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Pastry Princessby Merrell McGinness | Jezebel magazine | November 29, 2012
Katie Pfister’s résumé reads like a culinary fairytale: Bacchanalia, Spago, Restaurant Eugene and Empire State South. But when the 26-year-old pastry chef opened her own special-order shop—Sweet Peeps Bakery—two years ago, her fondant fantasies really came true.
She’s now the fairy godmother of wedding cakes, able to make just about anything with a little butter, flour and sugar. With a wave of her wand, Pfister has wrapped a wedding cake in burlap, sculpted a buttercream pirate ship for a groom and even fashioned a 3-D Buddha cake, encased in edible gold powder. Her hard work pays off—one bride even emailed a thank-you from her honeymoon.
Pfister also offers a holiday-goodie menu and special-occasion cakes. No job is too big (58 dozen holiday iced sugar cookies ready in a week? No sweat!) or too outlandish. One customer recently ordered a Fifty Shades of Grey-themed cake for her mom’s 60th birthday. “I love when people ask for something weird,” says Pfister with a smile. “It challenges me.”
Unlike other cake wizards, all of Pfister’s crazy confections are truly made of cake—not Styrofoam pieces covered in fondant. Her recipes are adapted from those of her grandmother, who used to bake wedding cakes in Vidalia, Ga. “She was always in the kitchen,” Pfister says, “and I was with her, trying to learn everything she did.”
Early next year, Pfister will add another tier to her culinary career—she and her husband, Micah, have plans to open a restaurant in Marietta Square. (Pfister currently works out of the couples’ two-bedroom home there, about one block from the house where she grew up.) Though they’re keeping the name under wraps for now, she did tell JEZ that it’s a farm-to-table concept and is promising to bring all the best of downtown dining to her hometown. A spacious industrial bakery in back of the resto will allow her to grow Sweet Peeps, as well as supply fresh desserts and breads. Pfister knows the expansion will be stressful—but plans to handle it with her trademark coolheaded approach… and maybe a little pixie dust.