Welcome to the “Twelve Cakes of Christmas,” written by Michelle Rizzolo of Big Sur Bakery with original illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton.

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Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton

I’ve been baking professionally since I was a teenager. …


Welcome to the “Twelve Cakes of Christmas,” written by Michelle Rizzolo of Big Sur Bakery with original illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton and Danielle Murray.

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“You will swoon at the aroma,” says the country’s preeminent jam maker June Taylor about her Berkeley-based commercial kitchen The Still Room, which at this time of year is filled with trays of shriveled Muscat, Flame, and Zante grapes being dehydrated for her traditional Christmas cake. …


Welcome to the “Twelve Cakes of Christmas,” written by Michelle Rizzolo of Big Sur Bakery with original illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton and Danielle Murray.

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton

Ask Jamie Stachowski about his legendary giant fruitcake of thirty years ago—the one baked in a wine crate and which had to be carried into the oven by multiple chefs—and he’ll tell you that the story begins further back, when he first learned to make fruits confits. “I would start at the beginning of the year,” he says, describing his passion for a painstaking process he discovered by accident—one that involves candying whole fruits for a week, regardless of size, convenience, or kitchen space. “Cherries, plums, berries, peaches, Pluots, apricots—I’d slit them a bit and eke out the stone beforehand to keep it from imparting a bitter flavor, but keep the fruit intact. …

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Our wood-fired bakery features hearth-baked breads and pastries made by hand daily on the Big Sur coast.

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