As soon as I read about mother and daughter team, Maggie and Katie Sweeney in Atlanta, who make delicious and innovative cakes, many with a southern twist, I found my way to their shop Cake Hag. I ordered a piece of their Carolina Carrot Cake filled with incredibly delicious carmelized pineapples. It was, as they say, love at first bite.
Maggie and Katie recently moved from their storefront location in downtown Atlanta to a kitchen behind a local church in Grant Park. They no longer have their retail space but you can stop by or call to order a cake. And if you do stop by, I bet they'll offer you cake scraps of whatever yumminess they're concocted for the day...
In all her cakes, Maggie uses Swiss and Italian buttercream and stays away from hydrogenation. Her favorite is the butter sponge cake with dark chocolate ganache and a blood orange sangria marmalade. She is known for her Jameson Irish Whiskey pudding cake but I'm dying to try their brandied peaches cake with honey butter or Katie's favorite, bourbon chocolate cake with cookie dough filling. Hungry yet?
Maggie took a night class on the principles of baking 26 years ago and has been hooked ever since. Her flavor combinations, that have been perfected over time, are spot on. Maggie loves to come up with a new cake idea, sharing "The real fun comes from creating unusual recipes and combos."
Each week you'll find something different in their kitchen and as all true chefs will attest, it depends what's in season and what tastes best at the time. They source as many products as they can from local farmers. Their strawberries and apples come from R & A Orchards in Ellijay, Georgia and all their peaches from Sunny Hill Farms in Gaffney, South Carolina.
A couple weeks ago, Maggie let me know of a really wonderful event that her and Katie were asked to be a part of at Morehouse College. It was a luncheon to celebrate the 100th birthday anniversary for Dr. Dorothy Irene Height.
Dr. Height led an extraordinary life. Known most as a civil rights advocate, she fought tirelessly for equality for both African Americans and women. My favorite part about her career was her creation of Wednesdays in Mississippi, which brought together women from the north and the south and encouraged a dialogue about race and equality. She received a bachelor and masters degree from New York University and has amassed over 30 honorary doctorates from prestigious schools such as Princeton, Harvard and Morehouse. Miss Height passed away in 2010, just two years shy of her 100th birthday.
As Dr. Height came up in a time when women wore hats and gloves, it was common to see her impeccably dressed...from her tailored church suits to her extensive collection of signature hats. For the 100 year anniversary of her birth, Maggie and Katie were asked to make 16 hats to serve as centerpieces for the event.
Maggie decided on four different varieties of cakes; white chocolate raspberry, chocolate covered cherry, butter coconut with mango and Carolina carrot.
This is freshly made raspberry curd for the white chocolate cakes. You have to have a lot of willpower in this kitchen not to lick every bowl...
Maggie and Kate prepared the hat accessories ahead of time which include an array of colorful flowers...so pretty.
Maggie sketched out all the stylish hats beforehand. She also created a color chart to signify which hats would be the chocolates, carrot or butter coconut.
I love the all-white theme to this party, which helps the vibrant and eye catching hats be the centerpieces that they are.
This hat was Maggie's favorite and I have to say, I have to agree... the little bows are just too perfect.
It was wonderful to learn more about the astounding work of Dr. Height and quite fun to read about her love for staying stylish through the years. Her personal bravery in fashion complemented her couragous fight for equality and justice. Click here to see a look at Dr. Height's style throught the decades. And to learn more about the fabulous cake duo Maggie and Katie over at Cake Hag, click here. Their cakes, I promise you, will not disappoint...
Photos and Content: Sweet Peach First photo: Aharon Hill Photography