by Stacia Friedman
When the pandemic first broke out in early 2020, The Frosted Fox Cake Shop complied with the city’s mandate and closed its doors – a circumstance that lasted for several months.
In June, however, they were back in business.
“We reopened with sidewalk service for almost a year and a half,” said Jennifer Low, the bakery’s co-owner. “People didn’t get together as much back then, but wanted more elaborate little cakes for children’s birthday parties, that’s one of our specialties.”
Meeting this new type of demand, a move born of necessity, reshaped the company’s future. Their post-pandemic “normalcy” has resulted in a revamped artisan bakery, an increase in staff and a surge in demand for one of the region’s favorite wedding cake designers.
“We have been fortunate to have worked with many wonderful venues such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Valley Green Inn and the Awbury Arboretum,” said Low. “People come from Doylestown, Media and Center City for wedding cakes.”
The story of Frosted Fox, which opened in 2015, actually began several years earlier when Low first met Sean Williams on the first day of classes at the Culinary Institute of America. They fell in love while perfecting their baking skills and after their marriage in 2010, they moved to Germantown, just a few blocks from where Low grew up.
They decided to open their own shop, naming it after the smart, fast and lovable animal that had been an important theme in their lives. The choice of location – 6511 Germantown Ave. between Hortter and Upsal Street – proved correct. The neighborhood was discovered by young professionals, and not long after it opened, luxurious apartment buildings and upscale cafes were springing up around it.
“We love our location and it’s helped us keep things smaller to get us through the past few years,” said Low, who is the chief cake decorator as well as a business manager, accountant and social media guru. Williams runs the front of the store, taking orders and making deliveries.
With all the fine bakeries lining Germantown Avenue, one has to ask: how come Frosted Fox is recommended by exclusive wedding venues and top caterers, seemingly out of nowhere?
The answer lies in Low’s design sensibility and taste buds. Instead of using the usual two-layer cake as the basis for her designs, she starts with four layers. The result is as elegant as a top hat, whether on a single party cake or a wedding cake for a hundred.
“It’s an aesthetic that we like,” Low said. “We also make a six or eight tier cake, and on our tiered cakes, each tier is 5 inches high.”
Low’s penchant for using buttercream icing over fondant, a sugar dough that gives a cake a super smooth look, is another reason her designs are unique. Although fondant allows for more plastic, pliable designs, it’s not as tasty as buttercream. However, Low likes to use fondant to create cakes that resemble everything from a SEPTA bus to the Liberty Bell.
Of the 12 cakes they offer, the most popular are devil food and carrot cake, Low said. The nine available fillings include passion fruit curd filling and spiced chai mousse, and the nine frostings include Nutella buttercream. Couples planning weddings can choose from almost 1,000 possible combinations.
Their fox frozen butter cookies are also a hit. And yes, if you want fondant, it comes in sweeter, tastier versions than usual.
Do you want to taste everything? Grab a Frosted Fox Scrapple Cup filled with slices of cake and assorted toppings — and not a hint of Pennsylvania Dutch Breakfast delicacy. Today, cake tastings no longer take place in the store, but are available in a to-go sampler.
“Our production team took over our retail space and redesigned it to accommodate our extended staff,” said Low. This means you can’t walk past the display case when entering, but have a great view of an open, busy kitchen, like watching an exciting episode of The Great British Baking Show.
For the holiday season, the Low team is in full swing with cake production, including pear ginger, apple crumb, pecan, and sweet potato pies, as well as pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon and cream cheese frosting.