Welcome to JennyCakes Bakery, a tiny bakery with a BIG heart! We opened in April 2012 with the hope of creating a cheerful place where people could buy baked goods that look and taste like food baked in a cozy kitchen at someone’s home. We love it that we know the names and favorite orders of many of our customers. We love being nestled into such a bustling community and finding ways to support the many local schools and charities. And we love it when our customers exclaim “these are just like my grandma used to bake!”

Stop by sometime and see what’s baking!

Jenny

As Doug and I were driving to the wedding of former JennyCakes employee Janine Joly, we started talking about all the great employees JennyCakes has had since it opened nearly 5 years ago. Doug thought we should have a section on the website that includes info on current staff as well as updates on where previous staff are now. I think this is a GREAT idea!

So below is part one of Meet the JennyCakes Staff (parts two and three to follow in the next two blog posts), but first I have to tell you about some new fun stuff at the bakery.

First, we’ve started making tiramisu!  It’s so much easier than I thought and I love the process of perfecting it so that the coffee, custard, whipped cream, alcohol and soaked lady fingers come together in such a way that I’m hoping you’ll have to say “oh my”!  We’ll be selling tiramisu in double helpings so think about it for Valentine’s Day!

Second, we’ve started making granola!  We’ll have two kinds: mine, which includes toasted pecans, dried cranberries, unsweetened coconut, maple syrup, honey, oatmeal, and Mary’s which includes almonds, coconut oil, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, dried cherries and honey.  For a while, we’ll be selling both in little bags ($1.50 each) with just 1 cup in them so you can try them out.  Later, we’ll be selling bigger bags of it.

Third, a few old things have come back, including Boston cream cake and cupcakes (made with the classic custard of egg yolks, fresh cream and butter in the middle and chocolate ganache on top), perennial favorite snickerdoodles, bran muffins with mixed dried fruit and toasted pecans, and triple threat chocolate cookies (yes, three kinds of chocolate!).

Come by and check out the new stuff!  See below for fun info about eight of our staff members!

Jenny

Bonnie!

Bonnie Lutz — Bonnie has been with us since Labor Day 2012!  I remember cornering her at Kenmont Pool, after observing her get-it-done skills at the snack bar, and asking if she would consider (oh please please) working at JennyCakes. We are so lucky to have her!  She’s the master of great customer service and efficiency.  She was sick one day and I had to fill her shoes.  I was so proud of myself when the entire cupcake case was nice and full and I could finally take a breath… until I realized she also handles all the cookies!  I have no idea how she does it all, but she does!  Little known fact about Bonnie:  her other job involves gardening!

 

 

Kristen!

Kristen Kellogg — Kristen is one of our amazing decorators.  She’s been at JennyCakes since July 2013 so, like Bonnie, she’s a long-timer!  Kristen has the gift of gab, which is especially appreciated when we bring new people in to check out the bakery and when we come in sleepy and non-communicative on Saturday mornings.  She brings to the bakery incredible exuberance, fierce opinions, and a scary amount of knowledge about Broadway musicals.  Amazingly gifted as a decorator, she’s done phenomenal designs from a wonderful depiction of Darth Vader fighting Elsa (yes, someone requested this!) to a huge variety of My Little Pony designs.  And if you really want to make her happy, ask her about the musical “Title of Show” (it’s her favorite).

Mary!

 

Mary Williams — One beautiful spring day last year, a woman named Mary came to us!  She has been a tremendous asset to the bakery.  She’s remarkably productive while somehow remaining kind, calm and compassionate (not something I accomplish very often — at least the calm part!).  She’s an avid Caps fan (yes, that’s the sport that allows hand to hand combat as a part of the game!) and knows everything you could want to know about CORSI, the most recent players brought up from or sent back to Hershey, which lines Trotz is running in the next game, etc.  Next time you come in, duck into the kitchen and see if a pretty woman with a high bun is at the mixers, and if she is, say “How ’bout those Caps?!?”

Ingrid!

Ingrid Ramos — Ingrid, our other gifted decorator, has worked at JennyCakes since December 2014.  Immediately, she jumped right in and sometimes it scares me how reliant we all are on her to know what’s happening at the bakery, where everything is, and how to do anything that needs to be done.  She does incredibly artistic and beautiful decorating, is super efficient, and has this wonderful aura of lightness and kindness that surrounds her.  She is the first to sense when someone is stressed or out of sorts (OK, that’s usually me) and figure out a way to help.  If you want to make Ingrid’s day, ask her how her new kitten is!

 

Karen and Abigail (Gali’s baby)

Karen Richardson — With us since September 2014, Karen has become the master of all cookies, bars and batters.  She is always eager to help me puzzle through ways to make the bakery run more smoothly.  Some of her favorite things are: daily walks with several long-time friends, visits to her sister in Boston, classic, jazz and blues music and old rock and roll, and sparring over politics with our wonderful former manager Gali Sapir.

 

 

Jim!

Jim Gordon — Yes, you’ve seen him making pizzas at Frankly Pizza as well but he ALSO likes (at least a bit) doing a weekly stint at JennyCakes.  He handles our inventory and runs the front counter on Saturday mornings with incredible calm and poise, as in I’ve never heard him speak above a whisper!  Rumor has it that he likes the Halo series of video games so ask him about that next time you come in on a Saturday morning!

 

 

Melanie!

