About this project
What is a Cakeball?
Is it cake? A Truffle? Well, it's a little piece of heaven that would bring a smile to anybody's face— just ask our customers!
Oh wait… you want the technical definition, don't you? Our cakeballs are technically a truffle made from cake. They are truly a labor of love and making them is no easy task. There are a lot of steps from start to finish. You can't just whip a batch up. First you have to bake your cake and let it cool. Once it's cool, you crumble it (yes, crumble) and mix with your icing of choice until smooth. Then you let the mixture set in the refrigerator until it’s ready to scoop. Then you "ball" the mixture into a container and stick it in the freezer. Yes, you heard me right! You have let them set in the freezer so that they are solid enough for the next step. DIPPING! They are dipped in specialty chocolate or various glazes.
Now imagine trying to make 6,000 of these for an event in a small home kitchen!!!
Why are we doing this?
As we said, a cakeball is a little piece of heaven that brings a smile to anyone's face. And Auntie Liana's Baked With Love would like to bring those smiles to the masses. That's why we've created this Kickstarter: we've reached mass capacity in our home kitchen and stretched the limits of our Home Processor baking license. A lot.
So now, we're constructing a second commercial home kitchen and applying for a 20-C Food Processing license. Which, as you can imagine, isn't cheap. So, all the money raised from this Kickstarter will be used to purchase our commercial appliances and update our packaging for retail and shipping.
There are many things that go into a business to make it successful and help it flourish. But we whole-heartedly believe that there's one thing that stands above everything else: YOU! That's right, you. So we're saying thanks from the heart and showing our gratitude for your support with tons of sweet stuff that you can brag to your friends about.
We've piqued your curiosity, haven't we? You're probably all like, "Wow! This sounds like awesome stuff! But what does it look like?" Well, you don't need to worry about that: Auntie's got you covered.
The Flavor of the Month:
We wanted our rewards to center around the cakeballs themselves. So Auntie worked hard to create 12 brand-new flavors that aren't available to the general public until the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest in 2017. Flavors like:
- January: Dark Chocolate Rose. A dark chocolate rose cake mixed with chocolate fudge rose icing, dipped in dark chocolate and topped with an edible rose petal, because we're just fancy like that. So curl up next to the fireplace with some of these and forget the fact that you have to shovel.
- February: Persian Love Cake. This exotic cake is baked with hints of lemon and cardamom, coated in a saffron and rose icing, dipped in white chocolate and topped with roasted pistachios. If Persian Love cakeballs don't impress your Valentine, then quite frankly I don't know what will.
- March: Irish Cream. In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, we're giving you a true Irish tradition: an Irish Cream cake baked with pecans and mixed with a cream cheese icing, dipped in chocolate and topped with green sprinkles, of course. Make this Saint Patty's Day extra special, courtesy of Auntie.
- April: Green Tea. Matcha Green Tea cake mixed with Matcha Green Tea icing, dipped in white chocolate and topped with green sprinkles. Celebrate the arrival of Spring with the calming taste of green tea, overwhelmed by the delicious taste of cake.
- May: Mexican Hot Chocolate. A rich chocolate cake with hints of cinnamon and cayenne pepper, dipped in semisweet chocolate and dusted with that cinnamon and cayenne pepper I mentioned. A great addition to any Cinco de Mayo fiesta!
- June: Strawberry Basil. A vanilla strawberry cake mixed with a basil-flavored buttercream icing, dipped in white chocolate and topped with dried strawberry. A refreshing way to ring in the summer, bro.
- July: Chocolate Cola Potato Chip. A chocolate Coca-Cola® cake mixed with a chocolate fudge icing, dipped in chocolate and coated in crushed potato chips. Because too much of a good thing is still a good thing.
- August: Watermelon Cooler. A watermelon cake baked with Watermelon Pucker® and mixed with vanilla icing, dipped in green chocolate and topped with green sugar crystals. Stay cool.
- September: Mint Chocolate Chip. A mint cake with a hint of Crème de menthe, mixed with vanilla frosting and mini chocolate chips. Dipped in mint dark chocolate and topped with mint chocolate shavings. Send your kids back to school with them, or just eat them all yourself. We don't judge.
- October: Bourbon Cranberry Spice. A bourbon cranberry spice cake mixed with cream cheese icing, dipped in white chocolate and topped with dried cranberries. It's like Autumn in a cakeball.
