Lately, slices of dense cake with buttercream frosting and toppings like glistening berry compotes and picturesque edible flowers have become coveted weekend treats at Cherry Picker Package x Fare. The slices, available on a first-come-first-serve basis on Fridays, go fast. But those who score a piece get to try unexpected flavor combinations such as lemon, basil and blackberry.
Ellie Schmidly, owner of Cake SGF and front-of-house manager at Cherry Picker, is the baker who gets all the credit for the cakes, which highlight local ingredients like Askinosie Chocolate, Hugo Tea Co. tea and edible flowers from Maypop Flower Farm and Urban Roots Farm.
Cake SGF is one of the newest cake businesses in Springfield. Schmidly is also a singer-songwriter, so when Springfield’s COVID-19 shutdown left her with nowhere to perform and few places to be, she started working on perfecting her cake recipes.
“I was just kind of looking for a way to make something beautiful,” Schmidly says. “It was a really quick payoff because in a few hours, I could have this lovely baked good.”
Be the first to know the weekly cake flavor available at Cherry Picker by following @CakeSGF on Instagram or order an entire custom cake by calling 417.501.4948.
How do you reimagine classic cakes? I think nailing the classics is really important. The chocolate cake with chocolate icing has a hint of coffee in it, and it is just really recognizable – it is like "my grandma’s chocolate cake" recipe sort of thing. Obviously, a really good dense white cake I think is the thing that’s gotten me farther down the road, because it is a recipe that I kind of formulated over the years of being a passionate at-home baker. You’re able to sort of add this or take this away and use different substitutes, like goat cheese instead of cream cheese. All of a sudden, that in itself is inspiring because it is like, ‘Oooh, what do I want to eat with goat cheese? I want chocolate and cherries. Cool, I’ll make that cake next.’
What influences some of your signature flavor combinations? Lately, I have been trying to balance a floral, fragrant flavor with a fruit, like citrus. This is the best time of the year to make cakes because spring and summer are so abundant with fruit and all of the wonderful things you can make into jams or curds. So I try to find a base that I really like and then play off of that with the filling. I usually stick with buttercream frosting because it is such a solid, classic icing.
Currently, what are some of your favorite ingredients? Lately, I’ve been using jasmine tea from [Hugo Tea] in Kansas City. I have been steeping their tea into a process of the cake and using that as a flavoring. It is so fragrant and so good. I also love Askinosie Chocolate because it has such a distinct flavor. When someone eats it – even if it is baked into a cake – they’re like, ‘There’s Askinosie in this.’ I think it is pretty great on Askinosie’s end that they have such a distinct product. And lastly, peaches, because they are in season right now.
What is your ideal day of eating in Springfield? So I am actually not a huge breakfast eater, but I would get a house coffee from Kingdom Coffee and then I would go to Cherry Picker and get a double cappuccino. For lunch, I would probably do Skully’s Ramen and get either a rice bowl or wings. For dinner, I would get Cesar’s Old Mexico. They have pupusas, which are amazing, and I’d get a Margarita from there too.
Cake SGF, 417.501.4948, instagram.com/cake.sgf