I met Jen Choi, owner of Hoboken's Sugarsuckle, back in 2015 when a mutual friend suggested she do my wedding cake. That was truly the cake of my dreams-- It was a with raspberry buttercream frosting in between moist chocolate cake layers, COVERED in gold sparkles. Since, Jen has also done a beautiful naked cake for my mom's surprise party, but it wasn't until a chance post on another Instagram account that I found out she was working on opening a studio space. Before that I hadn't even thought to search for Jen or Sugarsuckle on Instagram. And after that day I was looking forward to her daily IG Stories to see how the studio buildout was going. When I started reaching out to businesses for HudsonCounty60, she was one of the first I contacted.
Jen's space isn't your typical retail bakery, in fact it's not really one at all. It looks like Joanna Gaines came in and Magnolia-ed the hell out of it-- mixing new with old, high with low, and design and function. Aside from special occasions, the studio doesn't actually have retail hours. It's used as her commercial kitchen, as well as a space where she hosts all different kinds of workshops and private events. Want to learn how to decorate a cake? There's a workshop. Want to make an edible terrarium? There's a workshop. Want to throw your kid a unicorn cookie decorating party? THIS IS YOUR PLACE.
In our first video, Jen shows me how to make the amazingly elegant, but simple Macaron Splatter Cake. First she alternates layers of chocolate and vanilla cake, with dulce de leche buttercream in between, and puts an initial buttercream crumb coating on. After some time in the fridge, she smooths on another buttercream layer and then the magic really starts. She takes edible gold powder and mixes it with Everclear (YUM!!!) to make it into paint, and simply splatters it onto the clean, white cake canvas. Then she pipes on frosting circles, and tops them with HOMEMADE MACARONS!! I'M SCREAMING WITH EXCITEMENT! Lastly-- the crowning glory-- she places large geometric dragees ever so strategically placed on the top. Can you even? No. You simply can not.
In our next video Jen takes on the arduous task of trying to teach me how to decorate cacti sugar cookies. A process that involves mixing food coloring to get the right color icing, and then putting them into icing bags you make yourself out of parchments paper. THEN you have to outline cookies close to the edge, but not so close that the icing spills over, fill it in, and get out air bubbles. As an amateur crafter, these would normally be challenges I would be all about, but given one chance to get it right ON CAMERA, I simply was not up to the task. As with everything else though, Jen makes it look easy and is perfectly kind as she encourages you to continue on.
Overall, my time with Jen at Sugarsuckle was everything I had hoped from the beautiful space. I got to make pretty things, and best of all I got to eat them after. For more information on Sugarsuckle, visit her website here, and make sure to stay up to date on all of her happenings on Instagram. In case you didn't already hear, we've teamed up with Sugarsuckle to giveaway a tote bag and a $75 gift card redeemable for desserts, workshops or events. To enter check out the HudsonCounty60 Instagram here... and give us a follow while you're at it, why don't ya?