About Dena

Hi, I'm Dena Reed and I've been making cakes in the Beaumont area since 1995.  I am self taught because there weren't many places to learn cake decorating when I started.  I have taught specialty cake decorating all across Texas and Louisiana for cake clubs, culinary schools, individuals and groups. I have decorated cakes under the names of Dena Collins, Dena Bryngelson and Dena Reed for Dena's Sweetly Unique Cakes, Two's Company and More, Something Special Bake Shoppe, and Three Brother's Bakery.  Cake decorating is my passion, it is a blessed talent that I feel obligated to share with not only my clients but also other cake decorators.  This is not what I chose for a career, the sugar arts chose me.

TLC Ultimate Cake Off


"Honoring the Bravest"

I was called by a producer for TLC Ultimate Cake Off because they heard that I was pretty darn good.  They asked me to put together a team and they would give us a design idea to compete with.  The idea was vague, firefighter themed, honoring the bravest.  My idea was that every little kid wants to grow up to be a firefighter and this man who was being honored probably did too.  We learned later that he had saved the life of a fellow firefighter who was suffering from smoke inhalation.  He went back inside of a burning building to rescue this man.  Our team competed on television against two other teams and we WON!!  They loved our cake design and we received reviews likening it to a Norman Rockwell painting in the way it tugged at heartstrings.  Our cake was a child pretending to be a firefighter, putting out the fire in the fireplace with a water hose.  I wish all the details were visible in this epic cake, everything looked so great, the ash in the fireplace, the lighted turntable with pulled sugar flames, the wood grain on the floor, the "smoke" that billowed up from the chimney and the marbling in the fireplace rock.  My team did a great job, thanks to Cynthia, Me, Anna Heartwell, and my good friend Pat Daigle!

Food Network Cake Challenge Pirate theme with Three Brother's Bakery

Bobby, the owner of Three Brother's Bakery in Houston, was invited by Food Network to compete in a cake challenge.  I was honored that he asked me to be his assistant.  Together we built a colossal pirate ship atop a giant wave, complete with cannons and sails that moved when the ship raised up above the water!!!

Bobby's cake design was very ambitious and we did a fantastic job getting it all done in time.  The entire cake was sitting on top of a ships wheel and included many treasures that you might find if you were to peer inside of a real pirate ship

Although we did not win the first place prize for the show, we were winners just because we got to go

In the News!!

When media in Beaumont first found out that I won the TLC Ultimate cake off, it was all over the news.  I was in the paper, on every news station (becasue we had a few back then) and everyone was talking about the local cake maker who went to HOLLYWOOD!!  WoooHoo!  Since then I've been on the Food network TWICE and no one even knows about it or cares.  I guess it's so common now to have someone in your town go make some fantastic sweets on TV that people don't even blink about it.  Now I say,  "I'm the most famous unknown baker in Beaumont"!  If you can't laugh about it, what can you do?  I had a blast, it was so much fun for me and I would do it all over again.  I still have not figured out what to do with these chef jackets, just hanging in my closet....

My Biggest Fan

My biggest fan is most definitely my husband Kevin Reed!  He's always helping me deliver cakes, promoting my business, picking up supplies for me and sometimes even washing some dishes.  I appreciate anything and everything he's willing to do to help me out because being a one woman show is a LOT of work and I simply couldn't do any of it without his love and support

You would be surprised at just how HEAVY cake is!  If it weren't for these muscles, I wouldn't be able to move some of the cakes at all.  I need help

Food Network Holiday Baking Championship

 Gingerbread Showdown 2022

Heather had been on the Gingerbread showdown before as an assistant but she decided to take it to the top by being the Gingerbreader for an episode in 2022.  I was honored that she asked me to assist as her baker.  She designed a fantastic castle of gingerbread and I engineered a turn table to rotate around the castle with gingerbread ballerinas!  Our piece was absolutely fantastic and even though we didn't win, we are both VERY proud of her entry in the show!

Nutcracker on Stage

Barbra, Nokee, Me, Heather, Joe and Sean

Heather my Best Friend!

I met Heather when she was just 18 and she was attending a cake decorating convention that I happened to be doing demonstrations at.  She looked like a princess standing up on a balcony.  She called down to ask if I needed help carrying my equipment (box was bigger than me) across the courtyard at the Gaylord Resort in Grapevine TX.  I yelled back up that if she would, she would be my best friend!  We've been friends ever since and even made each other's wedding cakes!

All three Entries

Barb and Nokee's top, ours bottom left, Joe Daigle and Sean's bottom right hand side

Making of the dolls

for my part in the show, I made the ballet dancers for our gingerbread piece, all the sugar glass windows, the gingerbread toile in the windows and the motorized turn table that rotated around the castle.  We both made wood grain gingerbread flooring to cover the turn table and floor surfaces.  I also baked a delicious bourbon pecan tart, a tiny version of Kevin's favorite holiday pie. Most of the decorations that were made at home in advance were parts I made but many we ran out of time to even add to the castle because it was just SO BIG!

Got Class???

Back in the day, before YouTube videos and Craftsy, cake decorators that knew a thing or two would travel around teaching and demonstrating, sharing their gifts.  I taught and demoed at numerous Days of Sharing, individual classes and even at culinary schools!  

