Courtney Rich is the creative mind and host of the website and blog Cake by Courtney. A self-taught baker, Courtney decided years ago to throw out the boxed cake mixes for good to instead pursue cakes from scratch that melt-in-your-mouth.
Her first attempt at baking was at the age of 26 for her son’s first birthday. She wanted to impress her in-laws, whom she considers as really good cooks. So she created a cake that looked like “a big brown mound with sprinkles and a candle“ but tasted amazing. So she never went back to cake mixes and over the course of nine years of trial and error, Courtney taught herself the proper way to make cakes from scratch and loves sharing what she has mastered.
“For nearly six years I just baked because I loved it.” In discovering her love and talent for baking cakes, Courtney felt she had found a refuge and a connection to God that had been missing for several years. “I felt like I had found my happy place again. I had found peace,” Courtney said.
When Courtney was 19, she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. “At times I couldn’t get out of bed and cried to Heavenly Father, “What’s wrong with me? What happened?” I had always been a positive, happy kid. This somewhat sudden change in persona shocked me and scared me. For years I struggled to understand myself and longed to feel Heavenly Father’s presence. Deep down I knew He was there – I just couldn’t find Him. Instead, I felt very alone. No matter how many people were around me, I felt alone because I couldn’t feel my Savior.”
“I eventually decided to share this talent with others because I knew it was a gift from our Heavenly Father. He didn’t come right out and tell me that – quite the contrary. I had to find it. And as I worked to develop it and seek Heavenly Father’s guidance in my life along the way, I was better able to see how His hand played a role in piecing together my life to bring me exactly where I am today.”
In addition to a successful blog that includes recipes and tutorials and a Cake Club, she also teaches classes in Salt Lake City at Orson Gygi Culinary Arts Center. She has taught her craft on both the Today Show and in O, The Oprah Magazine.
- "My favorite moment is when a student steps back from their cake when the class is over and smiles with pride (and a little surprise) – I did that! Every time it takes me back to that same moment I had with my very first cake and reminds me why I love doing what I’m doing. It’s empowering to empower others!”
She openly shares her belief in God on her website, speaks with youth about her journey, and starts discussions on social media.
- “I’ve also had the privilege of talking to some of my readers about my faith via social media. I truly believe Heavenly Father wants us to use these amazing media platforms for good. I don’t overload my account with Gospel-related messages or scripture, but there are times I have strong impressions to share uplifting life lessons or positive messages from leaders of the Church as it relates to circumstances in my life. It’s been really neat to see how those messages strike a chord with others. Often times I’ll get private messages asking about my faith because of these posts. I love being able to tell people what I believe in. And each time I’m given that opportunity, I’m reminded that my talents are truly a gift from our Heavenly Father and I’m not only meant to share my talents with others, but also the light of Christ.”
Courtney graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in broadcast journalism. After college she worked in media consulting as a focus group moderator for thirteen years. She also married and started a family.