Amy Kiefer has always been comfortable in the kitchen, but she didn’t decide to make a living at baking until the organization she worked at faced budget cuts.
As assistant director of a rape crisis center for nine years, the stressful nature of Kiefer’s work during the day motivated her to get elbow-deep in flour at night. She baked cupcakes methodically, often bringing them into the office for taste tests.
When news of layoffs came around the bend, Kiefer opted to take the hint and depart. Today, Kiefer’s Sugar Moon Bake Shop offers a daily assortment of cupcake flavors, such as a creamy banana pudding, the requisite red velvet, mojito, and even a gluten-free lemon cornmeal option. Customers will also find cookies, bars, among other treats, and the bakery takes special orders for layer cakes, pies, and of course, cupcakes.
Cupcakes are your claim to fame, but I’ve heard about Bring Your Own Cast Iron Skillet. You had a customer ask you to make them cornbread, then you opted to put it on the menu?
Yes, that's all correct. It’s Southern Secret Skillet Cornbread, topped with orange blossom honey butter. The cornbread is actually the only product I don't have a recipe for. I learned how to make it from my mother who was taught by my grandmother and great-grandmother, Belle Justice. It's kind of an innate cornbread baking style that was passed down through the generations.
What other customer-suggested things have you got going? I get great suggestions from my customers and I try to implement them all! We just added black forrest cupcakes—a customer wanted to surprise her boyfriend with his favorite cake for his birthday. I was so pleased with them, we added them to the holiday menu. Our maple bacon cupcake was also suggested by one of our best customers. Next suggestion I will implement is a banana bread cupcake with Nutella frosting.
We also just launched our Cupcake of the Month club and one member benefit is a first taste of our new flavors, so I hope to keep the suggestions coming!
Speaking of the holiday menu, am I looking at Santa on a cupcake? That’s the Santa hat cupcake with chocolate cake, and the hat is buttercream frosting. It’s great for the kids.
And for the kids at heart. What other Christmas-inspired treats are you featuring? The black forrest cupcake is perfect for a sophisticated holiday gathering. And we do a dozen combination: the poinsettia cupcake with red velvet cake and poinsettia design, the candy cane with chocolate cake and peppermint frosting, and the snowflake cupcake with vanilla cake and a pale blue, snowflake design. That one’s perfect for corporate gifts or an office gathering.
You had this great little guy during Thanksgiving—pumpkin lavender—is that still around?
Yes! The pumpkin lavender is still available and has become quite popular. They are the perfect ending to a holiday dinner party.
Coming off of the job you had, what do you like most about manning cupcake central? I enjoy meeting and getting to know our customers most. We are so lucky to be a part of the wonderful moments in peoples lives. Special orders for weddings, birthdays, baby showers, and baptisms are all so great. But "reveal cupcakes" for couples expecting babies are the most fun for me.
Reveal cupcakes! That might be the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. You are around a lot of families in Oakhurst. Has being in that part of town had a unique impact on your business? Any plans to expand? The Oakhurst, East Lake, and Kirkwood neighborhoods have been so supportive. There is definitely a community feeling here. The residents have really welcomed us and given us such positive feedback. We look forward to becoming a part of other communities in the future.