My first demonstration was how to make sugar glass beer bottles with an icechest cake.  Back then, there were no pre made molds for things like this, so I had to figure out a way to make molds and I did. Other's wanted to learn how I did it and so the traveling began.  It great and I really enjoyed it.  I have also demonstrated a giant hotdog cake, alligator, duck, three kinds of camouflage, bass fish jumping through a cake, saddle on a haybale, stained glass, rubber duckie in a tub with "water", a steam punk snail, guitar cakes and how to make realistic looking wood from buttercream and fondant.

Classes I have taught were 3D standing T-Rex cake, Duck hunting cake with grassy camo, alligator in the swamp with a tree stump (Sharon Zambito and Me)  Flowers for everyday cakes, skull, fall leaves, woodgrain and 3D Tiger cake

These days, you can learn almost anything you want to know online or in a YouTube video, not by me, but this younger generation is doing quite well without my help!

OSSAS Wedding cakes division 2008

Cake decorating competitions

I don't have photos of all the entries I have submitted for cake competitions.  Most were entered in the Capital Confectioner's "That Takes the Cake" competition throughout a few years.  Some entries were for the Oklahoma State Fair Sugar Art Show like the one to the left and below.  I haven't entered any shows in a long time, luck's bound to run out eventually!  If I enter a show now, I am required to enter the "Masters" division due to the "Best of Class Professional" award won in 2008.  I have not entered 

Awards for cakes I have placed with:


2002 Adult advanced First place Wedding Cakes 

2006 Silver Certificate, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, Tulsa "Wedding Cakes Around the World"

2006 Austin, Second Place special techniques 

2006 Austin First Place Wedding Cakes

2006 Austin Best of Division

2007 Austin 3rd Place novelty tiered

2007 Oklahoma Tulsa State Fair 2nd Place wedding cake category

2008 Austin First Place Professional

2008 Austin Best of Class Professional


Of Sea and Shore entry, OSSAS 2009,

 I did not place for this entry because I did not describe my techniques 

Capital Confectioner's entry 2008 Best of Class

Friends I have made along the way

I have made so many cake friends and met so many amazing cake decorators through the years.  This is my friend Ruby.  She no longer makes cakes, mostly because there's not much money in it, such a shame that her talent is gone from the cake world because our art is not appreciated.

Finishing touches

Often I am seen on a Saturday setting up cakes all rosy cheeked and looking like I haven't slept in days...that's because I haven't slept in days!

This young lady, Kacey, saw my show on TLC and wanted to make a cake with me for her birthday.  I just met her that day and we played with cake.  I'm sure she's all grown up by now (I think this was 2010) and hopefully she has fond memories of making her birthday cake with me, I know I do

Have to be a photographer too, yep, because after they eat your artwork, you have nothing to show for it!

Have to have a side job too?  Yep because cake ingredients are so expensive you are likely to have trouble paying your bills with the little bit of profit you might make.  I made more working as a barista at Starbucks, had insurance and I got to sleep.  Well, even if I didn't sleep, there was all the coffee in the world to help get through the day!

My husband used to buy cakes from me even when we weren't  together.  We met in June 2013 and didn't start dating until July 2017.  I made several cakes for him including this Holiday Stack of Packages for the REALTOR gala in 2016.  He looks pretty sharp in that tux!

I've met some amazing artists 

Through day's of sharing and classes, I've been able to meet many amazing cake artists from all over the world

Local Cake friends

Our local cake community is where I have met many of my friends.  This is Betty, she was president of our local club for many years and has recently retired.  I loved making cakes with my friend Betty

Local Venues

When you deliver a lot of cakes for a lot of years, you get to know the people working in different venues.  This is Gus, he was serving my cake at an event. Many of our local venues are full of people who care about your event running smoothly.

The date, skating party

Minion and Minnie

When Kevin and I started dating again after several years, we were invited to a halloween dress up skating party.  The party was hosted by my good friend Ruby, also a cake decorator, for her oldest daughter.  He chose a blow up minion costume and I dressed as Minnie mouse.  We had such a fun time trying to remember how to skate and just being like kids again.  

A few years later while we were planning our wedding, I asked Kevin what he wanted for his groom's cake.  He thought a delicous chocolate cake with those two characters on the top would be a perfect representation of us.

Just before the wedding, Kevin broke his arm at a race.  I added a cast to his minion last minute because it wouldn't have been "him" without it.  There's a bad review about me from a Mother of the Bride because I missed their consultation twice, once because my daughter thought she was going into labor and the second time because it was the morning after Kevin broke his arm. I HAVE ALSO missed my grandfather's funeral, my 30 year old brother's funeral,  the passing of my beloved grandmother and her memorial service, multitudes of birthdays, weddings, funerals, parties and other events for my own friends and family because I had a wedding cake order for a client due that day. I schedule wedding cakes so far in advance that when other things come up, I am not able to attend.  Cake decorating is hard on a relationship.  If you see my husband, please thank him for your cake!

the full cake and close up of Kevin's arm. If you read the bad review about me cancelling a consultation with the mother of the bride, just remember this picture to the left.  I admit, I was NOT thinking about her that day!