Kaitlyn Helton began dreaming of launching a bakery when started playing an iPhone game called Bakery Store.
Now the 11-year-old LaFayette resident is making it a reality, calling it KK's Sweet Treats, a nod to a nickname she's had since childhood.
Kaitlyn has been taking bakery orders for a few months now, she said. She bakes cupcakes, birthday cakes, cheesecakes, chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, pies and macaroons.
"She leans toward pastries, French-style of baking," said Rebekah Helton, Kaitlyn's mother who helps back the fledgling business financially. "I help her if she needs it. She researches her own recipes online. Sometimes she comes up with different ideas. She combines two recipes sometimes. She has baked since she was 4."
Kaitlyn said she likes making the macaroons, but when she tastes them she is unsure what it is supposed to taste like.
"The macaroons are like a cookie with filling," said Kaitlyn. "We put Nutella and jam in it. It's just what you prefer [in it by request.]"
When sampling cupcakes, Kaitlyn prefers her yellow cupcakes that she says yield a "buttery" taste.
"I like to use butter cream icing," said Kaitlyn. "I like pink and blue icing because those are my favorite colors. I've made chocolate, yellow and coconut birthday cakes. I put 'Happy Birthday' on it or whatever the customer wants it to say. On the chocolate cake, I put fruit on top of it like strawberries or chocolate covered strawberries and grapes."
And, the young baker is determined to find critics who will make her baking business better.
"She delivered a cheesecake to Mitchell's Plumbing," her mother said. "She asked them if there is anything she should change about the cheesecake because she likes constructive criticism and honest reviews. She told them to be honest even though she is little. Their review was 'No, it was better than the Cheesecake Factory's cake.'
"As a mom, her cheesecakes are the best I've ever eaten," she added. "At family gatherings she's expected to bring a cheesecake."
This fall, Kaitlyn is enrolled as a sixth-grader at Saddle Ridge Middle School. However, she already has plans to attend culinary school, preferably in New York.
"Her dream is to go to New York one day," said her mother. "If her dad [Mitch Helton] has anything to do with it, she will go to New York to visit the city next year."