Not-so-secret ingredient: Liquor
Meet a Temple woman who mixes classic Bundt cakes with popular adult beverages. The result is a staggering success.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 29, 2021
Scotch whiskey mini Bundt cakes with whiskey glaze are a popular item at Boozzy Cakes in Temple. The bakery sells three sizes of cakes and can use any liquor.
Pandemic boredom led to new baking business for Temple woman
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple exclusive
Everyone has a favorite cake.
German chocolate, lemon, carrot and red velvet come to mind. But what about Southern Comfort cake with brown sugar pecan glaze? Or maybe a coconut tequila cake with a lime glaze? I know! How about a peach whiskey mini Bundt?
If you love booze and you love cake, Amber Kalka has a creation for you.
“Boozzy Cakes is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Amber said during a Thursday interview. “We weren’t really doing anything so we started experimenting. Rum cakes are popular, but I got to thinking: ‘What about other liquors?’”
So, with a few hit-and-misses, Boozzy Cakes was born.
“My husband Terry loves bourbon so I used it in a cake,” she said. “I gave some to friends and family, and they loved it.”
Soon, friends were making requests, so Amber bought business cards, and created social media pages and a web site. Orders began to flow like a fine single-malt Scotch.
“I was surprised,” she said. “I managed the kitchen at Lamar Middle School, but I gave that up and started my business. It kind of just blew up, which is very cool.”
Although cakes made with liquor exist in some parts of the country, Amber is the first to bring the unique tastes to Temple. And, expansion is in her immediate future.
“I just signed a lease for a commercial kitchen,” she said. “This will allow me to ship online orders and to put my product in stores. I also hope to work with delivery companies such as Favor and DoorDash.”
The commercial kitchen will be located on 29th Street in a building occupied by Over the Plate Catering. The two businesses will provide cooking classes in addition to their main products, Amber said.
In addition to online sales, Amber and Terry have been setting up booths at many local events, including farmers markets, Oktoberfest and Summer Sizzle.
“We usually take 300 to 600 cakes to each event,” she said. “We make three sizes of cakes.”
The large size is a nine-inch Bundt cake with a glaze or frosting. The smallest is a three-inch “bite-sized” cake that comes by the dozen. There is an in-between size — four-inches in diameter and four-inches tall. All can be made with a customer’s liquor of choice.
Amber has been baking “traditional” cakes since she was about 6 years old.
“Mom baked wedding cakes and I helped when I was very young,” she said. “I never thought I’d have a baking business. I don’t make traditional wedding cakes — I keep it simple. Simple designs with complex flavors.”
Amber bakes almost every day, and a growing percentage of business is catering.
“We do all kinds of parties, reunions, meetings…,” she said. “I recently had a request to make a B-52 cake modeled after the popular shot. The shot contains Irish cream, Grand Mariner and Kahlua, so I stacked three nine-inch cakes and made each layer a different flavor.”
Along with husband Terry, her children — Rylie, 19, and Titus, 17 — also help get ready for events.
“My family has been very supportive,” Amber said. “They are amazing.”
The bakery is planning several cooking classes for the future, including a kids’ cupcake class — without the booze, of course.
Amber also is working on a product that just might find its way into Temple-area bars — cake shots.
“It’s kind of like a Jello shot, but with cake,” she explained. I think they would be fun.”
Yep, that’s a s’mores cake. Complete with Bailey’s Irish cream. This combination of graham cracker, chocolate and toasted marshmallows will surely tickle those taste buds and take you back to those campfire days.
AROUND TOWN FIGHTING VEHICLES DOWNTOWN
An Abrams tank and a Bradley fighting vehicle arrive at Santa Fe Plaza for today’s uncasing ceremony, officially marking the arrival of the men and women of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard. The unit moved from Pennsylvania to the Texas National Guard Armory on Airport Road this summer.
CENTRAL TEXAS FLASHBACK
Riverside Swimming Pool, now known as Summer Fun, has been a popular meeting spot for 100 years.
By DENISE KARIMKHANI, Special to Our Town Temple
Riverside Pool, located on seven acres of land along the west bank of the Leon River in Belton was built in 1920 and served as a favorite gathering spot for generations of Bell County families.
Billed as the largest swimming pool between Austin and Lake Worth and between Galveston and Brownwood, Riverside Pool spanned the generations for almost 70 years.
