Today we talk to Stephanie Hart who owns Brown Sugar Bakery in Chicago. Just the name of the bakery makes me hungry!
Chicago is one of my favorite places. I love the atmosphere, the Chicago Vibe. On my recent trip, I discovered a new favorite place—Brown Sugar Bakery. Their caramel cake is AMAZING!!!
Needless to say, Brown Sugar Bakery and a luscious slice of caramel cake have been added to my to-do for every Chicago trip. P. S. Don’t tell my personal trainer.
Stephanie Hart, from Detroit Michigan by the way Yazoo City, Mississippi has been in the baking business for ten years.
C&C: Why did you decide to start Brown Sugar Bakery?
SH: I couldn’t find a bakery in Chicago that served the cakes I like, so I decided to create my own.
C&C: What is your baking style?
SH: Baking is a science that I was fortunate to learn from my grandmother. My baking style is Southern African-American baking traditions that I adapt to different tastes.
C&C: What is your favorite cake?
C&C: What is Brown Sugar Bakery’s signature cake?
SH: Our caramel cake is very popular. Many people love it just like you do.
C&C: What are some good tips you would give to brides when selecting a baker?
SH:1) Get references from people who have dealt with the baker in the past.
2) Have a budget
3) Be careful of bakeries that make you special samples to taste. You should be able to walk into the bakery any day or time and sample anything they have.
4) Do taste samples. If you like the taste, most of your guests will too.
C&C: What are some different cake fillings a bride might consider?
SH: Fruit flavors are very popular and, of course, chocolate. Lemon, Strawberry, Mango, Pineapple, Raspberry, and Banana are frequent requests.
C&C: How do you get inspirations for wedding cakes?
SH: I look at the bride’s style. I ask for pictures of the bride’s dress, invitations, bridesmaids’ dresses, colors and table decor. I want to know what kind of jewelry she likes. If the bride has a wedding portfolio where she is collecting the things she likes and plans to sue, I look at that to understand the style she has in mind. I want her cake to be a reflection of her. And then I create a cake that is a simplified version of who she is, so the flavor and smell will stand out. My goal is to create a cake that reflects her style.
C&C: What is the most creative cake you have made?
SH: The most creative cake will be the one I’m designing for artist, Hebru Brantley. I am turning one of his creative pieces into a cake.
C&C: What are some important elements a bride and groom might consider for a cake?
SH: One important element I like to incorporate is color, so I encourage them to add colors they love and colors that reflect the wedding and reception décor.
C&C: I love the name Brown Sugar Bakery. How did you come up with it?
SH: I am a huge Rolling Stones fan, Mick Jagger and I share the same birthday.
C&C: What is your favorite quote?
SH: “Failure is my First Name, Never is my last one.” Lupe Fiasco
Thanks so much to Stephanie Hart with Brown Sugar Bakery Chicago for all her wonderful tips and awesome Caramel Cake. Don’t forget to like Brown Sugar Bakery-Chicago on Facebook and visit her website HERE.