Alisha Davis adds her signature chocolate butter cream icing to cupcakes. Davis made it to the finals of the Greatest Baker competition.

Alisha Davis adds her signature chocolate butter cream icing to cupcakes. Davis made it to the finals of the Greatest Baker competition.

Alisha Davis would like to turn her home-baking operation into a full-time gig, and that goal has not been hurt by the Brookfield woman’s participation in the Greatest Baker competition.

She was named to the final eight and the winner will be announced Feb. 9.

The national competition was presented by Buddy Valastro and Bake From Scratch magazine and benefited the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. You could vote once a day or “buy” votes with the donations going to the B+ Foundation, which serves families of children with pediatric cancer.

The competition started with public voting on Nov. 27 and went through several rounds. Catherine Hodge of Brookfield also was an early participant.

“The exposure is amazing,” Davis said. “I had quite a following of my loyal clients that would come back for all their birthdays and everything. I’ve met so many new people. The networking from it has been amazing, just getting my name out there.”

That exposure also has resulted in an uptick in orders.

“I used to always recommend at least a two-week’s notice for custom cakes,” Davis said. “I’m getting to the point where I have to let people know that I need at least a month’s notice, because I’m booking out so far in advance, now.”

Davis said she grew up in the kitchen with her grandmother, mother and aunt, but considers herself a self-taught baker. She watched TV baking shows, such as Valastro’s “Cake Boss,” and baking videos, and then tried out what she had seen.

When Davis became pregnant with her daughter, Audrey, 7, she created her business, Sweet Tooth to Go.

“A couple of my flavors have become signature flavors,” Davis said. “I’m kind of known for my butter cream. It’s a butter cream that isn’t too sweet. I have a lot of people ask just to buy my icing.”

Her s’mores cookies are a favorite at the markets she sells at, she said.

Davis can bake five to 10 cakes a week, depending on design and intricacy of flavors, and usually creates one wedding cake a week once wedding season kicks in.

“The wedding cakes are gonna usually take six to 12 hours, depending on design, start to finish,” she said.

Davis and Audrey are living with a family member. The $10,000 grand prize, if Davis wins it, would go toward the Davises getting their own place, and Davis being able to create her own baking space. She said she wants to remain a home baker and has no interest in creating a storefront enterprise.

Davis sells her goodies at Hartford Orchards, 6953 Route 305, and at the Howland Farmer’s Market, which is held at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first and third Saturdays of the month at the SCOPE Center, 8273 High St. NE.

Davis also will highlight her gourmet cookies from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Youngstown Flea’s Valentine’s Day Market, 365 E. Boardman St., Youngstown; and her cakes at the Dinner and Desserts Benefit from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 10 at Eastwood Event Center, 5555 Youngstown Warren Road, Niles.

The media publicity surrounding the contest has meant people are starting to recognize Davis at markets and events, she said.

“It’s exciting to get known, because I do want this to be full time,” she said.

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