 

Melanie Donohue — Melanie has been with us since the spring of last year.  She’s a local mom who works not only at JennyCakes but at Sage, a really cool store on Antique Row around the corner from us.  She brings with her lots of general baking knowledge and experience, as well as a very gentle and kind manner with other employees and customers alike.  Very fun thing: we’ve recently discovered she’s amazing at decorating cookies and cakes!

 

Tully!

Tully Hudson — We really lucked out on this hire! Not only does Tully have a wonderful manner with our customers at the front counter and a quickly-acquired acumen in the kitchen, but he’s done a great job of supervising the preparation of the hundreds of boxes the bakery goes through each week.. Extra bonus: he keeps us stocked in toffee at Christmas. Funny how an entire bakery staff can be so excited about toffee in the face of so many other available goodies!

 

 

 

Christmas cake

Christmas cake

Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel

Gingerbread boys and girls

Gingerbread boys & girls

 

 

 

 

 

We have lots of goodies on-hand now at the bakery, including jam thumbprints, pecan snowballs, decorated Christmas cookies, chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream, gingerbread boys and girls and, MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE (I’m not even kidding), rum bites and rum cupcakes.

Our schedule for the week of Christmas:
Mon  12/19    CLOSED
Tues 12/20    OPEN
Wed  12/21    OPEN
Thur  12/22   OPEN 8am to noon so we can start preparing Christmas orders
Fri     12/23    CLOSED so we can prepare Christmas orders
Sat    12/24    OPEN 8am to 1pm

 

Rum bites

Rum bites

Jam thumbprint

Thumbprints

Christmas sugar cookies high res-5-4

Decorated cut-outs

 

 

 

 

 

We will accept as many orders for Christmas as we possibly can. I don’t think I’ll give a deadline because it always seems like we have to cut off orders earlier than whatever date I say. To make sure we’ll be able to complete your order, please submit it through the website sooner rather than later. I’ll post something across the top of the website and on facebook if we decide we can’t take any more orders.  

All orders must be picked up no later than 1pm on Sat Dec 24.

Here is a list of baked goods that we will be offering for Christmas this year:

  • ONLY IN BATCHES OF 12 OF A PARTICULAR FLAVOR/BAKED GOOD for any of our smaller items, such as cookies, bars, muffins and cupcakes. We’ve found it’s difficult to prepare variety packages when we’re doing such a large volume of orders. But we plan to have our cases fully stocked on Sat 12/24 so you should be able to pick and choose then. Come on the early side because we may sell out of some items quickly.
  • buche de noel
  • pecan pie (with or without bourbon but with a different, drier filling than we did for Thanksgiving because I think the pecan pie bar filling we used then was too moist for a pie crust — my apologies!)
  • apple pie with streusel
  • pumpkin pie
  • dark chocolate cream pie
  • pumpkin roll (with or without toasted pecans)
  • any of our cakes, full size pies or full size quiches

We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Jenny

Thanksgiving 2016

November 30, 2016 Fall 2016

Here’s the scoop on Thanksgiving orders:

Pumpkin roll

Pumpkin roll

We hope to accept Thanksgiving orders through Sat Nov 19, BUT we may need to stop accepting orders before then if the volume becomes more than we can handle.

All orders must be picked up no later than 6pm on Weds Nov 23.

Pecan-Pie-300x300

Pecan pie

Baked goods available for Thanksgiving orders:

  • pumpkin pie  
  • pecan pie (with or without bourbon)
  • apple pie with streusel
  • pumpkin roll (with or without toasted pecans)
  • dark chocolate cream pie
  • any of our cakes

    Apple-Pie-300x300

    Apple pie with streusel

  • ONLY IN BATCHES OF 12 OF PARTICULAR FLAVOR/BAKED GOOD: any of our smaller items, such as iced pumpkin cookies, cheese muffins, cupcakes.

BmCsFZqax6oUie2inbtUrQFIcjnyXcS4BzUVDFuv6yo

For the smaller items, if you would like a wider variety, please consider stopping by the bakery on Weds Nov 23. We will be fully stocked with our usual items and you will be able to pick and choose. We would suggest you come early though because we are likely to sell out quickly. Thanks! 

Schedule for the week of Thanksgiving:

Mon 11/21       CLOSED

Tues 11/22      CLOSED so we can prepare Thanksgiving orders

Weds 11/23     OPEN 8am to 6pm for order pick-up and walk-in traffic

THURS 11/24  CLOSED

FRI 11/25         CLOSED

SAT 11/26        OPEN 8am to 6pm for Small Business Saturday!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jenny

 

 

I’m always amazed at how quickly summer goes by.  Seems like the kids are finally out of school and then in the blink of an eye it’s August and things are winding down.  It’s bittersweet, unlike EVERYTHING at the bakery this summer (tee hee — lame older woman joke).

Here’s what’s new for summer:

M&M ice cream cookie sandwich

M&M cookie ice cream sandwich

Scones with dried cranberries

Scones with dried cranberries

ICE CREAM SANDWICHES — one word, DECADENT

SCONES!  We’ve made them several times now and they’re yummy!

GALI’S WHIMSICALLY FROSTED CUPCAKES.  See photos!

Jimmies Cupcake -5474

 

 

 

And here’s what’s returning at long last!

Buttercream Swirl Cupcake-5467-2LEMON STUFF — the chilled lemon ricotta cookies and lemon bars.

BLUEBERRY CRUMB BARS — crumbly because of the butter in the crust, summery because of the fresh blueberries.

KEY LIME CUPCAKES WITH MANGO BUTTERCREAM — my                                                   new favorite cupcake.

