It all started with a “Pikachu”. That and grandma’s gooey butter cake recipe. Yes, a Pikachu birthday cake led me to where I am today, chatting with Samantha Humes, owner of “Sammi’s Sweets”, a new shop slated to pop up soon in St. Charles.
The ladies of Sammi’s family have made gooey butter cake for three generations and grandma’s recipe has always been quite a hit. But one day, as her eldest son’s birthday approached, a muse decended, “ What if I made a character cake this year?”. That was that. The next year she attempted to one-up herself. And now for over 5 years she’s been out doing herself, making fun creative character cakes for her children and the children of friends and family, and anyone else who likes to see castles, Zombies and cartoon characters made of marshmallow fondant. It’s made of marshmallow because that tends to taste better than the more traditional recipe.
Sammi herself doesn’t eat a lot of sweets, so each recipe she perfects goes through a rigorous taste testing by friends and family, and then it must pass the C.H.E.K. quality test. (C-H-E-K are the initials of her children) Of course, to my dismay, there are no openings on that panel. The upside is when you taste her sweets, whether gooey butter cake or cake pops or cupcakes, you know it’s of the highest quality and best taste possible. Sammi herself concedes she’s a bit of a plain Jane and her favorite of all of her sweets is the original gooey butter cake. Though, for you more adventurous, she offers cherry, blueberry, pineapple, caramel, chocolate, or s’mores gooey butter cake.
Though she’s been making gooey cakes from an unchanged recipe forever, she has yet to make the same kids’ cake twice. They all come down to the same couple of cake flavors, but the designs are endless. Just tell her what you want and she’ll find a way to make your child’s face light up. Because that’s why she does this. And why she will continue to do this. That look on a kid’s face when the cake is revealed and they just can’t believe it. You know that look. We all do. Because kids never pretend to not be impressed when the secretly are. They are openly blown away and that reaction has driven Sammi’s Sweets to what it is today. But it is growing fast and will soon include a cute store front where you can get her gooey butter cakes by the slice along with all her other sweets. Keep an eye out for this sweet spot!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to wait until the storefront open to indulge. Everything she offers is fresh-made to order. Just give her a call to try some fresh homemade sweet creations. But if you’re intrepid and have been inspired to try some fun creation of your own, here’s Sammie’s tip: Crumb coat. What’s that you say? Glad you asked, because I had no idea myself. Crumb coating means that when the cake comes out of the oven and cools, instead of globbing a thick layer of icing on, slap on a layer so thin you can see the crumbs through it. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but it sure is useful. This action seals in the moisture and makes spreading the final layer much easier. If you want to go a step further, put the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes after crumb coating it, that really seals in moisture and Sammie feels it takes the cake to another level. You’ll have to let me know how that goes, because I plan to call Sammie for some sweets! So get ready St. Charles, Sammie’s Sweets is here!