Jessie Oleson from CakeSpy Shares Her Favorite Sugary Treats

Tell us more about yourself, your site, and your family.

Hi! My name is Jessie, but most people know me as CakeSpy. I’m a triple threat: writer, baker, and illustrator. I combine these talents in one magical place at CakeSpy.com, which is a website dedicated to seeking sweetness in everyday life. The goal is realized through my artistic baking and writing pursuits all centered around sweets. My family consists of me and my pug, Porkchop. We currently live in Philadelphia, though we have wanderlust and previously lived in Seattle. My extended family lives in nearby Belmar, NJ, and we frequently visit.

What inspired you to start blogging about food? How did you come up with your name, CakeSpy?

For me, the site is a celebration of my love of all things sweet and my natural curiosity about them. As a CakeSpy, I am a professional seeker of sweetness – both literal and figurative – and this site gives me an outlet and a place to share this sweetness with the world. On a personal note, CakeSpy has also been a key ingredient in my eating disorder recovery. I suffered from an eating disorder in my youth and young adulthood, and embracing the “forbidden” foods that I truly loved has given me a chance to actually enjoy them without guilt. Who would have thought that surrounding yourself by cake all day long would actually help you to have a healthier attitude about eating it? But it has. And because of that, I have started to donate a portion of all of my online sales to the NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association).

What are your favorite recipes that you’ve featured? Where do you find most of your recipes?

Many of my recipes are family or classics which I have put my own unique spin on. For instance, Cookie Cake Pie – a classic recipe for each, all put together. I am so clever! Another favorite is the Behemoth crumb cake, triple the crumb and a third of the cake. In terms of cleverness, I am still pretty proud of an invention of mine called “S’moreos” – S’more oreos.

You also have a shop on your site where you sell different kitchen products. Which products do you recommend moms to buy?

ALL OF THEM! OK, in particular I suggest my amazing cookbook, which will make your life awesomer, sweeter, and more butter-filled. I also suggest some cool measuring spoons and a cute mug!

What are a few of your favorite desserts that you have made?

Some of my personal favorites are the Tiffany and Co. Bonbon cookies, Grilled Cheesecake, this entire trompe l’oeil dinner, and I really enjoyed these cornmeal cookie bars!

What are 5 tips that you can give moms when they are cooking in the kitchen?

  1. Don’t panic. Have fun – of course the final product matters, but not as much as the process. Even if a cake doesn’t come out perfectly, your kids will still enjoy making it with you!
  2. Be healthy, but not to the detriment of what you’re making. Sure, low-fat peanut butter may have a place, but it’s NOT in peanut butter cookies.
  3. When in doubt, add more sprinkles on top. It’s pretty, and fun!
  4. If your cookies spread too much or your cake collapses, all is not lost–if you mix it with some milk and ice cream, I guarantee it will taste great in a shake.
  5. Make French toast with any leftover carbohydrates – day-old croissants, bread, even doughnuts! It’s fun and delightful for kids.
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