Icing on the Cake: MATC Culinary Arts Graduate Demonstrates Her Baking and Decorating Skills

Mark Feldmann, feldmam1@matc.edu

September 29, 2023

Gloria De Angelo

You have to love what you do. Then it never feels like a job. It feels like something that you can do forever.

Gloria De Angelo MATC Culinary Arts program graduate

No matter how many eggs she cracks, how many tons of batter she stirs and how many gallons of frosting she whips up, Gloria De Angelo always gets a kick out of baking cakes.

“When I am making something, no matter what it is, I always feel like I’m making it for the very first time,” said De Angelo, who graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College’s Culinary Arts program in 1992. “You have to love what you do. Then it never feels like a job. It feels like something that you can do forever.”

So far, De Angelo’s been baking cakes, cookies, pies and pastries for more than three decades. She has owned and operated her own cake shop two separate times, sold her sweet creations to area stores and restaurants, taught baking at MATC, and now works for Sendik’s Food Market.

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, De Angelo, who grew up in Mexico, came to MATC’s Downtown Milwaukee Campus on Wednesday, September 27, and demonstrated her cake making and decorating skills to students in the college’s Baking and Pastry Arts.

While making, frosting and decorating a cake for the students at the college’s 6th Street Cafe, De Angelo shared her journey of being born in Milwaukee, raised in Mexico and returning to the Midwest in 1987. She took English as a Second Language classes at MATC, then enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. 

De Angelo planned to open her own restaurant, like the seafood eatery her parents operated while she was growing up in Mexico. But longtime MATC cake decorating instructor Cheryl Miranda introduced her to baking cakes and taught her how to make exquisite flowers with frosting. 

“She was my mentor,” De Angelo said of Miranda. “She taught me and inspired me. MATC gives you the keys. And with these keys, you can open just about any door you want to go through.”

After graduating, she made and sold her desserts to local establishments, including Pete’s Fruit Market, El Campesino Grocery in El Rey Plaza and Maxim’s Family Restaurant in Brookfield. 

She opened her own cake shop on Fifth Street and Lincoln Avenue in 1997, but closed it two years later. She went back to selling her sweet creations  and served as a part-time instructor at MATC until 2014, when she opened another cake store on National Avenue. That one closed in 2018.

Today, she works part time for the Sendik’s Food Market chain, making and decorating wedding cakes, birthday cakes, special occasion desserts, pies, tortes and cookies that are sold in nearly 20 Sendik’s stores.

De Angelo said her husband wants her to slow down, but it seems that cake batter is in her blood. 

“I will always be making something. I have my mixer, I have my cabinets and I have my trays,” De Angelo said. “I try to stay on top of new technology. I’m learning every day from co-workers, from students, from things I watch and see on YouTube and the internet. I will always want to do this.”

Learn about MATC’s Baking and Pastry Arts program

About MATC: Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. More than 28,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 180 academic programs — many that prepare students for jobs immediately upon completion and others that provide transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 40 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.