Key lime mango cupcakes

Key lime mango cupcakes

Blueberry crumb bars

Blueberry crumb bars

Gom's lemon bars

Gom’s lemon bars

 

 

 

 

 

Some other items will be taking a little siesta this summer but they’ll be back, I promise! In the meantime, savor these summer days while we have them!

Jenny

Choc Chip Cookie IC -6894

Chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich

Chilled lemon ricotta cookies

Chilled lemon ricotta cookies

 

Lemon Bars-1-10

Lemon bars

Spring descended upon us quickly!  Seems like there was hardly a break between Valentine’s Day and Easter and some great warm, sunny weather. Now — on May 16 — we’ve had a record-breaking stretch of rainy weather and the Caps lost in the second round.  But I know spring and then quickly summer will be here ANY…DAY…NOW.

Here’s what’s new at the bakery.

Cassata-cake-0026-300x300

Cassata cake

  • More technology — Yes, I broke down and got internet service for the bakery as well as a computer so, if you’re uncomfortable ordering through the website, we can do it for you right there at the bakery.
  • More employees — Yes, we hired five new people. They’re LOVELY!  (I’ve been watching a British mystery series while folding boxes; I suspect that’s where the “LOVELY!” came from.)

Mary is a HUGE Caps fan — like bigger than me — and works hard every second she’s at the bakery.

Brown-Sugar-Cookies-3167-300x200

Brown sugar cookies

Melanie is a local mom and batter-making guru.

Diane is new to the area and frosts cupcakes like a pro already.

Jeffrey is the younger brother of Ingrid, one of our decorators; he’s slowly getting used to working with lots and lots of women.

Troix, who has become our expert cookie ball and banana bread maker, is the new wife of our decorator Kristen.

Strawberry icebox pie

Strawberry icebox pie

Say hi to them next time you come in!

  • More orders — We’ve hit yet another all-time high in terms of our weekly volume of business. Thanks, everyone!  I promise we’re trying our best to keep the quality consistent and all the specifics of each order correct. But if we fail at this, please let me know, OK?

Now to the main reason you’re reading this: the changes to our menu.

strawberry bread photo

Strawberry bread

Returning: strawberry mini-loaves, cassata cake, strawberry ice box pies, LEMON cupcakes (because, as I’ve said before, you lemon cupcake people scare me when we don’t have them on-hand), lemon bars and brown sugar cookies with pecans.  

New this spring: chocolate strawberry shortcake which has layers of chocolate cake and fresh strawberries, a touch of ganache in the middle, and whipped cream on top.

Retiring for now:  bran muffins with mixed dried fruit (we’ll bring them back again next January to help with your New Year’s resolutions), snickerdoodles (they’re sort of a snuggle in bed wintertime thing, right?), Aunt Val’s coffee cake (she had a productive but exhausting winter), pecan pie bars (too heavy for spring and summer, I think), dark chocolate cream pies (I actually miss these quite a bit, hmmm….), Boston cream cupcakes (fun winter thing) and rum cupcakes/bites/cakes (really more of a winter holiday treat).

Come by and see what’s baking!  These days you can count on SOMEthing baking almost every second between 5am and 9pm.

Jenny

Coming up for summer:
key lime/mango cupcakes
lemon ricotta cookies
OUR ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

overchkin scoring on Lundqvist

Ovechkin scoring on Lundqvist

Ah winter. As you likely know by now, winter is not my favorite time of year, but at least this year we can cheer on the Caps as they march through what so far has been their best season in years! Nothing is more fun than folding bakery boxes and watching the Caps score multiple goals on Henrik Lundqvist. 

Here’s what’s new at JennyCakes:

Bran muffins-2405

Bran muffins with lots of dried mixed fruit and slivered almonds

Some healthy stuff!

We’re bringing back our healthy Bran Muffins with Lots of Dried Mixed Fruit and Slivered Almonds. Yes, I put all those words in there to make sure everyone knows they aren’t just boring old bran muffins.

Vegan Cupcakes-2457

Chocolate and vanilla vegan cupcakes

I also finally found a vanilla vegan cake/cupcake flavor that I like. It’s actually a brown sugar cupcake with whipped vanilla frosting that tastes remarkably like our regular buttercream. So now you vegan food lovers will have both the dark chocolate and the vanilla options available in cupcakes and frostings. Just think of the possible combinations!

We’re also trying to have on-hand in the case a wider variety of gluten-free cupcakes: chocolate and yellow cupcakes with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry buttercream, and upon special request, German chocolate frosting.

I’m still hunting for a tasty and attractive sugar-free option.  Send your recipes to jenny@jennycakesbakery.net. In the meantime, reduce your sugar intake by buying a whole cupcake but sharing it with three friends!

Boston cream cupcakes-2443

Boston cream cupcakes

And NOW a few fun, not-so-healthy new things to help you conquer the winter doldrums.

Soft frosted cookies-2387

Soft sugar cookies with buttercream frosting

We have a new Boston cream cupcake. To maximize the fun of eating it, we take a lighter than usual yellow cupcake, cut it in half, put the bottom half in the bottom of a small plastic cup, cover it with a really decent amount of pastry cream (Yes real pastry cream! I figured out how to make it!), cover that with the other half of the cupcake and then drizzle it with a lot of thinned chocolate ganache (made with dark chocolate). Yum!

We also have new soft sugar cookies with buttercream frosting. We frost these with bright colored buttercream and then decorate them with bright sprinkles. But on a sort of blah Saturday afternoon last week, I frosted them with chocolate buttercream and they flew off the shelves!

