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Recipe for success: Woman saved her home by baking

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 7:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 12:17 p.m. CST

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HACKENSACK, N.J. — The story of Angela Logan, who saved her Teaneck, N.J., home from foreclosure by baking apple cakes, had “made-for-television” written all over it.

Television apparently agreed.

A movie about the mother of three will air April 27 on the UPnetwork, with Kimberly Elise (“Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) portraying Logan. It is titled “Apple Mortgage Cake,” a deviation from Logan’s Mortgage Apple Cake.

“You feel like it should be a movie … and then it’s a movie,” said Logan, an actress who is now a full-time teacher with a cake business on the side. “It’s unbelievable. Kind of like a dream.”

In summer 2009, Logan was one of many Americans in crisis. The agency that represented her went under, hurting her livelihood. A botched home renovation put her in a financial hole. She had to scrape up the first of three $2,559 payments due her lender under a program President Obama created to help distressed homeowners, but didn’t have the money.

She did, however, have a family recipe for a lavishly frosted apple cake. At wit’s end, she threw a bake sale and passed word among friends and neighbors. Her goal was to sell 100 cakes at $40 each.

The Record’s story about the bake sale sparked a frenzy that resulted in thousands of cake orders — most from well beyond Teaneck — and Logan appearing on national news and talk shows.

“It was just so incredibly charming and sweet that someone could use cake to get out of a financial situation. That’s what I love about the story — it’s so relatable,” said Barbara Fisher, senior vice president, original programming, of the UP network, formerly called GMC TV.

“Angela didn’t have an MBA; she didn’t deal with the stock market. She just pulled herself up by her bootstraps and did whatever it took. She baked a cake.”

The project was pitched to UP by a production company executive who met Logan and her fiancé, Melvin George, earlier in 2009.

“I got an email from them asking if I was interested in buying a cake because they were trying to save their house,” said Stephen Marks, a partner in Evolution Entertainment. “I thought it was a joke.”

The movie was shot in December in Toronto — production was moved from Vancouver because Toronto was deemed a better stand-in for Teaneck — and focuses on the hectic days leading up to Logan making her mortgage payment. Fisher said it is a story “of a woman who had been independent and on her own, learning to depend on the kindness of others.”

Some creative license was taken. For instance, Logan is portrayed as being in her 40s; she was actually 55 at the time. And the cake is called Apple Mortgage instead of Mortgage Apple. Fisher said “apple” is a friendlier, more hopeful word than “mortgage,” and added: “‘Apple Mortgage’ rolled off our tongues better.”

Logan has a small role in the movie. She plays an acquaintance — a supervisor with a charity.

“I had maybe three or four scenes,” she said.

Nowadays, Logan teaches physical education at a Newark, N.J., charter school and is building a baking business around the original Mortgage Apple Cake and four other varieties, as well as cupcakes. She rents commercial kitchen space in Hawthorne, N.J., and sells her products online and at outdoor and indoor farmers’ markets in North Jersey and New York. She bakes mostly in the wee hours and on weekends.

Last weekend, she promoted “Apple Mortgage Cake” at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. She brought along 240 Mortgage Apple cupcakes, which vanished immediately.

Although no longer in financial crisis, Logan observed “you never stop having that fear” the bank will take away the house.

“Our mortgage is paid every month — but it’s always something you worry about,” said the woman who used a mess of Gala and Red Delicious apples to keep foreclosure at bay.

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