Life is what you bake it.
Having captured the attention of Oprah Winfrey and former President Bill Clinton with her signature Lemon Gooey Butter Cake and vegan brownies, April Anderson is creating a sweeter Detroit one baked good at a time.
April and her wife Michelle opened Good Cakes and Bakes in 2013 on Livernois in Detroit’s Historical Avenue of Fashion and are committed to create an environment that is wholesome, positive, and creative.
EXP: At what age did you realize you had a knack for baking and how did you discover your talent?
AA: I started baking around the age of 8 with my mother, but I made my first cake all by myself when I was 9 years old.
EXP: What’s the inspiration behind your recipes?
AA: Social media and blogs definitely have an influence on what we bake, but a lot of our ideas come from our southern roots and family recipes.
EXP: What makes Good Cakes and Bakes different from other bakeries?
AA: I think the most important thing that differentiates us (besides our undeniable deliciousness), is how every decision we make is guided by our core beliefs taking into consideration our community and planet first. We make sure that we hire from our community, including returning citizens. We use organic ingredients when we can, and we pay our staff a living wage.
EXP: You’ve baked for A-List celebrities, have appeared on the TODAY show, were a Pastry Chef for the James Beard Media Awards, and so much more! Out of all your accomplishments which has meant the most to you?
AA: Being on the TODAY show with my mother was so special because she works so hard with us, and it was amazing to share national accolades with her. I know it meant the world to her too and it was her first time in New York City so that made it extra special.
EXP: What is your favorite ingredient to bake with?
AA: I love baking with yeast! So, that includes cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and we’re going to start baking breads soon.
EXP: What advice would you share with people baking at home this holiday season who want to spruce up a basic vanilla or chocolate cake?
AA: Make sure you use quality ingredients! Using good quality vanilla and chocolate will turn the most basic recipe into a masterpiece.
EXP: Detroit is booming with small businesses that need support right now. Which are some of your favorites?
AA: I’m loving Ferne Boutique, Bronzed ’n Glow (my neighbor), Detroit Dough, and Three Thirteen.
EXP: Coffee, tea, or hot cocoa?
AA: Hot cocoa and I’m loving our brand new hot cocoa bombs!
EXP: What’s next for Good Cakes and Bakes?
AA: We’re continuing to add to our menu with breakfast items, salads and sandwiches and will start offering baking classes and demos soon. We’re also growing our online business with nationwide shipping. Currently we are shipping over 100 cakes a week, but we would love to grow that to 500 cakes a week over the next six months and we now have the space and staff to meet the demand. We’re excited to grow in our newly renovated space!