Peppermint chocolate pies-2407

Dark chocolate cream pie

Last thing — a dark chocolate cream pie. I searched forever for a recipe I liked. Finally found it right before Christmas. It’s creamy and VERY chocolatey. We sell it in the case as a mini pie, and by special order as a 9-inch. A good idea for when Valentine’s Day hits.

And speaking of Valentine’s Day, we’ll be sure to have on hand lots of 4-inch “sweetheart” cakes, chocolate goodies and cheerful cutout cookies.

And don’t forget St. Patrick’s Day and our Irish Kickers (chocolate cupcakes made with Guinness beer and frosted with buttercream flavored with Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson whiskey), as well as our Annual Cupcake Sale, which happens in March!

Jenny

 

 

So we’re changing a few things about how we do our Christmas special orders. The changes mostly involve scaling back a bit on the variety of things that we make. With these high-volume holidays, we’ve found it’s really hard to make so many different things while keeping our sanity and overall cheerfulness at the bakery! I hope you understand and won’t be too disappointed. We’ll still have lots of yummy stuff, I promise!frosted sugar cookie bar photo

We have a few new items for this Christmas season, including frosted sugar cookie bars with rainbow sprinkles, dark chocolate cream pie, holiday cookie platters (a variety of cookies on a pretty tray wrapped in cellophane secured with a ribbon), and holiday cookie goody bags (6 of our cookies in a clear cellophane bag with a pretty ribbon).

jam thumbprint photoReturning goodies include pecan snowballs, jam thumbprints, shortbread cookies, gingerbread men, cut-out Xmas cookies, chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream, buche de noel and rum cupcakes.

We’ve cycled out some of our fall specialties to make room for the new stuff but you’ll see them again next fall!

Christmas orders:buche de noel photo

  • How to place your order. Please place your Christmas orders online through our website. This is the best way we can keep track of them!
  • When to place your order. We are accepting orders now and we will stop taking orders on Sat, Dec 19, BUT as we always say, we may need to stop accepting orders before then if the volume of orders becomes more than we can handle.
  • When to pick up your order. All orders may be picked up on Thurs 12/24 between 8am and 1pm. 

Christmas cupcakes high res-5-3Baked goods available for Christmas orders:

  • buche de noel
  • apple pie with streusel
  • pumpkin pie
  • dark chocolate cream pie
  • any of our cakes
  • cookies (for a special order, please order at least 12 of a particular flavor) 
  • Christmas cupcakes — order cupcakes as usual but stick to chocolate or yellow cupcakes with chocolate, vanilla or peppermint buttercream and under Special Instructions mention you’d like Christmas sprinkles (for a special order, please order at least 12)

Here’s our schedule for this stretch of time:Gingerbread cookies high res-3

Sun Dec 20   closed as usual

Mon Dec 21  closed as usual

Tues Dec 22  open as usual 8am to 6pm

Weds Dec 23  closed in order to BAKE

Thurs Dec 24  open from 8am to 1pm for order pickups and walk-in traffic (we will have on-hand in the case Christmas cupcakes and cookies)

Fri Dec 25 through Fri Jan 1 CLOSED

Sat Jan 2  open from 8am to 6pm as usual

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Jenny 

 

pumpkin cupcake-8839

Pumpkin cupcake

Because I know all of us are starting to gear up for the upcoming holidays, I’m just going to get right down to it instead of attempting to wax eloquent about some random subject!

caramel apple cake

Caramel apple cake

New stuff for this fall: pumpkin chocolate chip mini-loaves, pumpkin cakes and cupcakes with lots of fall spices and a cream cheese frosting flavored with orange zest, and our “everything” cookies which, for kicks and grins, have M&Ms, Oreo pieces AND chocolate chips in them.

Iced pumpkin cookies

Iced pumpkin cookies

Making their return this fall:  our ever-popular caramel apple cakes and cupcakes, iced pumpkin cookies, and especially for my mom, Aunt Val’s coffee cake (Aunt Val is her sister who passed away a few years back). After a summer hiatus, we are also back to making challah on analmost daily basis and cinnamon rolls on Saturdays.

Pumpkin chocolate chip mini-loaf

Pumpkin chocolate chip mini-loaf

Now here’s the deal on Thanksgiving:

  • How to place your order. Please place your Thanksgiving orders online through our website. This is the best way we can keep track of our high volume of orders these days!
  • When to place your order. We will start accepting orders for Thanksgiving on Sun, Nov 1 and we will stop taking orders on Sat, Nov 21, BUT we may need to stop accepting orders before then if the volume of orders becomes more than we can handle.
  • When to pick up your order. All orders may be picked up on Weds Nov 25 any time between 8am and 6pm. 

    Pecan-Pie-300x300

    Pecan pie with or without bourbon

Baked goods available for Thanksgiving orders:

  • pumpkin pie  
  • pecan pie (with or without bourbon)
  • apple pie with streusel
  • pumpkin roll (with our without toasted pecans)
  • any of our cakes 
  • any of our smaller items, such ascookies, muffins and cupcakes, so long as the order is for a minimum of 12 of a particular flavor
Pumpkin roll

Pumpkin roll

For the smaller items, if you would like a wider variety, please consider stopping by the bakery on Weds Nov 25. We will be fully stocked with our usual items and you will be able to pick and choose. We would suggest you come early though because we are likely to sell out quickly.

JennyCakes will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the day after (Fri Nov 27) but we will be open on Sat Nov 28 for Small Business Saturday.

