Philadelphia pastry chef Tatiana Wingate teaches hobbyists, professionals and kids how to improve their baking

Tatiana Wingate has been in the bakery business for 15 years. In that time, she has mastered the art of concentrating on two things at once.

“I can talk to you while I work,” he tells a visitor to his Society Hill bakery, Sprinkled Sweetness, as he handles a piping bag filled with royal icing. She pipes bursts of star-tipped forest green frosting onto a sugar cookie Christmas tree. She adds a chestnut brown scribble at the bottom for the trunk. In the dehydrator goes the cookie, so the icing can be set. Once it’s dry, she’ll smear white frosting over the green ridges and top it off with red berries, arranged with a series of choppy squeezes.

These are just a few of the moves, rhythms, and skills Wingate teaches in cookie decorating classes. They offer when the bakery’s hours allow, when he’s not baking cakes, baking batches of custom cookies, or filling made-to-order fritters.

Wingate launched Sprinkled Sweetness Academy five years ago, beginning with “Cakepreneurship,” a week-long class aimed at ambitious bakers as young as 8.

“[The kids] I would come to decorate something and then we would go over the business practices that the little ones can understand, but it is university level stuff,” he explains. The students would go home and practice, then return for another round the following week.

“As that started to gain popularity, adults were saying, ‘Wait a minute, we want to learn that too.’”

Since then, Wingate’s selection of courses has evolved into a rare mix of entry-level classes for adults (think Cakin’ with a Twist: cake decorating with wine and appetizers), serious education for serious kids (there’s a summer camp focused on baking for kids who want to start their own business), and four-hour workshops for adult entrepreneurs looking to expand their knowledge.

“I have a lot of clients who have their own craft businesses saying, ‘We want to decorate on a higher level, or we need to know how we can go completely legal.'” She trains adult clients in marketing, pricing, cost control, and more. She has had several students quit side or part-time jobs to take up their businesses full time.

(Who’s easier to teach? Kids, hands down, she says. “Kids, you can give them 1-2-3-4, they’re going 1-2-3-4. Adults, you’re going 1-2 -3-4 Let’s go 1-4-3-2-7-6.″)

Wingate herself graduated from a home-based business. She started Sprinkled Sweetness in 2007 and has grown over the years since then, earning her Restaurant School degree at Walnut Hill College while working on other teams. She took over the bakery at 510 S. Fifth St., formerly Homemade Goodies by Roz, in August 2021.

In the long lead up to going traditional, Wingate has diversified its business even beyond educational offerings. Sells homemade powdered meringue, decorating items and, in the near future, the bakery’s cookie dough. He’s also taking orders for custom cookie cutters, thanks to a 3D printer he’s invested in. He has designed several of his own shapes, including a line of Thanksgiving dinner cookie cutters, and received commissions for Fortnite-themed stamps.

Custom cakes remain the largest portion of Sprinkled Sweetness’ overall business, but Wingate has a soft spot for cookies, especially when it comes to decorating them. “It’s like embroidering or knitting,” she says. While cakes can be messy, cookies are relaxing. “For cookies, it’s like, ‘Let me sit in this little area and relax for a few hours.'”

Dusted Sweetness, 510 S. Fifth St., 215-309-2263, desserts by sprinkledsweetness.com. To sign up for a class with Wingate, visit splasheddulceacademia.com.

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