Wilmington’s Bake My Day offers treats
Story and photos by John Hamilton
Baking and cooking had always been a part of Judy Taylor’s life.
But it was after her stint as a nurse that she decided to make that her full-time job.
“I’ve always loved baking,” said Taylor. “I have a lot of family members that loved baking and cooking — aunts on both sides, and my mother was a wonderful baker. As long as you were willing to learn as a young girl, you were in the kitchen.”
Taylor became a nurse in 1985, working in various fields including 20 years in oncology and managing the Cancer Center in Wilmington.
But when she left in 2014 she decided to pursue her love of baking by starting her own business — Bake My Day, operated out of her home in Wilmington.
It was always a passion for Taylor, but she had never done anything before up to this level. It all started with just a couple of orders. She then got her home bakery license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and since then her business has grown.
She believes a key to her success has been that she makes everything from scratch — from the multiple types of icing, including the popular buttercream and the royal icing for her cookies — and the pie crust that has been passed down through the ages.
“My pie crust recipe was a grandmother’s, then it passed down to my mother, which went to us,” she said. “Most of my aunts and my mother baked from scratch. That’s just how I was taught. It does make a difference. I think that’s truly why I’ve become in such high demand.”
She believes once someone has had a bite of a made-from-scratch dessert, they’re hooked.
While her vanilla cake with raspberry filling is her most popular, Taylor has 32 different recipes for people to choose from.
“I do anything from the basics — chocolate, vanilla, yellow cake — to things such as s’mores, salted caramel, orange Dreamsicle, peppermint,” she said.
Along with the family connection and the experimenting with recipes, a reason why she loves baking is watching the reaction on people’s faces when they see their cakes.
“I am very much a people person. I had always done baking and cakes prior; I thought, ‘Well, I’ll still get to meet people and make people happy,’” she said.
Whether it’s a bride getting teary-eyed at her wedding cake or when a parent wells up seeing their child’s first birthday cake, she considers it a blessing.
As for the future of Bake My Day, Taylor is looking to develop a website and expand both her kitchen and her menu.
Because she is licensed, she’s able to create items such as cheesecakes, pumpkin rolls and dipped strawberries that requires them to be kept at a certain temperature.
“What I tell people is, ‘Don’t let the small kitchen or small space fool you. I turn out big bakes and major products in this space,’” she said.
Bake My Day
Facebook: Bake My Day by Judy Taylor
Judy’s Texas Tornado Cake
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups fruit cocktail with juice
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup shredded sweet coconut
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
Boiled Coconut Icing:
1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream or Half & Half
1 1/2 cups shredded sweet coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix white sugar, eggs, fruit cocktail (do not drain the juice), soda and flour. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, vanilla, 1/2 cup coconut and nuts, and sprinkle onto the batter.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until done.
While the cake is baking, make the boiled coconut icing.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add Half & Half or cream. Stir in 1 1/2 cups coconut and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
Bring the ingredients to a boil and continue to boil for two minutes, stirring continuously.
Remove from heat and pour the hot mixture over the cake while the cake is still warm.