Greenpoint local Jamie Cook has a great last name for a chef, even though baking, not cooking, is really more her skill set. After her dream of becoming a pastry chef was put on pause years ago, her in-home bakery, Loaf and Butters, was finally realized during the pandemic.
“I had been talking about it for a year before,” Cook told Greenpointers. “When I suddenly had time on my hands and needed some income, I started baking.”
Cook explained that she wanted to be a pastry chef when she was growing up, but ultimately chose to enter the fashion industry, arriving in New York 17 years ago as a designer. After 10 years in fashion, Cook decided to switch gears and started bartending, noting that she also continued picking up design jobs. It was around this time that Cook connected with cooking at the Greenpoint Hunger Program.
Cook is a self-taught baker who loves spreading joy through baking, and she felt that the neighborhood needed a lift during those first months of the pandemic. She started with pop-ups, and even brought baked goods to a bar she was working at. “Who doesn’t want a little added sunshine in the form of a cookie or cake,” she mused.
Loaf and Butters is an Asian-inspired bakery with a focus on cookies and small cakes. Cook is half Taiwanese and told Greenpointers that she wanted to find ways to share her Asian heritage, which expanded to incorporating Asian flavors from across the board.
Cook wants readers to know that she also makes baked goods with other flavors, what she calls “non-Asian items.” Plus, she accepts catering and specialty cake orders. “If you have a specific cake you can’t find, I can probably help you,” she said.
Loaf and Butters’ most popular Asian-inspired item is the Taiwanese pineapple cake which Cook says “is time intensive, but worth it in the end.” It’s made with a rich, buttery shortbread cookie filled with a caramelized pineapple filling.
Another popular Asian-inspired item is the miso caramel carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Other Loaf and Butters bakery favorites include the ube crinkle cookies, matcha with white chocolate and strawberry cookies, and the miso caramel chocolate chip cookies.
In honor of Lunar New Year, which is going on right now, Cook is offering a special box filled with miso caramel chocolate chip cookies, strawberry gochujang cookies, ube crinkle cookies, matcha strawberry white chocolate ganache tea cakes, and Thai tea cakes with white rabbit glaze.
To order any of Loaf and Butters’ baked goods, message Cook on Instagram @loafandbutters. To order one of the Lunar New Year boxes, customers need to message Cook by Thursday for pick up on Saturday, February 17 in McGolrick Park.