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Hello. My name is Jessica Reed, a Cake Historian exploring history, culture, mental health, and identity through the lens of cake. I am the author of The Baker’s Appendix, baker of conceptual cakes, host of The Cake Historian Podcast, and writer, designer, and publisher of chapbooks.
       A self-taught baker, I showed up late to the oven having started on this journey around 2005. What began as a love of beautiful, tasty things that I could share and gift became an intense passion for not only the craft and pleasure of baking, but for the stories, people, and histories behind this hugly symbolic dessert. 
       Over this decade+ I have baked my way through hundreds of recipes, old and new. I have taken classes with modern pastry icons such as Nick Malgieri and Gesine Bullock-Prado, spent a day baking like it was 1799 in an old carriage house with esteemed culinary historian Alice Ross, created cake-based art projects that let me celebrate bestselling authors Lauren Groff and Paula Hawkins, enjoyed an afternoon with The Cake Lady, Francis Kuyper, who ran a museum of cake decoration from the basement of her nursing home until her death in 2010, and basked in many an evening in beautiful conversation with like—and unlike—minds. 
       In June of 2017, after fifteen years in NYC—fourteen of those working for the Penguin Publishing Group as a Senior Designer—my husband, daughter, and I took our lazy cat and moved across the county to Portland, OR where I now write, bake, and design books and book covers.
       I love to talk cake, hear stories, collaborate, and share recipes. Don't hesitate to email me at, and thanks for joining me on this tasty journey. 


The Baker's Appendix: The Essential Kitchen Companion, with Deliciously Dependable, Intinitely Adaptable Recipes

The ultimate quick, yet thorough, reference for bakers, with every metric conversion and ingredient substitution you could want, plus 18 recipes for basic, fail-proof cakes, frostings, and cookies—with variations that combine to make dozens of desserts.

Available everywhere books are sold!

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