When the pool closed, developer D.S. Glory of Los Angeles spent about $2 million to refurbish the pool and park. Riverside Swimming Pool became Summer Fun USA.
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In 1920, the Riverside Swimming Pool Co. sold $300 shares to finance the building of a swimming pool and park. The total cost was about $12,000. W. C. Knight was chosen as trustee, and manager and trustees were O. L. Vaden, Herbert Cale, T. A. Neal, and Dr. Lee Knight.
The organizers told the Temple Daily Telegram in October 1920: "We have purchased seven acres of land on the west bank of the Leon River between the Interurban Line and the Temple-Belton Pike. We will begin work on a big concrete pool 75 x 150 feet with beautiful pecan trees along the bank of the river for 500 yards.”
Rains delayed the planned June 1 opening until July 18, 1921.
Four brick wheel-tracks carried Model T cars to Riverside, the only outdoor swimming pool in Belton at that time.
In 1921 adult admission was 30 cents, 8 cents of which went for bathing suit, towel, and dressing room service, and 2 cents for war tax.
Riverside was really two pools separated by a midriff wall of cement, a large main pool and a smaller baby pool. A seven-foot diving board, an island platform for sunning, a water slide, and seven rings on which swimmers could swing their way across the water were especially popular with youngsters.
Local resident W. H. Robinson recalled his family bringing bacon and eggs and cooking supper out by the river bank where picnic tables were located.
In 1936, the following advertisement touted the amenities of the pool: "The large pool is filled with thousands of gallons of pure, fresh Artesian water flowing in and out continuously and changed completely every day. The walls and floor of the pool are thoroughly disinfected with chlorine every other day."
Although the Artesian waters eventually became a thing of the past, the pool was unique in that it was drained every other Sunday night and the sides washed down. The little baby pool was washed every day and water added. The infusion of new water was pumped from Riverside's private 40-foot well and took 16-18 hours to refill the pool with 750,000 gallons of new water with a minimum amount of chlorine.
Oldtimers claim that the change of water set Riverside apart from other outdoor pools, and throughout its history, the water was always clean and refreshing.
The pool suffered through hard times even during its heyday. In the 1950s, floodwaters from the Leon River overflowed into the area. During the 1960s, a trash fire from a neighboring lot spread to the wooden bathhouse and it went up in flames.
The fire jumped into the pool, engulfing the wooden treadmill which in turn knocked down part of the pool wall when it collapsed. The treadmill and water merry-go-round were destroyed.
According to Billy Blair, who frequented the pool in the 1960s and 1970s, a "Putt Putt" golf course was located immediately west of the swimming pool building; it was eventually torn down.
Riverside Pool changed owners several times in its history. An ad in the Austin American-Statesman of March 20, 1925, offered the pool for sale by Dr. L. Knight: "Riverside Swimming Pool near Temple and Belton on street car line and main highway. Modernly equipped in every way. Two flowing Artesian wells, Two cottages, laundry building, 300 bathing suits, 12 acres of ground, fine pecan orchard and quarter-mile river front for camping. Not run down but enjoying good business. Reason for selling: Death of owner and manager. Big money maker for good manager."
It was later owned by Richard and Martha Meyer. Richard was a lifeguard at the pool in the 1940s long before he dreamed of owning the pool.
By 1989, the pool had been closed for more than a year and was being remodeled as Summer Fun USA. The pool was expanded to 200 feet in length with a kiddie pool at one end. Forty-foot towers supported body and tube slides that twisted and turned down to a specially designed pond.
The Lazy River meandered the grounds, carrying swimmers on inner tubes. Lou Manzella purchased the water park in 2004, and invested $30,000 installing new safety features, party rooms, and covered pavilions.
Summer Fun Water Park continues to serve local people who like to have fun close to home.
POSTCARDS FROM THE PAST
A postcard from around 1967 shows Main Street south of Central Avenue. Today, this section of downtown is home to completely different businesses.
WHAT’S HAPPENING, CENTRAL TEXAS?
Central Texas largest and most complete calendar of event:
October 29-31 - “Leading Ladies” at Temple Civic Theatre. Ticket link: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?actions=4&p=1
October 29, Friday - Uncasing of the Colors for the 607-member 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the 3rd Squadron, 36th Infantry Division, now headquartered at the Texas Army National Guard on Airport Road in Temple. Santa Fe Plaza, 10 a.m.
