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Entries in breaking cake news (321)


Carnival Knowledge: Sweet Foods invented at Fair

Treats at South Beach!

I'd like to make an important announcement. Me and my friend Rachel of Coconut & Lime have started a podcast. OMG! We are still taking it slow, but it's pretty exciting.

Our first topic was Fair Food. We think about nerdy food stuff a lot, and it was an appropriate subject to totally geek out about, I thought.

You can listen to the podcast here.

But I'd also like to share some interesting factoids I learned while doing internet research for the show. It mainly involves foods invented at state or other fairs. A lot of iconic sweets are included, and I thought you might be interested in hearing about some of the famous sweets that are said to have been invented at fairs. 

Cotton Candy: Apparently, this concoction which amounts to spun sugar and food coloring was originally fair fare. Some brilliant fellows named William Morrison and John C. Wharton are said to have introduced it to the world at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. It was called "fairy floss". 


Cracker Jacks: A snacking intersection of sweet, salty, and sticky, this stuff was not debuted at the ballpark, but instead at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. The combination of popcorn, molasses, and peanuts was originally called "Candied Popcorn and Peanuts"--thankfully, they made the name a bit snappier before starting mass production.

Dr. Pepper: This soda, which is older than Coke or Pepsi, was debuted at the 1885 St. Louis World's fair. 

Ice Cream Cones: Neither ice cream nor waffles were invented at a fair, but they were both served at fairs, and the most famous documentation of them coming magically together occurred at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, when an ice cream vendor named Arnold Fornachou ran out of serving containers and formed a quick partnership with nearby vendor Ernest Hamwi, who rolled his zalabia (a waffle-like pastry) into a cornet shape, and the ice cream cone was born. 


Happy Trails: Meet The ReTrailer


I'd like to introduce you to The ReTrailer, the cutest little tea and spice store this side of the Mississippi.  It's a mobile retail operation run by someone I am proud to call a friend, Lisa Govro. 

As you can see, Lisa is just as cute as me. Here we are together. Hottt, right?

We became friends during the time in which we both lived in Seattle. Now, Lisa lives in St. Louis, MO; while I miss her, I am so happy for her and her new business. 

Here's the 411 behind this adorable store on wheels, according to Lisa:

All tea and spice products are inspired by Ayurevda (a really old lifestyle largely considered the sister science to yoga) and developed with optimal digestion and balance in mind.  If I only had 3 words to describe our teas and spices they would be: organic, sustainable, and love.  Our signature items are:


Farm Fresh Turmeric Tea – fresh, organic turmeric sourced direct form Hana Holistic Farms in Hawaii, grated and brewed with ginger, black pepper, tulsi and sweetened with local honey.

Ball of Energy – raw cacao, tulsi, sesame and almond smashed together with local honey.  Makes for the yummiest mint chocolate treat your inner hippy could ever imagine. 

Hibiscus tea

Drop it Like It’s Hot Hibiscus Tea – hibiscus, yerba mate and orange peel.  So named for Hibiscus’ known effects in helping control body temperature – particularly in hot weather.



I also asked Lisa an important question: if a magical unicorn appeared and was going to grant you one wish for your business, what would it be? She said:

I am such a daydreamer that while I was dreaming up this business idea it never occurred to me that I would have to tow the damn thing until the moment I got er’ hitched up.  I had to drive all the way from Kansas City to St. Louis with the poor girl.  I went 40 mph the entire time – it took me 6 hours! (it is typically a 3 hour drive).  If a magical unicorn could grant the ReTrailer one wish it would be that the trailer could hitch and tow itself.  That shit is unbelievably stressful.

p.s. On opening day I wore my unicorn belt- so this question seems appropriate for a few reasons.


To keep up with the ReTrailer, visit their website; also keep updated via their facebook site!



So not cool.

Hi, sweeties. CakeSpy-Jessie here. And boy, oh, boy, do I have some big changes to tell you about!

Some of them might sound serious but dudes, dudettes, chill out. Everything is gonna be ok. Actually, it already is.