Have a fun fall and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jenny 

 

Now that we’re through the busy spring season of confirmations, first communions, graduations and lots of birthdays, we can settle into summer and start having fun again experimenting with new stuff! This is my absolute favorite thing to do as a bakery owner. My fingers literally start to tingle when I get on the computer and start hunting for new ideas.Chocolate Frosted Brownies

One thing I love to experiment with is finding a way for the flavor of the baked good to really pack a punch.  So when we do CHOCOLATE brownies, I won’t settle on a recipe until I’m sure that a decent number of people tasting that brownie will say, “Oooh, chocolate!” Otherwise what’s the point in calling it a “chocolate” brownie, right?

We do go over the top sometimes (perhaps a chocolate brownie could be enjoyed without a half inch of chocolate frosting on it) but it’s worth it to me so long as it means that the eating experience of a couple of people will be a memorable one!

551I’ve had a lot of fun developing our new key lime cupcake with mango buttercream. It’s always a challenge to create a strong fruit flavor because of the amount of water found in fruit. I spent almost a year fooling around with our strawberry buttercream until I finally figured out a way to make it taste like real strawberries.

It has been a similar challenge to get the mango buttercream to REALLY taste like mangos. But by using some combination of natural mango flavoring, mango coulis (yes I know that word and it makes me sound like a chef, right?), mango puree and mango pulp, I think we’re 99% there.200179052-001

Another thing I totally enjoy experimenting with is making fun baked goods that will appeal to kids. What better thing to do on a Monday morning than to return to your 5-year-old self and think about what you liked to eat. When we make our oreo cupcakes, our bakers always ask me how many oreo pieces to put in the batter.  I always say, “Pretend you’re a kid and put in as much as you think a kid would like!”

Lemon Bars-1-10

Lemon and key lime bars will be returning this summer as well.

I used to make all the snacks for the Vacation Bible School at my church (located just two buildings away from the bakery). One of the favorites was cupcake cones with rainbow sprinkles. We always did this on the first day and the kids LOVED them. I like to think that those cupcake cones helped break the ice for those kids who were feeling a little nervous on their first day. To kids, I think the cupcake cones just seem playful and fun — a special and somewhat unusual treat.

So when I was at the grocery store last week, I bought a box of cones and we’re going to make some. It’ll be REALLY fun figuring out how to take those over the top!  Maybe add oreo crumbs on top? Maybe drizzle them with a little hot fudge and then sprinkle with mini M&Ms? But for sure, there will be rainbow sprinkles involved!

It’s summer!  Be sure to play a lot, enjoy a lot, and occasionally treat yourself to a sweet something or other that packs a punch of taste and playfulness!

Jenny

Carly, Jenny and Bonnie displaying sweetheart cakes for Valentine's Day

Carly, Jenny and Bonnie displaying sweetheart cakes for Valentine’s Day

It’s finally starting to feel a LITTLE bit like spring around here but I bought a quart of strawberries at the store the other day and they were TERRIBLE. So we’re a little ways from strawberry season but at least the daffodils are blooming!

Kristen on Halloween

Kristen on Halloween

In late winter JennyCakes faced a spate of health issues as one employee dealt with a kidney infection, another struggled with a strained ligament in her elbow and the husband of another suffered a terrible shoulder injury. My daughter Lily tore her ACL in her first-ever high school lacrosse scrimmage and I had to have a basal cell carcinoma removed from my left cheek.

My husband Doug and Kara's coordinated outfits

My husband Doug and Kara’s coordinated outfits

We are all better or at least on the mend, but this stretch of bad luck reminded me that behind all the yummy baked goods at the bakery is a tiny army of people trying their best and going through the myriad of ups, downs and struggles that everyone goes through, health-related and otherwise.

Jenny and good friend Martha on a recent Saturday morning

Jenny and good friend Martha on a recent Saturday morning

In this post, I celebrate this wild and crazy group of people!

Each person who works at the bakery brings to us a unique set of talents (or “mad skills” as Aidan calls them) and quirks (such as Bonnie’s murmurings as people select cupcakes — oooh, that’s a good one, ohhhh, that’s one of my favorites). And while clocking long hours together in such a tiny space, we can’t help but share in each other’s lives.

Aidan checking out the ginormous order spreadsheet

Aidan checking out the ginormous order spreadsheet

Our little band of bakers has fun (Kristen’s response to my question “Is anything in particular a priority for the oven?” was “Perhaps it should think about getting its GED?”), is sometimes stressed out  (mostly due to my propensity for worrying) but no one can argue it’s anything short of extremely real and very human!

Jim, who moonlights at JennyCakes while holding down jobs at Frankly Pizza and Target as well

Jim, who moonlights at JennyCakes while holding down jobs at Frankly Pizza and Target as well

I love this group of people and feel very lucky that they want to work at the bakery. I know, I know, enough sappy stuff!

Strawberry icebox pie!

Strawberry icebox pie!

On to what we’re excited about making for the spring! Once we finally get to strawberry season, we’ll bring back our strawberry bread, strawberry icebox pie and cassata cake. We also plan to bring back the JennyCakes — remember those?

One of our JennyCakes

One of our JennyCakes

The blueberry slabs (or crumb bars) will be back and the brown sugar cookies were such a success that I think we’ll start selling those on a regular basis as well. You may notice that a few things disappear but remember you can always email me and ask for me to make a batch of them.

Happy Spring!

Jenny

 

I’m so happy that we made it through the holidays largely unscathed! If you bought baked goods from us, we at JennyCakes truly hope they made your holidays a tiny bit more special.