October 29, Friday - Halloween Party and Costume Contest at Corky’s. 8 p.m.
October 29, Friday - Michael Salgado at Schoepf’s in Belton. 6 p.m.
October 29, Friday - 1st Annual "Monster Mash Ballroom Bash" at Arthur Murray Temple. Join us for a few tricks, some yummy treats, and lots of dancing! Costumes are encouraged, and anyone is welcome — no dance experience needed, $15 per person. RSVP (254) 231-3444 7:45 p.m.
October 29, Friday - Calling all boys and ghouls! Don’t forget to stop by the Monster Mash at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. Learn a few new dance moves at the Monster Mash prom. Grab a treat or two and have a spooktacular time. 6-8 p.m.
October 29, Friday - Halloween Party at Firestreet Pizza. High octane rock & roll. 6 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - 24k Comedy Magic Show, Corkys Wine & Beer. 8 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Do you have your Halloween costumes ready? Enter Temple Fire & Rescue’s costume contest during Fire Safety Day this Saturday! Aside from the costume contest we will have fire safety demonstrations, tours, and activities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Central Fire Station.
October 30, Saturday - Spur Classic Pickleball Tournament at Wildflower Country Club. Registration at 7:30 a.m., matches start at 8.
October 30, Saturday - Trunk or Treat at Faith Baptist Church, 1102 S. 51st , Temple. 7 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Lake Belton High School Trunk or Treat. Sponsored by Vista Community Church. 5-7 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Halloween Party at O’Briens Irish Pub featuring Jay White & The Blues Commanders. 9 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - The city of Temple will host Fright Fest from 6-8 p.m. at Santa Fe Plaza (301 W Avenue A). Attendees will be able to trick-or-treat, enter a costume contest and enjoy a fire dance show. This event is free to the public and registration is not required.
October 30, Saturday - Downtown Belton Candy Trail. 4-6 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Halloween Bar Crawl, Mo’s Rail Yard Saloon. 4-11:59 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Barktoberfest, Dog costume contest at 5:30; adoptable dogs on site. Barrow Brewing Co., Salado. 1-7 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Trunk or Treat at Express ER in Temple. 4 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Bulls & BBQ, Live bull riding followed by concert with Jake Worthington and Keith Braxton. Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton, Noon.
October 30, Saturday - Tablerock’s Fright Trail. One-half mile walking trail presents thrill, chills and haunting skits. Salado. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - BooCru at Crusader Stadium. UMHB in Belton. Wear your Halloween costume to the UMHB v. Belhaven game. Trick or Treat at 10 locations inside the stadium during the first half. Halftime parade of costumes on the football field. Noon.
October 30, Saturday - Trunk or Treat. VFW Post 1820, 3302 Airport Road in Temple. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in parking lot.
October 30, Saturday - Trunk or Treat at Keller Williams Advantage. 3 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Trunk or Treat at Fellowship Baptist in Morgan’s Point. 6:30-9 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Drive-Thru Trunk or Treat at Everest Rehabilitation Hospital of Temple. 10 a.m.
October 31, Sunday - Drive-Thru Trunk or Treat at Canyon Creek Baptist Church. 6-8:30 p.m.
October 31, Sunday - Edward Scissorhands, free movie at Cultural Activities Center. In this 1990 film, a scientist builds an animated human being but dies before he can finish the assembly, leaving the young man with a freakish appearance accentuated by the scissor blades he has instead of hands. The event will include a pre and post-movie discussion with Professor Dr. Joseph Taberlet. 2 p.m.
October 31, Sunday - Fall Festival at The Vine Church on 31st Street. Rain or shine. 6-8 p.m.
October 31, Sunday - Taylor’s Valley Harvest Party. Food, family fun, candy, costume contest, hay ride. Taylor’s Valley Baptist Church. 5 p.m.
November 2, Tuesday - Dia de los Muertos Celebration, Wilson Park Recreation Center. Celebrate Hispanic and Mexican culture and heritage on this one-day festival for Day of the Dead. 6 p.m.
November 4, Thursday - Spur Classic Sporting Clay Shoot, Weber Shooting Range. 8 a.m.