First order of business: my location. I'm in Philadelphia now! After 8 years in Seattle, I had an exciting opportunity to move back to the East Coast (I'm originally from New Jersey, did you know that?). I was doubly excited because it is wonderful to be closer to my family again (they're still in NJ). For the first time in 8 years, I am having a proper summer (like, where I can wear short sleeve shirts). It's pretty cool. Will I stay here? Time will tell, sweet friends. But living right near the Reading Terminal Market, one thing is for sure: I am having a very delicious time in PA.

Custom order - CakeSpy Shop!

Second: the store! You may be asking "um, what about your gallery in Seattle?". Well, in my absence, the store has been wonderfully and ably run by my business partners Natalie and Danny. However, after a few months, the whole process has proven pretty arduous -- and paired with the fact that I am now focusing more on writing cookbooks, it was actually getting pretty confusing. Many people would come to the gallery expecting cakes and a wonderful bakery, and they'd find art. Not that it's ever bad to find art, but gosh, was it confusing! So we've decided to let go of this part of the business. So, that means, if you've been meaning to visit the adorable store, DO IT NOW.  Because it is not going to be there for too much longer. Our ultimate hope is to sell the consignment gallery business -- everything but the name! So if you are in Seattle or even know someone in Seattle who might be interested in getting into the retail business, please, let them know about this opportunity. If we do not find a buyer, we will lease the space out, but we'd so love to see the awesome art tradition carry on in this magical retail space. Please, read about it here, and spread the word!!

Third: a big development for CakeSpy artwork sales. As you may know, I have a big, sparkly heart. I like to help people. And a cause very close to my heart is Eating Disorders. Once again, you must be thinking "Jesus Christ! Is this the same CakeSpy who posted a recipe including 7+ sticks of butter, for behemoth crumb cake?" Well, yes. During my youth and young adulthood, I suffered from an eating disorder. Which one? Part anorexia, part bulimia, part something else, I guess (eating disorders, like snowflakes = all unique?). It still haunts me from time to time, but honestly, CakeSpy has been my lifesaver - my permission to create, love and indulge in sweets of all sorts and sizes. Because one powerful lesson that I have learned is that when you give yourself permission to enjoy whatever food you'd like (and I am talking about sweets in particular here), there might be a fear period, but ultimately, you don't have to under-or-overdo it. And yes, going back to aforementioned 7+ stick of butter Behemoth crumb cake, I ate the whole damn thing. Just not all in one sitting. :-) 

But I digress. What I am trying to say here is that from now on, a percentage of proceeds from ALL CakeSpy online sales will be donated to eating disorder awareness and recovery programs, to NEDA (the National Eating Disorder Awareness Association). I am *so* excited to be contributing to such a wonderful cause. What does this mean for you? Not much, other than that if you buy something from the CakeSpy online shop, part of the sale will be donated to a tremendously wonderful cause.

And that's sweet news you can feel good about, sweetness. 


Cake Byte: Kingfish Cafe Pastry Chef Expands Custom Cake Offerings

Red Velvet Cake from Kingfish Cafe, Seattle\

As a minor internet celebrity cake website writer, I get press releases about food from people who want me to write about the food they make, or the foods that their clients make.

I'll tell you the truth, most of these press releases are boring and I delete them.

But occasionally, one will capture my interest. This one caught my eye right away because it had some keywords I quite liked: Kingfish Cafe, cake, and...well, I was already drawn into the thing. As it turns out, Violette Tucker, the current pastry chef at Kingfish, home of the small baby-sized slices of glorious Red Velvet and Hummingbird cakes I love, is branching out with more specialty cakes. That's great news! Here's the 411 (the press release). Good stuff.

