Meet talented baker Michelle Mahoney; a self-taught pastry chef with a flair for making delicious, bite-sized “teeny cakes.” What started out as a playful kitchen experiment to create the perfect vanilla cupcake became the springboard for launching her wildly successful Teeny Cake booth at the Marin Civic Center and Novato farmers’ markets. As word spread, Mahoney’s teeny cakes quickly morphed into a thriving business with a devout fan base.
A chemist by trade, Michelle inherited her mother’s passion for baking. Cake was a staple in her childhood home. Her mother baked for every occasion imaginable while Michelle watched, tasted, and learned from her example. Though she graduated college with a degree in Chemistry, the allure of the kitchen and the memory of her mother’s cakes continued to inspire her through the years. In her free time, she began baking test recipes in her home kitchen. Friends begged for more and offered to pay for her experimental batches. In 2009 she left her full time job, traded her lab coat for an apron, and never looked back.
Her mastery is evident in every delectable Teeny Cake morsel. “I love playing with flavors and creating something truly special,” she says with a hint of Southern drawl. Her penchant for transforming flour, butter, and sugar into unique, flavorful desserts has become the hallmark of her business.
Her background in chemistry didn’t hurt either. “I’ve probably used my training more as a baker than in any other job,” she laughs, enjoying the irony.
In September 2014, five years after launching her successful farmers market booth, Teeny Cake opened its first brick-and-mortar retail site in downtown Novato. With a decidedly “industrial chic” feel, the new store has a spacious design, full-service coffee/tea bar (serving local Equator coffee; Mighty Leaf and Silk Road Teas), and plenty of seating for customers.
A large separate party and event space off the main room is available for private bookings beginning in October 2014. Mahoney also plans to offer an afternoon High Tea and Holiday Tea by reservation on weekdays and weekends.
Teeny Cake’s daily menu features ten classic flavors–including Chocolate, Red Velvet, and Vanilla with buttercream icing–as well as special “weekender” delights like Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Salted Butterscotch, and Mint Chocolate. Mahoney’s signature cupcake, “Olive You,” pairs classic vanilla cake with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel sea salt that’s a customer favorite. Seasonal offerings like Pumpkin and Eggnog-Caramel are not to be missed!
In addition to bite-sized mouthfuls, patrons will find traditional-size cupcakes, a daily gluten-free option, cookies, muffins, breakfast pastries, and “celebration” cakes. Special orders are gladly accepted and delivery is available in most areas of Marin County.
“We just want to make people happy,” says Michelle, whose Southern hospitality shines through. It’s seems she’s found her “sweet spot” in life–one small bite at a time.
Teeny Cake Boutique Bakery is located at 7400 Redwood Boulevard #101 in Novato, California. Visit www.teenycake.com or call 415-895-5003 for more information.