Amy Page loves cake.
Forget the fluffy white or rich chocolate bakery versions — the cakes Page is interested in are 4 feet tall and scattered across the St. Louis region, part of STL250’s Cakeway to the West to commemorate St. Louis’ 250th anniversary.
“I first found out about the cakes when I saw some of my friends posting pictures on Facebook,” said Page, a music teacher in the Wesclin School District in Trenton, Ill.
She was intrigued, and decided to hunt down some of the cakes. “I thought that this would be a great way to get to know the St. Louis area better,” she said.
There was just one problem getting started: “I really was not familiar with St. Louis or the St. Louis area at all,” Page said. “So I would read different town names and not know if those suburbs were close to the city … I was kind of all over the place.”
That was in May. Two months later, she has visited and photographed all 251 cakes.
That’s right, there are 251 cakes.
“After the list was complete, a cake showed up at the casino in St. Charles,” Page said.
Getting Started and Making Friends
Getting all 251 cakes wasn’t always easy. The sculptures are spread out from Troy, Mo., to Sullivan; Jerseyville to Waterloo. Most are outdoors, but a few are inside, which requires a little more planning. Page hit a personal best by tracking down 54 cakes in one day.
“My husband and girls were out of town, so I decided that I was going to visit as many cakes as I possibly could. So I started at 5:30 or 6 in the morning, and I think I went until 7 that evening.”
On other trips, various family members, including her daughters, ages 5 and 2, have accompanied Page on her cake hunts. She has photographed each one.
“When I started out, I mostly was taking pictures of the cake,” Page said. “Then, as the process when on, I realized I did want to see more of the location. So some of my later cake photos, I did a better job capturing things around the cake.
“I might have to revisit some of the early ones just to get some better pictures.”
The cakes have been moved into place throughout the year; the last cake was placed on July 22. Page had a photo of that cake by 8:39 that morning.
“I see them as pieces of art,” Page said of the sculptures. She’s not the only one tracking them down, either. Facebook groups have popped up to help members track down the cakes. One of those groups sponsored a cake hunters picnic at Blackburn Park. Page said she’s run across some of those picnickers at other cake locations, and when she photographed the last cake, several of those same people were there.
“It’s been nice getting to know them,” she said.
Page, who lives in New Baden, Ill., said she didn’t track how many miles she drove, or how much she spent on fuel. “I didn’t want to know,” she said.
In addition to getting to know the St. Louis area better, Page also has found new must-stop destinations.
“Several of the places, I’ve been back to a couple times,” Page said. “Like Crown Candy Kitchen. I had never been there before a cake was placed there, and I would say it’s one of my family’s favorite places now.”
Page is creating an album with her cake photos and other Cakeway to the West memorabilia, including a medal and T-shirt.
“It really has been quite the journey,” she said. “I can look back then, years from now, and realize how crazy I was.”
Find your closest cake.
Use the map below (or click here for a larger or mobile-friendly version) to find out which cake is closest to you, or explore different categories of cakes. Each dot represents a cake sculpture. The shape created by the black lines represents the area that is closer to that cake than any other cake sculpture. Click on any location to find out where the nearest cake is and some information about it.