Arts and Culture | Celebrations/Weddings

Israel, India visits add global flair to local baker’s repertoire

Cake decorating is Lauren Berger’s forte.

A recent trip to Israel and India inspired cake decorator Lauren Berger, of Cayley’s Cakes, to bake pastries from around the world.

“If I got my way in this world, for 10 years I would just travel and learn how to bake things from all over,” Berger says. “Then one day, open a worldly little bakery where I chose all of the best things from all the places I’ve gone.”

A childhood friend from Congregation Anshei Israel making aliyah is what drew Berger to Israel, but the food is what charted her path.

“As soon as I thought of it, I said ‘I have to stop into every bakery,’” Berger said. “In Israel I fell in love with bourekas, I could eat them till I die.”

As she made it into India, she knew she had to let the food lead the way.

“When I was in India as well, I definitely made a point to befriend the kitchen staff ,” Berger said.

“I actually got to make a cake when I was in this little place in India called Kaza.”

Berger is from Tucson but moved to Colorado on a whim to experience actual seasons, which Tucson never sees.

“The first place that hired me was a grocery store and they gave me a job in the bakery,” Berger said. “I saw another employee who was a cake decorator and I said, ‘Your job is so much cooler and I want to do it.’”

After five years, Berger moved back to Tucson and called every bakery she could, but Cayley’s Cakes was the spot that had a position for her.

Cayley’s makes cakes for bar and bat mitzvahs and will feature pastries like rugelach and Hanukkah-themed confections as the holiday rolls around.

The bakery at 8963 E. Tanque Verde Road even has sugar-free cupcakes that fall in line with the low-carb keto diet.