Coffee & Cake with Julia Turshen

Toward the end of editing "Simple Cake," my editor and I had to ruthlessly cut pages. I was over what the book had been commissioned and my publisher had already kindly negotiated me an extra twenty-four pages. One of the things that got cut was the reference page. I loved this page because it was an extension of my bookshelf. A list of all the wonderful authors and books that I have turned to for advice, recipes, inspiration and companionship over the years.

In the lead up to the release of "Simple Cake," I’ve decided to share a series of five quick questions with some of the authors that were on the list. And yes, it’s all about cake.

So friends, meet Julia Turshen: writer, cook, activist and good soul. Be sure to check out Julia’s books: "Small Victories," "Feed The Resistance" and the newly released "Now & Again." Anyone who names a cake ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life Cake’ is a woman of my own heart. Julia is the connective tissue between food and community. Her work is bigger than just a beautiful image. It’s about empowering home cooks, and making sure all walks of life are welcome at the table.

1) What’s the best cake you’ve ever had?
I love coconut cake and the best I've ever had is the one made by the great Dolester Miles in Birmingham, AL.

2) What have you learned from baking?
So much! At a young age, baking was the only thing that helped me really understand math and science. I still think of any fraction in terms of cups….! Baking also teaches me over and over about the power of patience and the possibility of transformation. Each time I pull a baked good out of the oven, it feels like a small victory.

3) Who deserves a cake in your community?
Every single public school teacher and volunteer firefighter.

4) What’s been your best cake fail?
I have done the dreaded thing where you mistake salt for sugar. That's hard to come back from.

5) Who would you like to have a slice of cake with?
If it could be someone who is no longer with us, then definitely my Aunt Debby who had the sweetest tooth. If someone living, Michelle Obama.


Yes, mistaking salt for sugar is very hard to come back from. If you meet with Michelle…call me…I’ll bring the cake. I’m planning on baking Julia’s ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life Cake’ for Halloween this week. I know it’s going to be a winner because it has buttermilk in it! Thanks so much Julia.


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