Julie McAllister Cakes: Hyper Realistic, Hyper Popular

by Monica Hoel

Let’s start here: she’s made birthday cakes for Reese Witherspoon – TWICE.

Julie McAllister left Emory & Henry with a degree in mass communications, but after a few years in advertising and marketing, she found that her heart was really in her hobby: baking insanely intricate cakes.

Cake made of smaller cakes that look like oranges and lemons fashioned into a citrus tree. Julie McAllister Citrus Tree CakeEvery evening after work, she would dive into books on cake decorating in order to teach herself a new skill. And she wasn’t happy just knowing how to pipe a rosette or write happy birthday in fondant. Oh no. She learned how to make cakes that don’t look anything like cakes – but do look exactly like something very much not cake.

For instance, the cakes for Reese Witherspoon? They were fashioned to look just like new handbags released by Reese’s clothing line, Draper James. She does a cake that looks exactly like a citrus tree made of oranges and lemons – and each piece of fruit is a separate little cake. She even does one that looks exactly like a Moscow mule cocktail.

These are cakes you typically only see on television, and in fact, she and her cakes were just on television. In March of 2024, Julie was on the popular Netflix show called “Is It Cake?” A consummate marketing strategist, she won’t reveal the outcome of the episode, but says she was “very very happy” with how she did on the show.

A birthday cake for Rees WitherspoonLiving in a wedding destination town like Charleston, South Carolina Julie McAllister Cakes could stay plenty busy supplying cakes likely to upstage the bride.  But the truth is Julie has almost been too busy to bake this past year. She has been traveling around the southeast doing workshops teaching others how to make hyper realistic cakes. She recently spent time as an artist in residence at a resort in Bluffton, South Carolina, where she did an art installation that highlighted her work and then taught a seminar on mastering some of her favorite techniques.

Julie believes “there’s a cake decorator inside all of us!” and loves seeing excitement on the faces of her students as they create something beautiful – and delicious.

Julie says she’s surprised by this “bizarrely unique career that I’ve gotten myself into – but I’m so incredibly fortunate to be able to get to do this!” And you can enjoy a longer conversation about her exciting career on the Duck Pond Wall podcast.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2791-adam-bolt-writes-songs-that-mean-something"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,639,640/13505_adam_bolt_pic.rev.1678377707.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,639,640/13505_adam_bolt_pic.rev.1678377707.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,639,640/13505_adam_bolt_pic.rev.1678377707.jpg" alt=" Adam Bolt Emory & Henry Class of 2012 " width="345" height="225" data-max-w="639" data-max-h="640" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2791-adam-bolt-writes-songs-that-mean-something">Adam Bolt Writes Songs That Mean Something</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> His first stage was the lunchroom.</p><a href="/live/news/2791-adam-bolt-writes-songs-that-mean-something" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2972-making-sense-of-it-all-rev-sarah-moody-varnell"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/170,61,675,567/14056_sarah_moody.rev.1687790675.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/170,61,675,567/14056_sarah_moody.rev.1687790675.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/170,61,675,567/14056_sarah_moody.rev.1687790675.jpg" alt="woman in a church wearing minister's robe" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="505" data-max-h="506" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2972-making-sense-of-it-all-rev-sarah-moody-varnell">Making Sense of it All: Rev. Sarah Moody Varnell Talks About the United Methodist Church</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> The United Methodist Church has been in the news recently.</p><a href="/live/news/2972-making-sense-of-it-all-rev-sarah-moody-varnell" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3193-randy-queen-eh-class-of-2002-named-virginias-school-psy"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,11,631,643/14807_Randy_Queen_2.rev.1698343269.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,11,631,643/14807_Randy_Queen_2.rev.1698343269.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,11,631,643/14807_Randy_Queen_2.rev.1698343269.jpg" alt="Man receiving award from woman." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="631" data-max-h="632" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3193-randy-queen-eh-class-of-2002-named-virginias-school-psy">Randy Queen, E&H Class of 2002, Named Virginia’s School Psychologist of the Year</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Randy is the leading school psychologist for the Roanoke County Public Schools.</p><a href="/live/news/3193-randy-queen-eh-class-of-2002-named-virginias-school-psy" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>