from a baker + artist + social entrepreneur

the arley cakes blog

let's get baking! let's get to know each other!

Mexican Chocolate Pie


Fun fact about me: I used to be a math wizard. I started taking high school math classes when I was 11 years old, and in a recent conversation, I described my high school experience of taking calculus and calculus-based physics at the same time as “A Lot of Fun”. Once I went to college, I focused on ~artsier~ things, and my math brain is now a mushy, soggy pie. There are 4 artifacts that remain of my math glory days: Read more

Peppered Cherry Dump Cake


Do you like love? Do you like looking fancy with minimal effort? Do you love any excuse to give a gift, but somehow always procrastinate, and now you are realizing that it’s two days until Valentine’s Day, and you are still empty handed? You’ve come to the right place! Welcome, friend. Make this dump cake for your boo, your roomies, your office, or anyone you might want to impress this week. You’ll dirty two dishes (including the one you bake the cake in), and it’ll take less than 5 minutes to pull together. Dump cakes are usually made from pre-packaged fillings and cake mix, but we’re going rogue with this one. Make sure you tell your friends that you made this completely from scratch, and you’ll get hella credit (just leave out the fact it still required only 5 minutes of prep work to create the cake, because I don’t think they’ll be as impressed with you after you share that).

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Cranberry Pear Pie * with VA Foodie

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I wrote a recipe for a winter cranberry pear pie, and you can find it on VA Foodie’s site! Which celebrates different aspects of the Virginia food scene, from farms, to restaurants, to vineyards, and connects people and makers. I was really excited to partner with them, when they asked me to create a winter dessert using seasonal ingredients we can find here in Virginia, as a part of their holiday mailing. Head to their site for the recipe, and peep some pics of the pie below. I sent this recipe to them months ago, and in that time, I had kind of forgotten how wonderful this pie smells and tastes until I made it again this week. Y’all. Don’t sleep on this. It is just the right combo of sweet and tart, and it has all the best spices. And if you’d like to see how I made the chevron lattice pattern in these pictures, I have a tutorial saved in my story highlights on Instagram! STAY WARM, AND HAPPY BAKING!

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Mini Birthday Crullers!

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* jump to the recipe *

It’s my BIRTHWEEK. This Saturday, I turn 28, which means I’m seriously deep in the throes of my late twenties. This year is the second latest of my twenties, in fact. And you know what people say about the late twenties! Nothing. BUT THAT’S OK. I’m still excited to celebrate the occasion, because honestly, I’m excited to celebrate any occasion. Who doesn’t love an excuse for a party, and the chance to shower gratitude and love over the people who make your life really worth celebrating? I do, I really do.

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Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

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It’s the ho-ho-holidays y’all! I am particularly excited for christmas this year for a number of reasons. One of the most important reasons requires me to share a humble brag: about a month ago, I ran my first race! The Richmond Half Marathon- 13.1 ugly-gruesome, super-freezing miles, preceded by several months of training, drinking more water than wine/coffee every day, actually sleeping at night, and eating (kind of) well. But within 20 minutes of finishing the race, I declared I AM NEVER RUNNING AGAIN. Give me all of the wine, and all of the unhealthy carbs. So may winter 2017 go down in history as The Season Arley Let Herself Go And Had the Best Time Doing It. I’m starting with these cinnamon rolls. The dough is super rich, with milk, eggs, and sugar. And the brown butter in the dough, filling, and icing + the hint of nutmeg in the filling bring them to the next level. I like my cinnamon rolls BIG, so these are BIGGG. That means so many empty calories for your body, but so many wonderful calories for your happiness. Plus, BONUS POINTS!!! I’ve included some tips at the end of the recipe for different ways to make the cinnamon rolls ahead of time, so you can easily pop them in the oven the morning you need them, and maybe bring them to your next holiday brunch and remind your friends of why they need to keep you around. What I’m saying is, these cinnamon rolls will make you happy and popular. You’re welcome!

