Learn the secrets of success behind Rose & Elm Baking Co.

Greetings dessert lovers! My name is Savannah King, owner and chef of Rose and Elm Baking Co. I started my business last September, so to celebrate one year in business, I’m going to tell you a bit more about me and my company.

I come from a pretty large family and found that I was passionate about baking even from a young age. Many people in my life were bakers. My mom, great grandma, aunt, and cousins, to name a few. I was always mesmerized watching them bake and hearing their stories. I knew that someday I could be like them. That day has finally come. A lot of them like to joke that I’ve surpassed them at this point, but in my opinion, a pineapple upside-down cake made by your mom, remains the best thing on this planet.

Building my company, I knew I wanted to be different from what I currently see in the market. I wanted to source as many local ingredients as I could. I wanted to do research into the companies and their practices, especially for chocolate and vanilla. I wanted my ingredients to be high quality and come from ethical and fair-trade companies. I didn’t want to include any artificial food dyes in my recipes. I wanted to explore with my flavors and designs to follow what I’ve seen in this new age of cake decorating. So I took all of these desires and I started Rose and Elm Baking Co.

The most common feedback I get from people is, “wow that was the best cake I’ve ever had.” I’ve had strangers give me hugs after having a slice, then go back for another. Many people can’t pinpoint exactly why, they just know it’s different. Using real, high quality butter gives a better flavor in buttercream rather than using vegetable shortening. Using made from scratch cakes rather than a mix gives a better texture. The ratio of fats in my cakes gives an even and flavorful crumb that stays moist. Although many of the ingredients I avoid or avoid using high ratios of aren’t inherently bad, I still choose not to use them because the alternative is more flavorful. It is costly, but it is worth it to me.

My decision to not use artificial food dyes doesn’t come from a place of negativity or judgment. It’s well known in the baking community that artificial food dye can change the texture or can have a bitter taste. Some people choose to avoid it for health reasons. But none of those reasons are right or wrong. My decision to avoid them is based on personal preference. That being said – I do still dye my cakes and buttercreams, just not artificially. I use options to both enhance flavor and color. My favorites to use are fruits, vegetable powders, herbs, and some flowers. If my cake is blue, it tastes like butterfly pea flower. If it’s green, it tastes like matcha. I love the idea of cakes looking how they will taste and the idea of incorporating more flavors into a cake to make it more complex.

From the outside looking in, most of my cakes are decorated using locally grown flowers. I typically opt for a minimal design with my buttercream to showcase the beauty of the flowers, herbs, or fruit I arrange on top. It took a lot of practice to figure out how to perfectly balance this all – but I’ve finally found a good flow. Designing a cake is a very creative process for me. Although I often receive reference photos, I am still able to create one of a kind pieces. I enjoy that the cakes and desserts I make have a specific style yet they are all unique. Baking and decorating for me is an art.

Currently, I am working on expanding my desserts to have gluten free and dairy-free options. I have been testing many recipes and ratios to see what works best but haven’t found the perfect fit yet. I only will release a menu when I am confident it is my best work. Those who are gluten-free and dairy-free deserve tasty desserts that meet my high standards! While I enjoy catering towards certain dietary restrictions, I don’t envision myself creating an extensive menu for it. However, this is something I can reconsider in the future based on demand, but I know there are other very talented bakers around Kansas City that are up for the challenge.

In regards to this upcoming year, I am most excited to explore the new trends surrounding wedding desserts and expanding my company. Right now, dessert tables are becoming more popular because a lot of people are choosing things other than cake. People want to explore more flavors and designs. Many creatives are calling this a new era in cake for this very reason. I am so happy to be a part of it and can’t wait to see what this year will bring for Rose and Elm.

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