Red Velvet Cake from Kingfish Cafe, Seattle

 It’s a well-known fact that one of the not-to-be-missed signature dishes at the southern inspired Kingfish Café has always been the multilayered, moist, deliciously iced slices of cake that often sell out before the evening ends.   A little known secret is that a sumptuous line of made-to-order celebration cakes is available for order from the Capitol Hill dining icon.   Pastry Chef Violette Tucker, whose desserts have titillated the taste buds of many a guest, has created an extraordinary line of custom-made cakes to mark any celebration.  Perfect for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays or at-home dinner parties, these fabulous confections are no light weights.  Depending on the flavor, a cake, which yields about 16 very tall, extremely generous restaurant servings, can range from 20 pounds for lemon to 35 pounds for German Chocolate.  Customers consult with Violette to design the dream cake of their choice using their favorite flavors and go through a tasting.  Arrangements are then made for pick-up or delivery to the party venue.

As an apprentice at a Chicago bakery, Violette started working the counter and when an opportunity opened in the kitchen, she took it and never looked back.  She loves creating “big homespun American cakes and wedding cakes, just like mom and grandma served”.  While the hands-down favorite at The Kingfish is the Red Velvet cake, she is hard put to think of a combination that she hasn’t created for someone’s special occasion. 

Tucker looks at her job at The Kingfish, where she has worked for 7 ½ years, as pretty luxurious for a pastry chef.  She works four days a week, arrives around 7:30 to 8:00 am and leaves by mid-afternoon.  In addition to her mile-high cakes, she creates an ever changing seasonal dessert menu.  During the summer, guests flock to the restaurant for her incredible strawberry shortcake – a huge portion overflowing with fresh berries and whipped cream, which can easily feed two or more.  

When not baking, Violette is dancing.  A professional, she performs modern dance and dance improvisation.  She is also working on an upcoming website which will focus on gluten free desserts to be called tuckerstreats.com

There's Cake in there, I promise!

To inquire about ordering a special occasion cake from The Kingfish Café (602-19th Avenue East in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood) call (206) 320-8757.


Cake Byte: Trophy Cupcakes Embraces Bacon

You heard it here first, sweeties. Trophy Cupcakes is embracing bacon in baked goods! As reported from the owner's Facebook feed,

I was against jumping on the bacon bandwagon...but then Bacon Brittle came into my life. Chocolate Bourbon Bacon Brittle starts monday...and for those who just can't get enough of the brittle (damn, it's good!), we will be selling that on the side! YUM!

So, starting in just a few days, look out for this sweet treat in Trophy Cupcakes boutiques.

Find them online at trophycupcakes.com.


Wedding Dessert Trend Alert from Dianne's Delights

Dianne's Delights

The best way to find out what's trending in the world of wedding desserts? Ask someone who makes them. Dianne's Delights is a custom dessert-maker in Washington, and recently I hit them up to ask about some of the most requested items at celebrations. The most interesting ones, in my opinion? Wine-infused cake balls and dessert bars. Here, the sweet folks at Dianne's Delights were kind enough to share more information and thoughts on the trends: 

The ultimate wine lover’s dessert: Wine-infused cake balls! What’s better than wine and dessert? How about putting them together in a unique and delicious way. Recently wineries have been featuring these delectable infused desserts as part of their latest wine events. It is a way for wineries to create a unique experience for their customers. These wineries have been singing the praises of Dianne’s Delights who created this concept at last year’s Taste Washington event.  Dianne takes the wine and infuses it with her cake balls making a wonderful bite sized treat that balances the flavors perfectly. This idea is catching on quick and more and more wineries are asking for Dianne’s Delights to make them their very own dessert from their collection. 

Dessert Bars Gaining in Popularity! Move over, five-tier cake….there is a new trend brewing and it is catching on quickly: dessert bars. What are they? Well imagine a table filled with different dessert options that are sure to please everyone. As weddings evolve and people continue to look for creative ideas they are more and more looking to flip the old wedding stereotypes on their heads.

 Having two flavors of dry cake that only a percentage of your guests will actually enjoy is one of those old traditions we are glad to see going bye-bye. Instead, more and more brides are opting for a small topper cake (for the cutting ceremony) and a full dessert bar. This approach guarantees that more guests will enjoy dessert and is a fun and creative way to solve the dreaded wedding cake reality. 

