As children, the meal most of us looked forward to is dessert. Many of us can remember excitedly yet patiently waiting for dinner to be over just so we could have our favorite sugary treat after. While we all enjoyed sweets in our childhood and thereafter, bakers like Kelsey Hairston appreciated the artistry behind our favorite goodies.
Kelsey Hairston, CEO of Virginia based bakery Cakes By Kelsey, crafts intricate cakes and delicate cupcakes that will stand out at any event or party. Cakes By Kelsey is an eye-catching brand, capturing your attention immediately after you watch her tempting cake building tutorial videos on Instagram. The enticing videos will persuade you to place an order for a decadent dessert with the growing cakery right on the spot.
For many years Hairston has developed her baking craft, gaining interest in baking from watching her mother bake cakes during her childhood.
“As a young girl, I would see my mother make the occasional cake from a boxed cake mix,” Hairston said. “One day the idea sparked within me to create my own cake and icing from scratch. From that point, my interest and intrigue grew very quickly into what has now become a business.”
Since 2008 Hairston has been in business, cementing her space within the cake industry by designing signature cakes that represent her colorful baking style. Although Hairston has derived inspiration from other bakers like Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro and Ace of Cakes’ Duff Goldman, Hairston remains uniquely herself.
Hairston has encountered roadblocks in an effort to remain authentic as a cake artist, trudging through many obstacles during her journey as an entrepreneur and baker. Through her determination, perseverance and dedication, Hairston has triumphed greatly.
“The biggest obstacle was the pressure to create things that were out of my particular field of interest,” said Hairston.“I went through several years of enduring this pressure until I realized that I am in control of what I create and what I offer within my business. I pinpointed the baked goods that I was most passionate about creating, and set better boundaries with my customers.”
Unlike typical bakeries, Hairston prefers to keep her business on the move. Literally. Hairston’s Cakes By Kelsey is a business constantly on the move, delivering top tier cakes to willing customers opposed to just waiting for them to walk in-store.
“I do not foresee myself having a storefront business,” says Hairston. “I tried it out a few years ago, and I honestly did not like being stationary and “waiting” for others to come to me. I’ve found my greatest success in being able to travel (a reasonable distance) to service those who are interested in what I have to offer.”
Cakes By Kelsey is on the trajectory to becoming a countrywide name and the go-to cakery for your sweet tooth and event catering needs. Although Hairston specializes in cakes, she also makes delicious chocolate chip cookies! If you are a baking enthusiast and want to try a recipe exclusively from prime baker Kelsey Hairston than read on.
Kelsey’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks salted butter
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 ¼ cups flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
11.5 oz. bag milk chocolate chips
-Preheat oven to 300F
-Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
-Add eggs and blend for about 1 minute.
-With a mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix.
-Either stir in chocolate chips, or blend in with a stand mixer for just a few seconds until fully incorporated.
-Portion dough with an ice cream scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.
-Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is still soft.
Remove from the oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.