Better than butterbeer


Children and other patients at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center will have something to smile about when they see the giant gingerbread Hogwarts castle on display in the dining hall.

Socorro Meredith has outdone herself again. Meredith, a baker supervisor at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and owner of Gourmet Cakes by Socorro, started out as an on-call caterer 10 years ago. She taught herself to be a baker and worked her way up. Part of her job at the medical center, she said, is to give to the patients.

About five years ago, Meredith began working on bigger confectionery projects.This year she made a Hogwarts castle. Meredith began working on the castle about two weeks ago and has spent many hours on it.

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Socorro Meredith created this Hogwarts Castle cake in celebration for Halloween. Meredith is a supervisor in the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center cafeteria.

Janet Frank, media manager for the Urban South Region, said in an email it took more that 150 hours to make.

“It’s time consuming but I really enjoy it,” Meredith said. She said the looks on the children’s faces make the work pay off.

Meredith said she thought it was a good idea for something to share with the patients and their families.

“Hospitals aren’t a nice place for people to be most of the time. This is something that can help them to feel better.”

Except for some  structural support, the castle is mostly edible. Meredith used chocolate cake, Rice Krispies Treats, fondant and buttercream frosting to make the scene from Harry Potter.

Meredith’s creations are impressive enough to go on a television show, but Meredith said she likes doing it for children in hospitals. The hardest parts, like sculpting and air brushing, don’t matter when she thinks about other people enjoying her work.

“My favorite part is thinking about the kids’ reactions when I’m working,” Meredith said.

Employees, patients and visitors have been admiring the castle, which brings a lot of charm to the dining hall. They’ll get to see another masterpiece around Christmas time. Meredith used to do two projects a year, but in an effort to save and recycle, she plans to turn the current castle into a Christmas Hogwarts.

Mike Austin, the retail food service manager at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, raved about Meredith’s talent.

“What you see there is ‘her thing,'” Austin said. “When I want something, she’ll take it and she’ll run with it.”

Austin said Meredith is very skilled and creative.

“Her first [project] was beautiful but every year since then, she kicks it up a notch,” Austin said.

Visit to see some of Meredith’s other cakes including a BYU cake.

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