DES MOINES, Iowa — One look at Alisa Woods’ work as owner of Sift N Sprinkle and you realize the beauty in baking.

“For me to be remembered as the person who did your wedding cake or big event cake is really special to me,” said Woods.

Birthday cake for Sir Elton John (Courtesy: Alisa Woods)

Earlier this month Alisa was on the receiving end of that joy when the Iowa Events Center called for her interest in a birthday cake for Sir Elton John. “They said, hey Elton John’s birthday is Friday and he’s coming here Saturday. Am I available? I would cancel my wedding for this. I said absolutely,” said Woods as she recalled the phone conversation.

Having three weeks’ notice and already a fan of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Alisa quickly began research. She said, “I stumbled on that he doesn’t drink so I had planned to do a bourbon cherry filling so I dropped the bourbon and went with a roasted cherry filling.”

Next, an eye-popping cake came together. “At the bottom, it starts with the yellow brick road because it was his Yellow Brick Road Farewell Tour. It says “Amazing 75,” which is because it was his 75th birthday and that was the Iowa Events Center request that it says Amazing 75. A rainbow out of fondant that comes out of the bottom and goes down in some clouds. It is draped in multi-colored macarons. The top has piano keys made out of fondant and there’s gold, there’s feathers, there’s sparkles,” Woods said.

Woods says in all it took her ten hours to create the cake which was delivered Saturday. It was fit for the “Rocket Man” himself who didn’t directly express his thoughts but Alisa received feedback. “I think the quote was ‘Insiders say it was a hit.’ I don’t know if it was a hit with the insiders or a hit with Elton John but I’ll take it,” said Woods.

Alisa’s talents don’t fall far off the family tree. Customers grab the baked goods from the basket and place the money on the table or Venmo her. All similar to what her great grandmother did decades ago as an in-home baker in Story County. “When I got laid off from the Iowa Events Center two years ago I started stress baking so I was just making these things to get my mind off that,” Woods said.

The impact of the cake is boosting business. She said, “I made the absolute best I could do for Elton John but I also want to give that energy to anyone who orders from me.”

Baking for a legend may be daunting but it may have been practice for her biggest critic. “My son’s birthday is coming up in two weeks. I’m gonna have to figure out how to top Elton John’s cake and make my son’s second birthday cake even better,” Woods said.