By Ms. Joyce Costello (IMCOM)June 14, 2012
06/14/2012 CAMP DARBY, Italy- When Camp Darby community members gathered to celebrate the Army's 237th Birthday at the American Beach in Tirrenia, the toasts were heartfelt, the dinner delicious in typical Tuscan style, and the guest speaker, Camp Darby's Non-commissioned officer of the year Sgt. Jacob Nickels, 511th Military Police Platoon, was inspiring, but the cake "took cake" so to speak.
The three tiered cake on the outside was composed of a fondant decorated American flag layer, camouflage layer and the Army logo. However, when the cake was cut and the first layer inside revealed, the attendees were wowed.
"What patriotism," said Staff Sgt. Alisa Cogman, 839th Transportation Battalion upon seeing the flag inside. After tasting it, she exclaimed "what decadence!"
"It was moist and just right with a nice sweetness to it," added Spc. John Miller, Camp Darby Chaplains Assistant.
"I've had her cakes before and she is very talented- I thought it took a lot of talent and skill to do something like that," Spc. Darrin Malleis, US Army Health Clinic Livorno.
The cake was designed and made over two days by Katie Eckstein, the wife of Spc.Chris Eckstein, USAHC-Livorno. Katie said she had just started backing and designing cakes for less than a year.
"In December 2011, my husband saw a dinosaur cake that he wanted for his birthday so I learn how to do it and since then I joined online cake forums and watch youtube videos for ideas and techniques."
The previous USAG Livorno Command Sgt. Maj. Felix Rodriguez, saw a cake she had made for a going away party at the health clinic and insisted she make the Army birthday cake.
"I wanted to do something that blended Army and American saw a round captain American cake on pinterest that had the flag inside the cake; I was going to do it for fourth of July, but my husband urged me to do it for the Army birthday," said Katie. "In the past there have just been sheet cakes, but this was something special; it was very time consuming and took a lot of patience, but I have a really good time doing it."
"Katie is the most creative person I know, she makes more than just cakes and is all around amazing," exclaimed proud husband Chris. "On my first deployment, she made me a card every single day- I am lucky, she has a lot of patience and she has a lot of patience as an army wife as well."
Katie said her goal when they return to the States, is to to work at a bakery to learn the ins and outs and one day own her own bakery.