Lufkin native creates sweet innovation - an edible icing pattern


Cake decorating, rightfully so, is a culinary art. With the help of a Lufkin native, the pastry chef in all of us can be as sweet as the icing on the cake.

April Didrikson is a woman entrepreneur making a name for herself with an invention she calls, "ice by number."

"Thank you for coming today to the Museum of East Texas. This is the world's first edible pattern for decorating," greeted April to museum visitors. She had a display there for family day.

A YouTube video shows how April can ice a cake with a jolly Santa quickly. "It takes me about 10 minutes," said April. The pastry chef says a novice using 'Ice By Number' can achieve similar results in about an hour.

" The template just melts into your icing and then the little dark outline sections have the color number and the tip number for your icing," said April to bystanders gathered around her display table.

The former bakery owner and cake decorating college instructor knows icing a design cake can be frustrating for beginners. In search for an easier way, April took off her chef's hat and put on her thinking cap.

"Absolutely, it just popped into my mind," said April about her 'ah-ha moment'.

The inspiration behind April's great idea was the paint by number kits she played with as a child.

" (They) bring something that might seem overwhelming to a new user and make it simple and give them the opportunity to do something that they may not have tried," shared April.

" I think her idea is fantastic. It's brilliant. I think it's amazing," said customer Janelle McCall.

The Lufkin High School and SFA hospitality business alum is pitching her product before licensing agents. She wants to provide edible templets of the famous characters kids love. April earned a great reference this summer at a licensing convention in Las Vegas.

" We were awarded the finalist for the one to watch product by License Global Magazine, so that was really great."

National chains are interested. Brookshire Brothers will sell Ice By Number next year. Meanwhile, Ice By Number can be found online.

The edible templates cost around $7-$9. Entire kits are about $15. April encourages other entrepreneurs to take a leap of faith.