— celebrating with cake for 4 decades—
Trained by presidential pastry chef, Adolph 'Steve' Volk, to bake and decorate wedding cakes, Janice Wilson was the premier wedding cake decorator in Santa Cruz county for over four decades. Under the business name, Jan's Cakes, Janice provided celebration desserts for multiple generations of local families. Near retirement, Jan began to pass her recipes and techniques to daughter Carren and granddaughter Hannah who were excited to build upon Jan's experiences and knowledge. Hannah encouraged Janice to redefine some of her recipes to accommodate dietary restrictions including vegan and gluten free desserts. A three generation endeavor, Farm House Frosting was initially created to be a wholesale frosting business, but instead evolved organically into a bakery with a storefront. In 2011, Buttercup Cakes and Farm House Frosting was born in a tiny shop on Santa Cruz' Locust Street. The variety of delicious flavor combinations as well as the cultivation of winning gluten free and vegan recipes and the use of organic ingredients propelled Buttercup Cakes into the focus of discerning celebration planners both locally and in the central coast area. Soon, the little Buttercup Cakes refrigerator truck was traveling as far south as Big Sur and as far north as Napa, to provide cakes, cupcakes, and dessert selections to a variety of celebrations.
The Buttercup Cakes team began to grow with the shop's opening and soon included exceptional bakers and decorators who trained with Jan to work her unique recipes. (See Team Profiles) In 2015, the shop was bursting at its seams and Carren made the decision to expand the space and move into the 1411 Pacific Avenue location around the corner from the small Locust Street shop. The new building was spacious enough to allow seating and libations and within a year the business expanded its offerings from just cakes to several exceptional pastries and savory items. In addition to providing desserts for a vast number of weddings every season, the shop also offers high tea on Saturdays and Sundays and lunch specials during the week.
Although Janice is still on call for baking advice and sometimes as the needed extra driver for large wedding weekends, at 76 she is now retired and happy to watch the evolution and growth of the creative seeds she has sown. One of her last projects was an anniversary cake replicating the one she had made for the couple's wedding 50 years before.
Janice's granddaughter, Hannah, who truly inspired the transfer of her vast knowledge and skills, now attends college, only rejoining the team during breaks and holidays.
Carren currently runs the bakery with an incredibly dedicated team (again, see Team Profiles) and continues to be the fire igniting the creation of the Buttercup Cakes and Farm House Frosting project.
We look forward to helping you celebrate with cake in the present, and into the future.