When she’s not busy directing the Division of Race & Equity for the City of Minneapolis, self-taught baker Joy Marsh Stephens makes beautiful French macarons in her Brooklyn Park kitchen. Stephens is the founder of Blissful Cakery, which has thrived via word-of-mouth since 2016. Baking is a great outlet, she says, “a mindfulness activity for me to balance an emotionally and mentally taxing job.”
It took Stephens “18 months of trial and error, YouTube videos, a course at a local bakery, cookbooks, Facebook groups, more YouTube videos, and lots of ‘maca-wrongs’” before she was able to make macarons at a standard she deemed acceptable. Now she makes 60-plus flavors but insists she’s still refining her technique.
Why macarons? Because they’re a blank slate, inspiring countless flavor combos. Her bestsellers include Fruity Pebbles, Brownie Batter, Lavender Strawberry, and Key Lime; we’re also wild about her spicy Wasabi White Chocolate and Mango Ginger Habanero flavors.
If you’re interested in more than macarons, you’re in luck: As Stephens explained to Minnevangelist co-founder Andrew Parks in the new issue of Minnesota Monthly, her “first love” is custom cakes and she makes all of them from scratch. Custom orders require advance notice and you can arrange for curbside pickup in Brooklyn Park or delivery (with a $20 minimum). Visit blissfulcakery.com for more details. Stephens is currently replenishing her macaron supply after a sold-out pop-up — her very first — but should have new flavors online soon!