A former Cowley County resident was able to bring a little flavor to the Kansas Statehouse this week.
For the second year in a row, Burden native Lauren Berg was chosen to create the official state cake for Kansas Day.
“The (state) historical society gives me a theme each year,” Berg said. “This year, (it) was World War I.”
The 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I will be Nov. 11, which also is Veterans Day.
The preparation of a celebratory cake is an annual tradition at the Capitol for Kansas Day, which was Jan. 29.
Devil’s food cake in the details
Cake decorating on the magnitude of these cakes is a major undertaking.
The cake was a sheet cake approximately 4 feet by 2 1/2 feet, with a three-tired cake on top of the sheet cake.
This year, the decoration took Berg 14 hours.
But it begins with the design of the cake.
“My boss locked me in the office and said, ‘Don’t come out without a design,’” she said.
Both Berg and her husband have a strong family history of military participation.
“My brother has served for 20 years now and has been deployed seven times,” she added.
After her brother found out what the theme was this year, he had many suggestions for the cake.
“He was a big help in this,” said Berg, who now lives in Lawrence.
The final cake featured many World War I-themed documents, such as edible copies of war propaganda posters and registry forms.
It also bore the American flag, the Kansas flag and memorabilia from the 34th Infantry Division, which is based at Fort Leavenworth.
Special opportunity for Berg
The cake Berg made for the state Capitol was donated by her employer, Dillons.
She has worked for the company for 8 1/2 years, most of which she spent in the bakery department.
However, she didn’t start there.
“My then-boyfriend — now husband — convinced them to let me start as a strawberry dipper,” Berg said.
Her success in that role led to the cake decorations that have graced the halls of the Capitol building.
“It makes me feel honored,” Berg said of the opportunity to make the state cakes.
In addition to her regular role at Dillons, Berg also has participated in some cake-decorating competitions.