Meet Jason Hisley of CAKE by Jason
That guy with the mo-hawk and all the tattoos walking around town? He bakes cupcakes for a living… and mind blowing Maryland Wedding Cakes! Meet Jason of CAKE™ by Jason Hisley.
It feels almost like the Disney World of bakeries when you walk inside his new location on East Padonia Road. Not a “grab it and go” kind of place… but one you want to sit down and stay awhile among the vibrant walls, cozy seating and intoxicating smells of cake. And that’s just how Jason wanted it. A space where locals can sit, relax and have it feel like “their bake shop,” he says.
“Our regulars are family.”– Award-Winning Executive Chef, Jason Hisley
It’s About the People
After winning Cupcake Wars with Flavor Cupcakery owner, Shelley Stannard, nine years ago then winning Cake Wars a few years later with La Cakerie, Jason is no stranger to some fame and success (he’s also been on news segments here in Baltimore).
So, upon going out on his own, Jason could have just rented a kitchen somewhere and made a fantastic living baking behind the scenes with the income and the freedom, etc. But it’s about so much more than money and baking masterpieces…
For Jason, it’s about the people. Opening a space for neighbors and locals to gather and nurture that sense of community matters to him the most. He thinks of CAKE as a “bakery boutique” because customers can actually learn to bake, right alongside Jason, in some of his many workshops… or just relax with coffee and a donut. With a full staff, Jason has the chance to focus on a more flawless execution, as he describes it. The chance to really push himself and fine-tune his craft… developing new ideas, new flavors and new designs.
It’s Okay to Dream Big…
Speaking of flavors and designs… when it comes to wedding cakes, Jason and his team want couples to know that it’s more than okay to dream big. Today, wedding cakes serve as so much more than dessert items but as statement pieces. So, when dreaming up that wedding cake, Jason and his team want couples to set no boundaries. Bring the dream – bring the wild ideas – bring the pictures – but also an open mind. Don’t be adamant on including every exact detail from that Pinterest screen-shot; rather, allow his team the flexibility to create something even more unique.
Jason jokes that if his team can’t physically bake it, they can fake it, which is something a lot of couples don’t consider. If an idea seems too wild, bring it to them anyway. Maybe they can bake all of it – or maybe just a part of it. A lot can happen with styrofoam and icing (hint hint, and sheet cakes can be cut in the back to serve guests). “We just created a massive totem pole cake that we delivered to Camp Putok”, Jason adds with a chuckle.
Trending Cake Designs
When asked about the types of cakes that are trending right now, Jason immediately answered Geode design (as shown below) and jewel tone cakes with bold and sophisticated style. These cakes really look like pieces of wedding decor.
He adds that cupcakes are still in high demand of course because of how many flavors and variety they provide. Will there ever come a day when cupcakes AREN’T in high demand? I don’t think so. Especially with flavors like Cherry Cola… Birthday Cake… Triple Chocolate… and Strawberries and Cream (to name just a few you can find at CAKE).
It came as no surprise that Jason’s answer to the question “what’s your absolute favorite thing to bake?” was cupcakes, while explaining he loves how such basic ingredients can result in endless combinations. He adds that nothing beats digging into a cupcake, especially with that first heaping bite. Have to say, I agree there’s just no other way to do it.
Keeping it Simple…
Jason’s approach to baking and running the bakery is the same… “keep it simple,” he said. “Do what you do exceptionally well, and people will come back.” For Jason, that’s baking cake and cupcakes exceptionally well… interacting with the community exceptionally well… and treating his staff like family exceptionally well.
As the the interview came to an end, I had just one last question before devouring my own cupcake. I turned to his staff member, Kristen, and asked “have you ever seen Jason without a mo-hawk?” “Nope,” she replied with a smile.
Visit CAKE at www.cakebyjason.com or stop by at
47 East Padonia Road, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093