IMG_0627NEW HOURS! Don’t forget that we are now open Tuesday through Saturday 8am to 6pm. We’ve added Tuesdays and Wednesdays on a 6-month trial basis. Hopefully this change will be good for both JennyCakes Bakery and our customers.

Ah, the doldrums of winter are upon us and I’m already complaining about the cold and the blah-ness of the winter months. Two things perk me up though: watching the Caps (just finished watching the Winter Classic – woo hoo!), and creating what I hope will be a cheerful new winter menu.

So here’s what’s new or coming back this winter:

Aunt Val’s coffee cake (we’ve missed her!)choc cupcake w whipped PB frost - low res-0075

Chocolate cupcakes with whipped peanut butter frosting (I’m looking forward to cutting up Reese’s cups to put on top and occasionally making a piece or two mysteriously disappear)

Pecan pie bars (especially for the very patient woman who comes in frequently wondering when we’re bringing them back)

Rum cakes, both CHOCOLATE and vanilla (still in love with these and can’t wait to try the chocolate one at the suggestion of my friend Angelika — I even bought a new mini bundt cake pan!)

Triple threat chocolate cookies (insanely yummy and gooey, these will be a great gift for a favorite Valentine 🙂chocolate cookies 2

Irish kickers (in March only) — chocolate cupcakes made with Guinness beer then frosted with buttercream flavored with Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson whiskey

I also plan to fool around some with ganache this month as a possible new frosting, and tweak Hillary’s Heart Healthy Bran Muffins so that we have a decent answer to the question, “Do you have anything healthy?”

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  We’ll be sure to have lots of chocolate goodies as well as cutout cookies decorated with tons of pink and red.

So January, February and March don’t sound quite so bad now, right? Right?

Jenny

 

 

 

Whew! Thanksgiving was a little wilder than I thought and it turns out pies take FOREVER to bake (even longer than I remembered from last year) so there’s a lot of hurry up and wait involved. I pulled my first almost-all-nighter (1.5 hours of sleep Tuesday night) since college and may have whined to a few too many customers about this on Wednesday. My apologies!

Gingerbread cookies high res-3So with a deep breath, we now head to Hanukkah and Christmas! I’m more excited about this holiday season than usual, which may have something to do with discovering the Hallmark channel recently and their endless stream of bright, cheerful and yes, cheesy, holiday movies. 🙂  Chocolate Cupcake with Peppermint Buttercream low res-13-4

For Christmas, we’ll do things the same way we did for Thanksgiving because in general that worked pretty well. Please place your orders no later than Sat Dec 20 but keep in mind that we may have to stop accepting orders sooner than that if we get worried that the volume has become more than we can handle.  

All orders may be picked up on Weds Dec 24 between 8am and noon. We will be open for foot traffic and fully stocked during those hours as well.  We will be closed from Thurs Dec 25 through and including Thurs Jan 1 but we will reopen on Fri Jan 2 and will start our NEW SCHEDULE:  Tues through Sat 8am to 6pm. Woo-hoo!

Buche de Noel low res-13-2For the holidays, we’ll bring back the coconut almond cupcakes (because they look like snow and snow makes me think of Christmas), jam thumbprints, pecan snowballs, Scottish shortbread, the buche de noel, peppermint buttercream and gingerbread boys and girls.
Below is a list of what we’ll be offering for special orders this Christmas. We hope you have a wonderful holiday!       

Love, Jenny and many bakery elves

Baked goods available for Christmas orders:  Jam Thumbprint high res-5-2
  • whipped pumpkin pie
  • pecan pie (with or without bourbon)
  • apple pie with streusel
  • pumpkin roll
  • buche de noel (or yule log) — flourless chocolate sponge cake rolled up with chocolate whipped cream and covered with a chocolate coffee frosting
  • any of our cakes
  • any of our smaller items, such as cookies, muffins and cupcakes, so long as the order is for a minimum of 12 of a particular flavor

For the smaller items, if you would like a wider variety, please stop by on Weds Dec 24 during our hours of 8am to noon. We will be fully stocked with our usual items and you will be able to pick and choose. We would suggest you come early though because we are likely to sell out quickly. Thanks! 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving 2014!

November 11, 2014 Fall 2014

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we’re busy getting ready for it! We will acceptApple-Pie-300x300 orders through Sat Nov 22, BUT we may need to stop accepting orders before then if the volume becomes more than we can handle. 

All orders may be picked up on Weds Nov 26 any time between 8am and 6pm. The specific items available for Thanksgiving orders are listed below.

JennyCakes Bakery will be open for order pick-up as well as walk-in traffic on Weds Nov 26. We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the day after (Fri Nov 28) but we will be open on Sat Nov 29 for Small Business Saturday.
  
We hope you have a wonderful holiday! 
Jenny
Baked goods available for Thanksgiving orders:
  • pumpkin pie (we’re trying a new one this year that has a touch of cream cheese that makes it even tastier than last year’s pie) 
  • pecan pie (with or without bourbon)
  • apple pie with streusel
  • pumpkin roll (with our without toasted pecans)
  • any of our cakes
  • any of our smaller items, such as cookies, muffins and cupcakes, so long as the order is for a minimum of 12 of a particular flavor

Pecan-Pie-300x300For the smaller items, if you would like a wider variety, please consider stopping by the bakery on Weds Nov 26. We will be fully stocked with our usual items and you will be able to pick and choose. We would suggest you come early though because we are likely to sell out quickly. Thanks! 

Fall Fun!

October 16, 2014 Fall 2014
Iced pumpkin cookies

Iced pumpkin cookies

We’re kicking into fall! Get ready for caramel apple cupcakes (the wait is over!), iced pumpkin cookies (a few of you couldn’t wait and special ordered these in September), pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (yes they’re back!) and the pumpkin roll (with or without toasted pecans smushed into the cream cheese filling). 

To make room for these additions, we’ll temporarily retire key lime and lemon bars, blueberry crumb bars, the coconut cupcake and the lemon cupcake. You can still order coconut and lemon cakes though.Halloween cookies-17-2

We will do our best to have lots of Halloween cut-out cookies on hand between now and October 31, but if you want to be sure to get some, please consider ordering them online. I know I keep inching up the price on these – currently $2.25 – but they are incredibly labor-intensive. We VERY happily welcomed a new decorator this month, Karen Rappaport, and I am hoping that her addition will make it easier for us to keep these cookies in stock, especially during the holidays.

Pumkin-Pie

Sour cream pumpkin pie

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner! To simplify things, we will have a slightly modified menu of items available for Thanksgiving orders. You will be able to pre-order cakes and pies, as well as cookies, muffins and cupcakes so long as they are in sets of a dozen of a particular flavor.

For those of you wanting a bigger variety of cookies, muffins and cupcakes, we will have our usual offerings at the bakery the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but you might want to come by on the earlier side in order to be sure you can get what you want. Does this sound like too many rules? I’m so sorry if it does! Just trying to find the right balance between making our customers happy and preserving the sanity of my staff!

Pumpkin-Muffin

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

We have added to our happy bakery family. Next time you stop by, let us introduce you to Aidan Gleason, Carly Meyers, Karen Richardson, Karen Rappaport, Addie Crowley , Miriam Ruminski, Jim Gordon and Martha Deale. We also welcome back Gali Sapir after her trip to Israel and we thank Joseph Benson for taking on the unenviable task of mopping the frosting-smeared floor of the bakery every night!

Some of our fancier Halloween cookies

Some of our fancier Halloween cookies

We will miss Ana Caceres (returned to the Univ. of MD), Lauren Klein (off to the Rhode Island School of Design), and Janine Joly (heading to Northwestern Univ.) but we KNOW they will come back and visit.

OK that’s it for now. Sorry this got so long! May your fall be fun and full of flavors!

Jenny

 

 

We’re finally getting around to making the official transition from spring to summer so we will be making a few changes at the bakery to keep things fun.

We will slowly phase out our strawberry mini-pies and strawberry bread as strawberries go out of season. BUT, we’ll keep our seasonal blueberry crumb bars on the menu for now since they’ve been so popular!

We have a couple of new summer specials: chilled lemon ricotta cookies, chocolate chip cookie dough frosting and oreo cookies. We’ll also bring back our key lime and lemon bars (alternating weeks) which have become a JennyCakes summertime favorite.

I bring the lemon ricotta cookies on our annual trip with friends to Knoebels Amusement Park in Pennsylvania. In the morning we parents sit on the lovely front porch of the farmhouse where we stay and drink coffee and eat chilled lemon ricotta cookies. At the encouragement of many of these friends — especially Kensington 8K Race director John Seabreeze! – I am now offering these at the bakery and have a hard time resisting them myself. You’ll see them on a plate in our refrigerated case.

Within five minutes of posting on facebook a photo of a chocolate cupcake with a big scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough frosting on top, I received a phone call from two little girls who wanted me to put some aside for them! The frosting is decadent and yummy. I use mini-chocolate chips so the frosting will be more creamy and less chunky. And don’t worry about salmonella, there are no eggs in the frosting.

Also at Knoebels I saw such a simple idea for a cookie: the base of a chocolate chip cookie but with cookies and cream cookie chunks in it instead of chocolate chips. Given how quickly the cookies and cream cupcake gained in popularity, I’m guessing that our customers will love this cookie flavor as well.

We’ve also introduced a new permanent item on the menu: the JennyCake. It’s a sliced cupcake with something fun in between the layers and something fun on top. We’ve recently been doing fruit-based JennyCakes: a yellow cupcake sliced in half, with blueberries or strawberries and whipped cream in between and also on top. The combination possibilities are infinite. Feel free to email me at jenny@jennycakesbakery.net if you have some ideas!

Try to find a way to enjoy these summer days! It seems like summer used to pass by so slowly, giving me a chance to relax, savor and enjoy each hot humid day. Now summer whizzes by filled with lots of activities. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of those slower summers and force myself to stop moving, sit down and enjoy that slowness, usually with a lemon ricotta cookie! I hope you can find a way to do that as well.

Love, Jenny

   

I took a moment this weekend to do a review of how JennyCakes Bakery is doing after its first 2 years. The good news is that our amazing customers have helped make the bakery a thriving and fun hub of activity, and all of us at the bakery get great joy out of making yummy food and conversing with our eclectic and loyal customers!

We love being a part of all of your celebrations (showers, gender reveal parties, weddings, birthdays, baptisms, bar (bat) mitzvahs, first communions, breast cancer recovery parties) and helping you comfort those whose day might be brightened by a pretty cupcake or a cranberry granola cookie.

The bad news is that we are not yet breaking even on a month-to-month basis, even though I have not been taking a salary. I’m not exactly sure why this is. Most of the time, we are making a volume of baked goods that seriously tests our limits in terms of space and time!We shop for good deals on ingredients (turns out butter is way more expensive than Crisco, go figure!), make many of our own equipment repairs, and we are always tinkering with our systems for making things so that we are more time-efficient. However, there is one area where we will not reduce costs; we will continue to pay our truly gifted and dedicated staff at a living-wage rate.