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Spiced Sweet Potato Pie

H A P P Y  (almost) T H A N K S G I V I N G ! ! !

I know we are all deeply submerged in the throws of chunky sweaters, cuuuuute boots, and pumpkin ERRYTHANG. But I would like to take a brief pause to call our attention to another wonderful, under-appreciated fruit of fall: the sweet potato. Most specifically, when it is used in pie. Maybe you are already a member of team sweet potato pie (welcome, friend, glad to have you). Or you have arrived here thinking ‘wait, what? this sounds weird. can we stick to pumpkin? pumpkin is normal. pumpkin is expected. PSLs rule my world. just give me pumpkin pie.’ But let me give you one reason to venture to the good side: black people eat sweet potato pie. And you know that our food is factually the best food. I’m not 100% sure on why, though I do think it has something to do with the resourcefulness, resilience, and rebounding joy we’ve had to keep up in the face of setback after setback in our history with this nation. But either way, our food is dope, and everybody knows it. So trust that this soul food staple will only enhance your thanksgiving spread this year.

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

160926_0068_anthro-arley-breakfast_006Photos by Amy Jackson Photography. Dishes from Anthropologie.

Do you like to think of yourself as a hip lady who doesn’t just give in to silly little trends that are way way overdone? Me too. But are you also a lady that loves to drink yummy drinks, do cozy things, and has a seriously bad caffeine addiction? ME TOO. This fall, you may find yourself holding back from daily PSL runs to Starbucks for two reasons: you are too embarrassed* or you are too poor**. I’m here for you. This pumpkin spice syrup is super easy to make, it has reeeeeeal pumpkin in it, and Amy even liked it a little and she hates coffee. Mix ~2 tablespoons into your morning coffee for a treat that tastes naturally sweet, but not too sweet, with the perfect amount of pumpkin & spices.

*don’t be embarrassed, girl, you do you.
**if you have a daily $10 coffee fund, please dm me so we can talk about investing just a few of your beaucoup bucks towards a good cause, aka arley cakes.

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Strawberry + Mint Tart and a feature in The Cville!

Photo: Amy Jackson. Styling: Caitlyn Anderson.

Photo: Amy Jackson. Styling: Caitlyn Anderson.

THE BERRIES ARE COMING!!!!!! And so is summer!

This strawberry, mint, and cream cheese tart is the perfect simple, summer treat. It’s refreshing and light, and aside from the crust, it is incredibly quick to pull together. Plus, arranging strawberries in that flower shape is a lot easier than it looks (just start from the outside and work your way in). So you can wow your friends and fam with beautiful deliciousness for minimal effort, which is my kind of dessert, amiright?

Strawberry mint tart slice

Photo by Amy Jackson. Styled by Caitlyn Anderson. Props by Anthropologie.

Check out Cville’s Knife and Fork for the recipe, along with some silly answers for a few questions, as they decided to start interviewing weirdos like me. (Charlottesville folks, peep for a copy of the magazine in local grocery stores and markets in the most recent issue of the Knife & Fork magazine!!)


Photos: Amy Jackson Photography

Styling: Caitlyn Anderson



Mixed Berry + Red Wine + Black Pepper Pie


Snow day baking really is the best: it always pushes me to try new things, since I have all the time in the world, and only the ingredients are in my pantry. One Monday morning, I found myself trapped at home in the snow, but needing to pull together a pie for a shoot with Amy Jackson for the Cville Weekly (still so cool I get to say that ! ). I had no fresh fruit in the house, but as always, I had a bottle of red wine at the ready, and a bunch of berries buried in our freezer, that were probably originally supposed to go into a healthy smoothie or something. I think they found a better fate in this pie.

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Let's talk cake.

If you'd like to get in touch with me to talk cake, cheese, or your best dad jokes, write me a note below! * * (PLEASE NOTE: I have relocated to Richmond, and am currently not taking new orders. But if you'd like to stay up to date on what my next move is, shoot me an email below, and I'll add you to my emailing list. Cheers!)