More and more Pittsburgh-area couples are finding out the sex of their baby in a much sweeter way—with a gender reveal cake.
"We've definitely seen a growing trend," said Megan Fialkovick, an Oakmont Bakery employee.
"It's kind of just starting to pop up all over the place," said Courtney Seymour, a Potomac Bakery employee.
Some couples choose to keep the moment private and intimate or with close family and friends.
Others use it as an excuse to throw a party or make the baby shower even more exciting.
Here's how a gender reveal cake generally works: The ultrasound technician writes the sex of the baby down on a piece of paper and seals it in an envelope. The mom and dad then take the sealed envelope (if they can stand the suspense) to their favorite bakery. Once in the clear, the baker opens the envelope to find out if the baby is a boy or girl and bakes a cake accordingly. A cake with blue batter or blue filling is for a boy and one with pink indicates a girl.
The outside of the cake is decorated in neutral colors and the big reveal comes when the couple slices into the cake.
"It's really fun and exciting for us (the bakers), we're the second ones to know," said Beverly Coulter, a Bethel Bakery employee.
"Honestly I think it's really cool. That's what I would want to do so I can be surprised with my family and friends," said Brooke Carroll, a Bartram Bakery employee.
The Peters Township bakery has made three or four gender reveal cakes, according to Carroll.
Most of the time, she said, they will dye vanilla cake batter pink or blue. Dying a buttercream filling is also an option.
Prices range from $15.99 for a six-inch round cake or $76.99 for a full sheet cake.
The well-known bakery in Bethel Park has made a number of gender reveal cakes and employees said they would like to make more.
The trend picked up in the summer of 2011, according to Julie Lytle, a sales and marketing employee at the bakery. She said they were "probably doing two or three a week."
Bakers use French buttercream or white cake batter to dye blue or pink and often decorate the outside of the cake with blue and pink questions marks. Prices depend on the size and design details of the cakes.
Dave's Terrace Bakery, a local favorite in south Baldwin, made its first gender reveal cake not too long ago, according to employee Amber Hecker.
The bakers dye the batter blue or pink. An eight-inch cake goes for $17.75 and a full sheet cake costs $64.00.
Leslie Kribel, owner of the Brookline bakery, said gender reveal cakes are just starting to become popular.
Her bakers will fill the cakes with dyed buttercream frosting and decorate the outside in pink, yellow and blue colors.
The popular Oakmont Bakery has made a number of gender reveal cakes and one or two orders of filled cupcakes.
"The sky's the limit," Fialkovick said.
The bakery does not provide custom batters. Instead, they dye a buttercream filling blue or pink to reveal the baby's gender.
Depending on size, cake prices vary from $25.50 to $81.00.
Seymour said the Dormont bakery has made two gender reveal cakes in recent months. For one couple, they created two cakes for twins. One cake was labeled "Baby A" and the other "Baby B."
Interested gender reveal cake customers will pay a small, extra fee to dye the batter or filling. Total cost depends on the size of the cake.
The Upper St. Clair bakers have made a couple gender reveal cakes.
Options include dying the batter or icing blue or pink.
McGrath said she could also create a special sugar box for the top of the cake and make blue or pink sugar baby booties inside. If the box and booties don't get wet, they can be kept as mementos.
She also added that she could make a cake for two people for a more intimate reveal.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order.
What do you think of the new gender reveal cake trend? Great idea or too much fuss? Tell us in the comments.