creating a five-tiered cake for the weekend.

As much as I would like to say I’m a “one man show”, I am not, but I am grateful and give much credit to my amazing team. My family have been there to support me from the very beginning and that’s what has made this entire process run so much smoother. My mom and dad are always asking what they can help with or giving words of encouragement daily. My two brothers and sister are just as helpful tagging along with deliveries or picking up supplies and ingredients for me. Have I mentioned they’re also my taste-testers? I can speak for them when I say they’ve struggled to swallow some questionable recipe fails. This journey has come with many struggles but as you fail, you learn and it is then that things become easier to conquer. When I think about Crystal Cakes, I think about my family and how our bond has helped shape my little business.

As you know, we’re big fans of Crystal Cakes. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Crystal Cakes is a small cake business I created in my apartment as a side job to have during my time in college. I never would have guessed it would be the big success it has been and now my full-time job. I specialize in custom cakes for all celebrations big or small such as birthdays, weddings, quinceañeras, and etc. I also offer smaller pastries and other sweet treats such as macarons, tarts, cookies, and cupcakes.

I’d have to say what sets me apart from others is I try to create flavors for everyone’s taste. I offer over 25 cake flavor combinations and fillings to pair with. I don’t like for my clients to feel limited so if they have a flavor in mind that isn’t on my cake list, I mix all night if I have to in order to make it happen. Earl grey lavender cake was a special request from a bride and groom for their cake tasting and now a popular flavor ordered from other clients. It’s one of my personal favorites and I recommend it every chance I get! I may enjoy decorating cakes more but mixing and tasting flavors is pretty fun too.

I’m most proud of Crystal Cakes for simply existing. I’ve had a few people tell me my dreams were too big or that anyone could look up recipes on Pinterest. Words may hurt but at 20 years old, I put my guard on and turned my dreams into reality. It has now only been three years but my cake life has continued to expand across West and South Texas. I’m located in downtown San Antonio but have delivered to Austin, New Braunfels, Helotes, and Boerne. When visiting my hometown, I also accept orders and have delivered my cakes to Odessa, Midland, Kermit, Van Horn, Brownfield, and smaller towns nearby. I think what makes me more proud is I’ve made this happen while keeping up with my studies. Being a college student is already stressful as many may know, and mixing it with a cake business is just a cherry on top!

Crystal Cakes offer discounts to those servings others in any shape of form. 15% off for military/first responders. 10% off for teachers. 5% off for CIA or StMU students or alumni.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
I would have to stay never stop dreaming. No dream is too big or too small. It sounds so cliche but we’re all wrapped up thinking what others might have to say or questioning ourselves what if. So ignore the what ifs and make it happen instead. Go make that clothing boutique happen, create all the custom t-shirts and tumblrs, or create your own business offering whatever service you want. Anything is possible and that’s the exciting part! I know my ten years old self would be so proud to see me living my dreams now at just 23 years old.

Pricing:

  • Cakes: start at $70 and go up depending on design and serving size
  • Cookies: start at $32 a dozen and go up depending on design
  • Macarons: $26 a dozen
  • Cupcakes: start at $26 a dozen and go up depending on design

Contact Info:




Image Credits
Samantha Sosa Photography

Suggest a Story: VoyageAustin is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories