Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holidays Again!?

It happens every year...Halloween comes and goes and then it seems like the already shorter days fly by with such determination to the end of the year and the holiday season. If you just don't feel like tackling dessert at your holiday meals or need to bring a little something to the company party, fret not, we're here! The Take the Cake Holiday Menu 2010, for your perusal...

Take the Cake Holiday 2010 Menu
9” tarts $16.
Apple Almond Gallette
Truffle Raspberry Tart
Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream Filling

Cakes $35.
Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
German Chocolate Cake
Boston Cream Pie

Cookie Tray $ 18.
A variety of seasonal classic cookies such as Gingerbread,
Sugar, Cocoa Krinkles, Linzer, Molasses, etc.
20-25 cookies.

Breads and Loaves
Brioche Braid Loaf $5.
Cranberry Walnut Bread $9.
Yule Log (chocolate cake roulade) $25.
Stolen $12.
Pound Cake Loaf $10.

We also offer vegan and gluten-free desserts, please inquire. Please place your order via order form, email: takethecakeasheville@yahoo.com or phone: 712.3157 by December 15. Pickup will be offered at City Market on 12/18 or downtown Asheville by appointment . Delivery is available by for a $5.00 charge. All orders must be picked up/ delivered by 12/22.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Well it's August already and I can't believe how fast the year flies. We got 3 hens last month and everyday I open their nest box slowly, hoping to spy our first egg. So far, nothing! But they are lovely girls and glad to eat a slightly overripe apple or unsold biscuit after market. We have an amazing little chicken tractor for them to live in; a moveable floorless enclosure with a cozy little spot for nesting and roosting. So far it's been a lot of fun for us to watch them (and wait for that egg.)

August is probably the best month when it comes to variety of produce. I am amazed and delighted at the abundance of peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, herbs and fruit that the farmers bring to the markets every week. I love to let my eyes dance over the colors and textures, while the aromas of basil and onions and tomatoes warmed in the summer sun absolutely make me giddy! Keep your produce department with flourescent lights and fake thunderstorms, I prefer my shopping al fresco.

We've been taking advantage of all the local goodness and have been featuring peach tarts, blackberry goat cheese brioche, plum financiers and of course, scones and muffins with everything from blueberries to figs and walnuts. I picked 7 1/2 pounds of blueberries yesterday with my daughter and today is the perfect day to make a blueberry crisp (our first rainy day in quite a while.) It's also a good day to start preserving some of this abundance for the cold and lean winter months, but doing that would imply an acceptance that this summer windfall will all end all too soon. And I'm just not ready to admit that yet.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Getting back into the swing of things...

Wow. It's been awhile. Yes, I'm still in business and still kicking around Asheville with my little family. The winter here was long and cold, reminding me of childhood winters in Philadelphia. I simply love the snow in North Carolina because it's such an event. And it usually doesn't hang around for long. We dealt with the downtime by donating cupcakes to some great events like the Asheville Arts Council's Crystal Ball and more recently HATCHfest. We also started selling cupcakes, pastries and breads to the West Village Market on Haywood Rd. in West Asheville. However the debut of Spring was very welcome. Spring means that Market season has once again arrived and winter vacation is over. I go from full-time mama and part-time baker to baking 6 days a week and feeling a little overwhelmed. Luckily, it only took a day or so to get back into a routine.
Setting up at the Asheville City Market Saturday morning felt like the first day back at school after summer break. We are so blessed to be a part of such a vibrant community of farmers, bakers and craftspeople (I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating) and seeing these old friends was great. Fellow vendors were amazed at how Bea had grown (talking up a storm was a skill she has mastered over the winter) and I was equally amazed to see a vendor's 13 month son walking like a pro. We got to see many of our regular customers from last year, some of whom expressed how much they waited for this day and thought of my desserts all winter long! It was a wonderful day and really reminded me what I want this business to be about-connecting with people through food and getting to be responsible for a moment of joy in someone's day.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Take the Cake is taking orders for the holidays!

Cupcakes and
Mini Cupcakes

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla or Chocolate Buttercream
Vegan Vanilla
Vanilla Coconut
Chocolate Cake with Vanilla or Chocolate Buttercream
Vegan Chocolate
Triple Chocolate (dark chocolate ganache-filled chocolate cake)
Mexican Chocolate (cinnamon, almond and a dash of cayenne)
S’Mores (marshmallow Buttercream, graham cracker and chocolate)
Hummingbird (sour cream cake with pineapple, bananas and pecans)
Pumpkin-Ginger with Maple Buttercream
Vegan Chai Spice with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Gingerbread Lemon

Brioche Braid Loaf
Sourdough Rolls

Pumpkin Roll (cream cheese filling)
Carrot spice (3 layers of cake with cream cheese frosting)
Chocolate (3 layers of cake with chocolate frosting)
Tiramisu (Italy’s famous dessert in cake form)
Gingerbread Roll (lemon curd filling)
Apple Spice (3 layers of cake with caramel frosting)

Large tray with an assortment of Take the Cake’s best cookies like Chocolate Chip Cranberry, Gingerbread Ladies and Gents, and Millionaire’s Shortbread. Gluten-Free options available on request.

Your holiday favorites in tart form:
Apple or Pear Almond
Sweet Potato
Cranberry Pecan

Brunch and Breakfast Pastries
Scone and Muffin Tray
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Sticky Buns
Deluxe Breakfast Basket ( a little of everything and something for everyone!)

Pick up an order form at the City Market on Saturdays or call or email your order..
828.712.3157/ info@takethecakeasheville.com

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Looking back at our first year

Last Saturday was the one year anniversary of Take the Cake being in business. I'm very excited to be in business for myself and absolutely love what I do. Baking can be a little monotonous at times, but there is always something different going on. Wondering what my meringue will do sitting out in 90% humidity for 3 hours(I can have a pretty good guess at that one), trying to get the perfect proof on my brioche, always keeps me engaged and interested. Since so much of baking is science, it appeals to my analytical side, and making multi-coloured fondant cutouts and piping the perfect "Happy Birthday" fulfills my creative drive. So I'm proud to say that I've made it this far and thanks to the help and support of my wonderful family and friends, the business just keeps growing. The first week we were at the Market last year we came home with many, many unsold cupcakes and not much money. Now I've got a following of loyal customers that I see each week at the City Market and it makes me feel great to know that the food I create makes people happy.
I'm still learning alot-like "guerilla marketing" using Facebook, Twitter and other free resources (hello Blogging!) Although the thought of having a retail space is really appealling at times, I've also learned that, for me, spending time with my daughter is more important than running a cupcake shop and selling to the public once or twice a week is plenty for me right now. So, thanks to everyone who has supported Take the Cake and hopefully we'll be here for many years to come!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Time for Best of Asheville Survey!

...and , ahem, while I wouldn't expect to win, it would be nice to get an honorable mention as best bakery in Asheville. So...if you've tried a cupcake, a sticky bun or tart and loved it or just really liked it, please consider voting for Take the Cake as your favorite Bakery! And if you ever got a bouquet of flowers from our wonderful friends at Spotted Dog Farm that brightened your day, please vote for them as your favorite farm. Here's the link to the survey. It's a chance to let your voice be heard on what you love and what you hate about our fair city.

I've been scrambling to put together a new menu for the summer (better late than never) between toddler naps, toddler illnesses, laundry and baking and I think I'm happy with it. Summer is the absolute most exciting season for us culinary people. The sheer abundance and variety of fresh fruits, veggies and herbs is such an inspiration. I've been putting basil in everything it seems, from salads to ice cream and had to do a basil cupcake. I've also included peaches, lavender and zucchini in the new menu. Here it is....

Take the Cake Summer Menu

Cupcakes A-Go-Go
$2.50 each/ $24.00 a dozen

Vanilla Cake Vanilla Buttercream or Dark Chocolate Buttercream*
Vegan Vanilla Cake Vegan Chocolate Frosting*
Vanilla Coconut*

Chocolate Cake Vanilla Buttercream*
Vegan Chocolate with Vegan Chocolate Frosting*
Triple Chocolate*
Mexican Chocolate

Vegan Cinnamon French Toast
Almond Green Tea

Seasonal Specials
Carrot-Zucchini Ginger with Cream Cheese Icing
Vanilla Peach*
Lemon Basil
Margarita (lime/orange with lime Buttercream)
Honey Lavender blueberry

*Gluten-Free available. Add .25

Breakfast and More…

Brioche aTete $2.50 each
Brioche Sticky Buns $3.00
Scones $2.00
Sour Cream Coffee Cake $2.25
Blueberry Almond Muffins $1.75
Cheese Herb Biscuits $1.50

Espresso Brownies $2.00
Lavender-Rosemary Sugar Cookies (GF)$1.50
White Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookie $1.50

Peach Berry Tart
Chocolate Raspberry Tart
Lemon Meringue Tart

For Celebrating

6 or 9 inch cakes
Carrot Cake
GF Carrot Cake
Vegan Chocolate Cake
GF Chocolate Cake
Lemon Cake
Orange Cream Cake
Vanilla Cake
Apple Spice Cake

Chocolate Ganache
Lemon Curd
Pastry Cream

Cakes start at $16.00

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Taking a Break from Cupcakes? Or, How I spent my Vacation at the Vet

Well we had big plans for a fun family vacation at the beach this week. Soundfront house with a pool, maybe some kayaking, definitely some lounging and frolicking in the surf. I was looking forward to some free babysitting from B's aunt, grandparents and cousins and perhaps (gasp!) a date with my husband! But as the time to pack it up and go approached, I completely talked myself out of it. Driving to the Outer Banks on July 4th weekend?? How crazy is that? And with a toddler whose moods change from sunny to Defcon 5 in a mere moment! We promised we'd plan an off-season beach adventure and take this week to relax, clean..or so we thought. It started Monday morning when my cat started twitching uncontrollably and acting generally bizarre. We brought him into our Vet who diagnosed him with poisoning from the dogs' flea treatment. Who knew that Advantix is extremeley toxic to felines? So while Sebastian was recuperating at the hospital, our beagle was not eating, losing weight, depressed. It had actually been going on since the weekend, but I was hoping he'd shake it off in a couple of days. We brought him in and the Vet took some blood tests which came back not good. So we're waiting to see what exactly is wrong and Skeeter is now at the hospital and Sebastian is home. I'm so grateful we decided against going away or the poor petsitter would have had a horrible time and we'd be 10 hours away.

I have found time this week to work on a new menu. It's using some of the wonderful produce of the summer season and I hope to introduce some new flavors at the City Market in the next few weeks.