- November: Cinnamon Plum Sake. A decadent chocolate cinnamon cake baked with plum sake, mixed with chocolate fudge and stuffed with sugar plum jam. Dipped in chocolate and topped with purple sprinkles. This flavor will leave you with a great taste in your mouth and, as expected, sugar plums dancing wildly in your head.
- December: Black Forest Cake. A chocolate cherry cake mixed with chocolate fudge icing, dipped in white chocolate and topped with both chocolate sprinkles and a Very Cherry Jelly Belly®. The perfect stocking stuffer! (We're just kidding: please don't put these in your stocking. They'll melt.)
The Burlesque Package:
Wait, what does burlesque dancing have to do with cakeballs, you might be asking yourself. Well, not a lot, really, but when you're Auntie Liana, an amateur burlesque dancer and a member of Pink Chardonnay's dance troupe, cakeballs and dancing go hand in hand. That's why we've created a special burlesque package, with flavors inspired by these fabulous ladies. Along with this great package, you'll receive two tickets to see a burlesque show in New York City, hosted by and starring our lovely "flavors."
A life without passion is not a life at all.
I first started my baking career in 1980, when I was ten years old, and it's been my passion ever since. And apparently, I was pretty good at it. When I was 11, I attended the 4H Youth Fair and won a blue ribbon in the bread category, then went on to win the Rosette for Second Best in Show. My little bread and I then moved up to state fair, where we took home the blue ribbon.
Baking was always a part of me.
I had my life on the side, working in graphic design, but baking kept creeping into the back of my head no matter what I did to stop it. I smelled cookies in my dreams and heard the whirring of mixers as I walked down Manhattan streets. My friends had always told me that they "wanted to buy my Christmas cookies," and in 2010, after my divorce, I decided that I really could make this into a business. But what could I sell? I wanted something original, something that would really turn heads. That's when a friend recommended the cakeball. I did some research and realized that yes, cakeballs were definitely something I could do. I got serious about the business, and in 2011, I launched Auntie Liana's Baked With Love at the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest. I brought cookies, cupcakes, rum cakes and cakeballs, and when all the cakeballs sold out, I decided to make them the staple of my business.
Senior print production manager. Baker. Burlesque dancer. Jack of all trades, master of none. Chief cook and bottle washer. If she were a cakeball flavor, she'd be Vanilla Chai, because she's sweet with just the right amount of spice.
When Auntie decided to launch this Kickstarter, she knew she'd need some help from her family. So she hired The Nieces. Veronica and Aleeza, bound for college, were employed to work the summer at her kitchen for their last summer at home. (Actually, "bribed" would be a better term: not that they have qualms about getting free cakeballs and costume pieces, though.) The two girls were excited to hop on the Baked With Love bandwagon, and are happy to be a part of both the Kickstarter campaign and Auntie Liana's family.
Melissa, "The Chocolate Whisperer":
Earlier, we mentioned in passing that Auntie had a friend that recommended she research cakeballs. Well, Melissa is that friend: by Auntie's side from the very beginning, she's the one that keeps Auntie sane when the cakeball business gets a little overwhelming. And when Auntie deals with the large events, Melissa works with the chocolate, melting and whispering to it. We don't quite know what she says, but whatever it is, it works. If Melissa were a cakeball flavor, she'd be Rum Macadamia, because it's sweet, but not too sweet, with the yummy taste of rum and just a little bit nuts.
Deidre, "The Big Baller":
No one balls better than Deidre. She gets more cakeballs out of a cake than even Auntie herself (and she told me to tell you that that's the truth). Whenever it gets stressful, Auntie's faithful sister Dee is always right there with a cakeballer in hand. She's a stickler for FIFO (First In, First Out) so that Auntie's customers always get the freshest, best cakeballs. If she were a cakeball, she'd be a Blue Hawaiian, because--well, if you know Deidre, then you know why.
Mom, "The Box Origami Master":
Everyone needs a little help from Mom once in a while. When Auntie works the Wine and Food Fest, Mom is there quietly, folding boxes. Time seems to almost slow down around her. (I've seen it myself. It's truly a sight to behold.) She also makes sure that everyone working is fed and taken care of, as only mothers can. If she were a cakeball flavor, she'd be Snickers, because she's sweet and nutty.