We remain passionately committed to offering our baked goods at affordable prices, but this 2-year review has forced me to face the fact that a change in pricing is necessary as one step toward making this tiny bakery a viable enterprise. As much as I hate doing this, I think you will find that this increase still keeps us below the going rate for our type of baked goods in the DC area.

So starting April 15, cupcakes will be $2.25 ($25/dozen), 6” cakes will be $18, 9” cakes will be $28, and 12” and sheet cakes will be $50. A few of the specialty cakes will be a tiny bit higher than this, such as the German Chocolate, Cassata, Salted Caramel, and Gluten-Free cakes, because of the high cost of the ingredients that go into them. We hope this change will do the trick and bring us into the black.

Thank you so very much for your support and for being such a big part of our little JennyCakes community. We hope you will continue to visit us and enjoy our baked goodies!

Love, Jenny

 

What a long cold winter!  I remember crossing Armory Ave from the Safeway garage on my way to the bakery on a few of those low-digit mornings and feeling like I was walking through a freezing cold wind tunnel as the wind swept from the train tracks down Armory toward Town Hall. Brrrr!

I’m VERY happy to be moving on to spring!  We’re a little late in sending out a spring post because we got distracted by a stretch of time when the bakery was plagued (or cursed, as my staff likes to say) by a broken dishwasher, a refrigerated display case that stopped working, problems with our hot water and several other frustrating woes.

But NOW all is well and we are happy, happy, happy! The dishwasher is at last fixed. We have a new refrigerated display case, thanks to Suburban Trading (who sold it to me) and Mario (whose crew from the Kensington Gas Station on Antique Row did amazing work in fitting a 35″ wide display case through a 35″ wide door three days before the Easter rush). We have a new hot water heater and in general things are functioning smoothly, knock on wood!

And what’s even better, we have been busy, busy, busy! The last month or so included a very busy Easter, a crazy Mother’s Day and lots of beautiful First Communion, graduation and wedding cakes, thanks to the efforts of Kristen Kellogg, our unique and pink-haired cake decorator.

We have one new addition to the bakery, Gali Sapir. Gali is from Israel — she works very hard and is a joy to have with us at the bakery. She specializes in fondant, but don’t worry, we’ll still be using buttercream for the most part. We just may add some fondant accents from time to time.

We are so sad that Julie Howard will be leaving us soon to focus on finishing up her teaching degree, but she has promised to come in on Friday afternoons for a couple of hours from time to time. I am thrilled to welcome back my pretend daughter :), Ana Caceres Hernandez, who was a student at the University of Maryland during the school year.

But OK, enough about us! Here’s what’s new for you at the bakery. We’ve brought back the blueberry crumb bars (or blueberry slabs, as Jason Swain, the Town’s public works supervisor, calls them — I think it’s an Australia thing) and strawberry icebox pies (graham cracker crust and lots of fresh strawberries).

We’ve added strawberry bread (one of my staff members, Kara Knips, calls it one of our “damn you, Jenny” baked goods) and strawberry buttercream (which, after many failed attempts, at last has the big kick of strawberry flavor I wanted without watering down the frosting too much).

And last but not least, we will be introducing Hillary’s heart healthy bran muffin. Based on my dear friend Hillary’s recipe for incredibly yummy and moist bran muffins (with dried cherries and toasted almonds), I’m still tinkering with this one, but we’ll get there. I’m bound and determined to have one truly healthy yet delicious thing on the menu!

Once again,  happy happy spring! Enjoy this short season and check back in with us in a month or two for new things happening for summer!

Jenny

Please remember to get your Christmas orders in soon! 

Christmas cupcakes high res-5-3December is here and I – along with many others I’m sure – am trying not to panic about how few gifts I’ve gotten for family and friends so far! But I’m trying hard, in between batches of cookie dough and cake batter, to occasionally take a deep breath and enjoy a cheerful interaction with a customer, a bite of shortbread, or the view of my holiday bakery windows so beautifully designed by Cinda Debbink.

This Christmas season our specials include the buche de noel, jam thumbprints, pecanChristmas sugar cookies  high  res-5-4 snowballs, cut-out sugar cookies, chocolate cupcake/cake with peppermint buttercream, gingerbread cookies and shortbread. A box of JennyCakes goodies would be an easy yet thoughtful gift for teachers, bus drivers, neighbors, friends and family! You might even think about giving some cut-out sugar cookies or jam thumbprints  to someone who isn’t expecting a gift from you!

Our schedule is a little different this month. We will have our usual hours through Christmas, plus additional hours of noon to 5 on the Sundays leading up to Christmas, and 8am to noon on Christmas Eve. We will be closed from Dec 25 to Jan 1 but will reopen on Thurs Jan 2.Christmas window high res-5    

Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy happy new year!

Jenny

 

Halloween!

October 23, 2013 Fall 2013

We’re having lots of fun with Halloween this year.  Check out the photos below of some of our Halloween treats!  If you’d like to order some, go to Cookies and Bars and look for Cut-Out Sugar Cookies or to Classic Yellow and Chocolate Cupcakes and give special instructions for Halloween decorations.  It’s a fun time of year, right?

Halloween cupcakes-17-2 Halloween cookies-17-4 Halloween cookies-17-3 Halloween cupcakes-17-4 Halloween cookies-17 Halloween cookies-17-2