You Bet Your Sweet Bippy: “Let Them Eat Cake!”

SouthernCotillion-001I’ll give you fair warning, this column is for people with dedicated sweet teeth. If you’re on a diet or looking for a simple savory something…run! I only have delectable custards and confections on my mind, and you can bet your sweet bippy my sugary finds will be undoubtedly divine.

Keeping up the honesty, I have to admit, as the owner of a natural born sweet tooth I’ve oddly never relished cake. In fact, I quite dislike it. Thick, saccharine icing atop a mediocre spongy substance. I found it hardly appealing even as a child when the only requirement for appeasement seemed to be sugar, and lots of it.

The problem for me wasn’t decadence but quality. It need not only be sugary, but tasty, too! This revelation came to me at $6.95 a slice.

One blessed day, just a few years ago, I found my way to the Miz Kathi’s Cotillion Southern Café and Miz Sylvia’s Lemon-Pineapple-Coconut Cake. That day everything changed.

It looks like a very unassuming cake all covered in white. But on the inside, it is rich, sweet, and just a bit tart. With cream cheese frosting and fresh fruit filling, it can’t be as sinful as it tastes. The cake itself is moist, not painfully dense or spongy. This is the cake all others want to be when they grew up.

SouthernCotillion-002Miz Kathi’s Cotillion Southern Cafe & Sweetery is a beloved Sumter County institution, and Miz Kathi Vincent is a saint with a wooden spoon. The recipe for the cake that made me reevaluate my life comes from her mother. Needless to say, it’s a true southern gem. It was Miz Kathi’s favorite treat growing up, and she has made only small changes in the recipe through her appropriation. Why mess with something that works so well? Ancient wisdom is on the side of this cake!

I would love to paint the picture that this recipe is the safely-guarded holy grail of cake making instructions, but this lovely lady shares it with anyone in need enough to buy Miz Kathi’s Cotillion Southern Café Cookbook. She’s like the Mother Teresa of southern cooking, and Miz Sylvia’s Lemon-Pineapple-Coconut Cake is like manna—dewy and like a cloud. So I echo some very famous last words, hoping they’ll be better received: “let them eat cake!”

About the Author

Michelle was born in the heat of South Florida, but has called Lake County “home” for the last 9 years. Latching on to the idea that “if you want to be a little bit of everything, be a writer,” Michelle found her focus in a Leesburg high school Journalism class. Fascinated by the model of a renaissance man, she has since had her hand in many areas such as dance, travel, food, film, theatre, history, as well as costuming and Fashion design. But Michelle’s focus has always been the written word. While garnering a Bachelor’s degree In English Literature from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fl, she was a part of The International English Honors society, Sigma Tau Delta and a regular contributor to the literary zine, Paperfinger. She is now, at 24, nearing the end of her Master’s program In English & Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, with a particular interest in poetry and the Romantics. As many of her interests are culturally fueled, she finds it important to fully absorb the world around and let her writing reflect these varied influences. Also believing “lower standards will lower the culture,” Michelle aims to keep standards high in her writing by being in tune with the community. She is ecstatic to be associated with the quality people and publications at Aker’s Media Group, who have their finger on the pulse of the community.

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