Dad, "The Official Flavor Taster":
Auntie's biggest fan, Dad is, in fact, the one helping her on the building aspect of her kitchen: running lines, plumbing, and constructing with the help of some of his friends. He's also, as I mentioned, "The Official Flavor Taster," and is the first to try all of Auntie's new flavors. He pretends he's a professional food critic and makes working at Auntie Liana's all the more fun. If he were a cakeball flavor, Dad would be Key Lime Pie, because he likes that flavor and it reminds him of both a tropical place and his younger days.
Don't forget to follow Auntie and her team on social media. Keep up with them and all their shenanigans!
Veronica Toone: Our videographer, staff writer, photographer, voiceover artist and honorary Niece. She's currently enrolled at Hofstra University, studying film, and in her spare time, she makes music and dresses up like characters from video games. She enjoys faking accents, nerdy things, and getting her picture taken; and her life dream is to one day be able to tell someone else what to do. If she were a cakeball flavor, she'd be Apple Pie a la Mode, because she's sweet and really likes pie.
Aleeza Sivos: Our animator, seamstress, costume designer, and The Niece. She's the reason why Auntie is--well, Auntie. She's currently enrolled at Westchester Community College, studying liberal arts and human sciences. Aleeza likes Chai Tea lattes, puppies and anime, and hopes one day to be really disgustingly rich. Aleeza says if she were a cakeball flavor, she'd be Maple Bacon, because bacon runs through her veins.
Dave Casey: Our trusty illustrator. Dave is an illustrator and graphic designer who lives and works in Brooklyn. He self-published a comic book and published work with Image Comics. A man of few words and many talents, Dave says if he were a cakeball flavor, he'd be French Toast with a Maple Sugar glaze, because he likes French toast. You can check out his work at http://www.dave-casey.com.
Mel Hioki: Our art director. Mel’s first ad campaign was for MetLife with Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” characters. He had the pleasure of working with Mr. Schulz, his animator Bill Melendez, and music director Judy Munson. For KFC, Mel worked with Warner Bros. using “Foghorn Leghorn” and clay animator, Will Vinton. Mel created original characters for KFC International and Luppy Natural Foods. If Mel was a cakeball he’d be “Chocolate Cola Potato Chip” because it has all of his favorites: chocolate, cola and potato chips! Check out his work at http://www.melhioki.com.
Janice Ventura: Our photo retoucher. Janice thinks that writing a bio is "akin to getting teeth pulled," but wants you all to know that she is a writer (check out her work at http://soapkitten.blogspot.com), an avid reader of fantasy novels, and is very much into both soap making and cats. If you wanna purchase some of her nice-smelly soaps, check out her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/HavanaSoapCompany. If Janice were a cakeball flavor, she'd be a pink and blue Cotton Candy Swirl, because "a rainbow cakeball with unicorn poop on top" didn't sound quite as appealing.
Shellon Peters: Our graphic designer! Shellon designed our logo for us, and likes to keep up to date on all of Auntie's shenanigans. She enjoys comic books, cartoons and being awesome. If she were a cakeball flavor, Shellon would be Salted Caramel, because she really likes that flavor. You can check her out at http://www.shellfolio.com.
Justin Esgar: Our website builder. Justin is currently working on building another website for Auntie, and in addition giving her moral support, he was also the inspiration for the Maple Bacon cakeball. Justin is a rambler of things with his own podcast, and if he were a cakeball flavor, he'd be Chocolate Cookie Dough with Nuts, because he's sweet, raw, and a little nutty. Check out his website (and the podcast featuring Auntie!) at http://www.justinesgar.com.
Scott Calvert: Scott is a huge fan of cakeballs and Auntie both, and has provided connections and moral support. If Scott were a cakeball flavor, he says he'd be double chocolate, because "when something is this good, you need it twice."
Catie Meyers-Wood: Catie has offered us plenty of tips and tricks to make our Kickstarter page the best it could be. If she were a cakeball flavor, she'd be Chocolate Cola Potato Chip, because "the name really tells you all you need to know."
Keenography Privé: Thank you for your great shots of Auntie and of the Pink Chardonnays. Visit their website at www.keenographyprive.com
Risks and challenges
There's not much risk here, folks: we're just here to make cakeballs. Foreseeable problem-wise, the only obstacle we can think of could be an issue with permitting. But we've put a lot of care and thought into delivering your rewards and getting this show on the road. The overhead is low, as it's a home-based business, and there's no staff to accommodate for.
So unless a meteor the size of a building decides to pay Auntie Liana's a visit and wipe out virtually everything within seven square miles, the cakeballs will be made, they will be fresh, and they will be delicious.
We promise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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