March 10, 2019. It’s an experimentation day for Monica O’Connell. Melted butter and whiskey bubble on the stove as she drizzles brown sugar butter rum caramel syrup on a vanilla rum bundt cake, then pulls a chocolate bundt out of the oven.
“Today I am a woman on a mission,” said O’Connell, founder of Curtis & Cake. “It’s time to get these cakes settled.”
O’Connell started Curtis & Cake in 2015, making small-batch, celebratory cakes and sweets with a strong Southern influence. As part of her New Year’s resolution, O’Connell decided to master the art of creating beautiful and boozy bundt cakes. In the 1960s-style kitchen inside the old Friedens Church in Fort Atkinson, O’Connell is on her 12th round of trials.