Half Birthday


Pictured cake Vanilla buttermilk with Earl Grey syrup, torched strawberry jam, and turmeric-honey Swiss meringue buttercream

The baker’s inspiration A pandemic layoff from a front-of-house restaurant gig afforded Alexa Linsemeyer the chance to turn to baking full time. Linsemeyer, who has spent time working on farms, often sources ingredients from nature, where she finds much of her visual inspiration. She tops her concoctions with various edible flora, like sunflower petals, and enlists herbs like basil and rosemary for flavoring.

Where to order halfbirthdaychicago.com

Cakes from Flavor Supreme and Dream Cake Test Kitchen
Flavor Supreme (left) and Dream Cake Test Kitchen

Flavor Supreme


Pictured cake Lime leaf with vanilla bean mascarpone crème, passion fruit curd, guava, and star fruit

The baker’s inspiration What longtime savory cook Joey Pham lacks in formal pastry training, they make up for with creative vision. Taking cues from “nature, spirituality, and experiences that engage all senses,” Pham’s confections incorporate elements such as juniper buttercream and Angostura-infused Satsuma curd. Bold artistic flourishes like whole fruits — including pineberries (white strawberries), lychees, and mangoes  — catch Instagram scrollers’ attention.

Where to order flavorsupre.me

Dream Cake Test Kitchen


Pictured cake Lavender olive oil with strawberries, decorated with fruits and flowers

The baker’s inspiration Hyun Jung Jun began baking while in art school and realized she could approach the craft like she did her other artwork, manipulating flavor, texture, and color to carve out a unique style. Jun often recalls Korea’s landscape as she sculpts a cake or pairs flavors, which can range from black sesame and matcha to lemon balm and lavender. Her designs are not all drawn from her memories, though. “Dreams and imagined landscapes also find their way into the narrative,” she says.

Where to order Instagram

Two More Bakers to Follow on Instagram

Erin Koroll Requests for custom cakes from the former pastry chef at Cellar Door Provisions have run the gamut from pretty princess sparkly vibes
to anarchist theory. @eekoro

Butter Bird Bakery A social worker turned French Pastry School grad, Kat Talo takes cues from nature, using edible flowers and plant-based coloring to construct her elegantly rustic cakes. @butterbirdbakery_