A piece of cake
Two Rochester bakeries stand out in the crowd
Weddings. The theme, the venue, the music—all important elements when planning your special day. But where a couple’s personality can often shine through most is in the design of the wedding cake.
The old days of plain white wedding cakes are long gone, and many modern couples opt for new and vibrant bakery presentation for their big day. Some will do cupcakes or donut displays for easier handling while others will add statuettes of their family (especially furry ones!) on their desserts.
Two Rochester bakers have raised the wedding dessert bar to new heights. Both Maryam Salah and Morgan Wilson have one thing in common that makes them stand out—originality. Both women make made-to-order cakes and cupcakes but go one step further by taking the time to connect with their clients in order to make their wedding dessert dreams come true.
Maryam Salah started Nubian Desserts in Rochester during quarantine. While she had more time on her hands, she wanted to share the passion she has for cooking and baking with people in the community.
She takes inspiration from British bakers and baking shows and focuses on her bespoke cupcakes in addition to her cakes. Salah says the British origin of her cupcakes is what sets her apart from other bakeries in Rochester.
“Cupcakes are what put me on the map,” Salah says. “I noticed that this trend in the baking world wasn’t in Rochester. When you go to London, you see bespoke cupcakes. I wanted to bring that experience to Rochester, so other people could experience it.”
But Salah is versatile and can craft a traditional wedding cake, too. She enjoys using
floral designs in an array of fun colors and loves being able to bring classic characters and films to life for her clients. She takes inspiration from characters and stories like Alice in Wonderland, Pokémon, and Finding Nemo to name just a few.
Salah also says her selection of flavors are exclusive to her business and were created to set her apart from the traditional choices. “High tea is a Biscoff sponge with Biscoff cookie butter and Biscoff butter cream,” Salah says.
“For the limited-edition menu, it changes, but right now there is a New York flavor with apple cider sponge, caramel filling, and salted caramel buttercream.”
When Salah was eight years old, she and her mother would travel to the Rochester Public Market, and it quickly became a tradition. When she started promoting Nubian Dessert, she wanted to be one of those small businesses she remembered seeing as a child. But her time as a vendor taught her a lot more, too.
“My main focus for the public market was to grow and get my name out there,” Salah says. “But I ended up learning a lot from there. I learned a lot about running a business, and there are a lot of vendors that are there to support you. There was no competition. Being a vendor there was the best experience ever for me and my business,” Salah says.
She has not stopped at Rochester, however. Salah says her services have traveled as far as Utica when a friend told a couple in the area about her fabulous cakes. Salah happily made the trip out to make their memorable day a little sweeter.
Nubian Dessert offers a full catering service including cakes and cupcakes. She is also available to deliver and help coordinate the set-up of the display. And you can always find her at the Rochester Public Market, of course. You can get in contact with Salah on Instagram at @nubian.dessert.
Morgy Cakes is a one woman show, too.
Morgan Wilson says that working alone allows her to create a more intimate and stronger connection with her clients.
“I do it all,” Wilson says. “The communication, the planning, the shopping, the baking, the decorating, and the delivery. It makes it more unique, because I know the ins and outs of everybody’s order, and I’m the one who’s doing it from start to finish.”
Wilson started her business while working her full-time job as an environmental health and safety technician for about six years. While there, she would bring in treats for her coworkers as well as making them for friends and family. She says she is inspired by videos she sees on Facebook and puts her own spin on what she views to make it her own. After deciding to tackle baking as a business, she was able to quit her job in mid-2021. She installed a commercial kitchen in her home and followed her passion for baking and serving the Rochester region.
Wilson’s flavors are unique and vary widely, and her most popular flavors include lemon blueberry, cookies and cream, and cinnamon spice. She also notes that one of
the projects she is most proud of is a very special wedding cake that included some furry friends.
“It had these clusters of flowers all over it, but behind the flowers, I incorporated the bride’s dogs,” Wilson says. “It just made the bride’s day, and they reached out to me to make their first anniversary cake.”
Social media has played a key role in Wilson’s success in the area. She started posting under the user @morgycakes to create a timeline of her desserts. Wilson says her page soon gathered unexpected traction and became an essential account in the baking community, amassing more than 21,000 followers and counting.
“I love experimenting with different techniques and color palettes, and I found that my page had become a source of inspiration to other bakers,” Wilson says. “Once I started posting more cupcake decorating videos, I really saw an uptick in my following.”
Being the sole worker in her business, Wilson does not offer tastings of her cakes. However, she says you can contact her through a form on her bakery’s website, morgycakes.com.