November 4, Thursday - Live comedy with Cody Woods at Corkys. 7 p.m.
November 4, Thursday - Brown Bag Bingo, Sammons Community Center Bring a brown bag with a small, non-food Bingo prize inside. 5 p.m.
November 5, Friday - First Friday Block Party: Veterans Day. Fun, food, music and shopping downtown Temple. 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
November 5-6 - Ribs & Rods car show and bbq cookout, Bend of the River.
November 6, Saturday - Chris Hillman, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
November 6, Saturday - Holiday Craft Bazaar at Gober Party House. Handmade and original items. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
November 7, Sunday - Temple Symphony Piano Trio featuring Suzanne Jacobson on violin, Cory Blaise on cello and Kiyoshi Tamagawa on piano. Cultural Activities Center. 3 p.m.
November 7, Sunday - Downtown Drag! A drag show at Corkys Wine & Beer. 7 p.m.
November 11, Thursday - Veterans Day Celebration and Patriot Way Brick Walk sign dedication. 8:30 a.m.
November 11, Friday - The College of Visual & Performing Arts presents One Voice in concert. Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center, Baugh Performance Hall. 7:30 p.m.
November 11-14 - "Our Town," a Pulitzer Prize winning play by Thornton Wilder, Temple High School, Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. More information at: http://www.ThespiansR.Us
November 11-14 - The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Beltonian Theatre, 6 p.m.
November 13, Saturday - Market in the Vines. Take a walk through the vines and shop with over 50 vendors! Free to the public. 3 Texans Winery. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November 13, Saturday - Downtown Temple November Market. his will be our second to last market of the year and just in time to start your holiday shopping for all your friends and family. From soaps to jewelry, baked goods & jams, even custom wood working items, our market has something for everyone. 2 N. Main, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
November 13, Saturday - A Night in Vegas…St. Mary’s Catholic School Casino Night. Live auction, silent auction, games, drawings. Benefits the school’s educational programs. Cultural Activities Center. 6 p.m.
November 14, Sunday - St. Mary’s Traditional Turkey Dinner, KC Hall at 2218 W. Ave D, limited seating or to go plates, $12 plate includes Turkey, dressing, roll, gravy, coleslaw, green beans, cranberry sauce and dessert. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
November 19 through January 15 - Facing the Inferno wildfire photo exhibit opens at Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum.
November 20, Saturday - Casey Donahew at Bell County Expo Center’s Assembly Hall.
November 20, Saturday - Belton Market Days. Downtown Belton. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
November 20, Saturday - The Gathering. Native American music, dancing, food. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for picnicking and fun. Yetti Polk Park in Belton. 11 a.m.
November 25, Thursday - Thanksgiving Outdoor Movie Night at Barrow Brewing in Salado. “A Christmas Story.” 6 p.m.
November 27-28 - Kris Kringle Mart presented by KC Council 3444, 2218 W. Avenue D, Temple. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 3-5 — Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at Temple Civic Theatre.
December 4, Saturday - Barrow Brewing Christmas Market, Salado. Noon.
December 4, Saturday - Santa at the Depot, Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum, 5-8 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Temple Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert featuring soprano Priscilla Santana and tenor Brian Joyce. Temple High School. 7:30 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Chisholm Trail Christmas Ball featuring Rick Trevino. Bell County Expo Center. 6 p.m.
December 4-5 - Kris Kringle Mart presented by KC Council 3444, 2218 W. Avenue D, Temple. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 6, Monday - The 75th Annual Christmas Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. This year's theme is “The Magic of a Traditional Christmas." Details will be made available on templeparks.com.
December 10-12 — Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at Temple Civic Theatre.
December 11, Saturday — Downtown Temple Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy. We are excited to partner our market with a Food Truck Event! Come join us and support local businesses in our area! 2 N. Main Street. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - 5th annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Troy Community Center. Shop with local small businesses. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Tucka Texas Takeover with LJ Echols, Fat Daddy and Mr. Smoke. VFW Post 1820, Temple. 7 p.m.
December 23, Thursday - Santa & Elvis at Fire Street Pizza. 6-9 p.m.
December 31 - January 1 - Texas Elite Pole Vaulting. The Expo Explosion, the second largest indoor pole vaulting event in the country. Bell County Expo Center’s Garth Arena.
LIST YOUR EVENT! Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.