Find out more and feast your eyes on photos of of dessert bars and wine-infused cake balls at www.diannesdelights.net.


CakeSpy Featured in Taste of Home Magazine!

Taste of Home

Hey, sweeties. You'd better be buying the June issue of Taste of Home Magazine. Of course, the recipe is full of wonderful recipes and entertaining ideas.

But...even more so because I'm featured in it!

That's right: They asked a bunch of bloggers "Who is the American icon you would most like to invite to dinner and which dish would you serve?"

My response, clearly, they found clever and amusing enough to feature: "Dustan Hoffman, Graduate-era. To feed his cute face, I'd raid Mrs. Robinson's pantry for ingredients to make sultry red velvet cupcakes with (Philly) cream cheese frosting!"

See my response and the other bloggers' responses (including my pal Joy the Baker!) here; for a better view, buy the magazine!

Page from Taste of Home


Sweet Art: CakeSpy and Rampage Toys Show at CakeSpy Shop

Unicorn with Shooting Star

Are you ready for some totally sweet and awesome art, friends?

Punk Horse

Well, get ready. Because CakeSpy and Rampage Toys are collaborating again, with the best art show ever at CakeSpy Shop! Here's the shop release on it:


Last year, we hosted a show featuring paintings and toys from Seattle based character designer Jon Malmstedt - RAMPAGE TOYS! Jon is known for his cupcake monsters running through towns destroying all that they find, flying to space, and traveling undersea. You may have heard, but our founder, Ms. CakeSpy, is pretty well-known for her OWN cupcake-themed artwork, so obviously, a collaboration was bound to happen! Come and see all of their AWESOME collaborative works for yourself Thursday, May 10th from 5-8pm--you can expect tattooed unicorns, dinosaurs chasing treats, and more!

Meh Like, Woah Cupcake Plants

Here are the details:

Opening reception: Thursday, May 10th, 5-8 p.m. Facebook event page here.

Location: CakeSpy Shop, 415 East Pine Street, Seattle WA 98122

Don't panic if you can't make the opening; the art will be up all month, and very soon the art and prints will be available at CakeSpyShop.com. 



Cake Byte: Crumble and Flake Now Open in Seattle

Now, it's always cause for celebration when a new bakery opens.

But when that bakery is opened by famed pastry chef Neil Robertson, it's cause for bells, whistles, and a unicorn parade.

This talented and adorable fellow, who has honed his pastry skills at the likes of fancy restaurants such Canlis and Mistral Kitchen, is now operating his own retail space, called (love it) Crumble & Flake

While not all of us might be able to afford the likes of the fancy restaurants which featured his desserts previously, Crumble & Flake offers an affordable taste of this pastry chef's fine work, including croissants, cream puffs, and macarons.

As a TastingTable article puts it,

It’s hard to imagine what territory might be left for Neil Robertson to cover. But after having led the pastry departments of some of Seattle’s best restaurants, he’s renewed his career once again with his first solo venture, a bakery called Crumble & Flake that will open in April. The focus here is classic French pastry, executed with precision and a bit of whimsy. Expect cream puffs filled to order with pastry creams in flavors such as chocolate, goat's milk and bourbon, as well as that current darling of the pastry menu, kouign-amann.

A word for the wise? Do not miss the basics, such as croissants and kouign-amann (which, roughly translated, means "fulla butter and love"). 

Visit Crumble & Flake at 1500 Olive E; online here. 


Cake Byte: CakeSpy Shop Re-Opens!

Here's a sweet dispatch from CakeSpy Shop in Seattle!

Alright, friends! After a short stint of closure due to flood damage...We are OFFICIALLY re-opened for business!! The shop is looking awesome, and we are even introducing a few new items!! Check these out:

Magnets with Ryan Berkley art!

Hamster Pillows!BFF necklaces!

Anyway, don't take our word for it--come in and check it out for yourself!
Also, we will be celebrating all of this awesomeness at our 2nd Thursday Art Walk this month, and you can RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/events/326964947352233/. The store is located at 415 East Pine Street, Seattle WA 98122.



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