Rachel Rosen of Butterface Bake Shop laughs when I ask what her title is.
Rachel transitioned from digital marketing in New York to founding Butterface Bake Shop in Austin.
“Owner, head chef, dishwasher,” she jokes. “Right now it’s just me.”
Rachel founded and grew Butterface from the ground up, starting in a commissary kitchen at Banger’s on Rainey St. (she used the kitchen at night when the restaurant was closed) and now operating out of an upstairs kitchen and living space on Red River (previously occupied by the owners of Flour).
Rachel makes personal cakes and cobblers that come in her trademark mini jars, as well as pie bars and full-size cakes. She offers custom orders for weddings and other special events as well.
Her love for baking began when one of her friends suddenly fell ill – leaving the responsibility on Rachel to bake cupcakes for a birthday celebration. Soon, baking became a hobby and stress reliever of Rachel’s after working ten-hour-long shifts at her digital marketing desk job in New York City.“I thought that I was pretty good at it and I had some new ideas… so I decided that this was probably what I wanted to pursue,” Rachel says. That confident yet unassuming attitude is what guided her back to Austin — she’s a University of Texas alumna — to formally establish Butterface in July 2012.
Rachel meticulously pored through recipes and technique videos online to teach herself everything she could about baking her favorite types of baked goods. “I’ve watched countless videos on how to ice a cake,” she says.
Rachel only bakes the simple, homestyle-type treats she watched her mother and grandmother bake while growing up in Houston – not the elaborate sugar creations and fondant masterpieces that you often see on the Food Network. “I decided on certain things I wanted to do and then I taught myself that,” she says. “I’m not trying to be anything fancy.”
Every one of her desserts is made with local (when possible) and natural ingredients. And her reason behind the exclusive use of natural ingredients is simple: “I don’t want to put anything unnatural in my body.”
When she bakes, Rachel doesn’t use dyes or any ingredients you wouldn’t recognize. For example, she makes what she calls a “Just Velvet” cake that leaves out all the unnatural red dye found in traditional Red Velvet cake.
Rachel makes personal cakes and cobblers that come in her trademark mini jars, as well as pie bars and full-size cakes.
A new partnership with The Salt Lick’s events and catering department is the biggest source of growth for Butterface so far.
“They asked me to be ready for orders up to 900 jars,” Rachel says, which is more than she has ever baked. Needless to say, Rachel recently hired a baking assistant to help manage her popularity.
Even though starting a business by herself hasn’t always been easy, Rachel is grateful that she’s in this city.
“Everyone in Austin has been great,” she says. “They’re just very open to learning more about the business, and everyone wants you to succeed here.”
Find Butterface treats at the following locations:
Art of Tacos
Writing by: Brooke Blanton