Becca Cakes’ New Brick-and-Mortar Satisfies Any Holiday Sweet Tooth

Rebecca Pham's sweet tooth finally got the best of her.

With a craving to leave behind her brief stint in the corporate world, the native Houstonian, 25, took to baking cakes. This week, she celebrates the third anniversary of her Becca Cakes biz, which recently expanded into retail, in the form of a brick-and-mortar boutique bakery in the heart of the Oak Forest/Garden Oaks area.


A hub of modern elegance with a dash of whimsy and a hint of European pastry shop vibes, Becca Cakes — open Tuesdays through Saturdays — offers an ever-changing assortment of cupcakes, macarons, cookie sandwiches and pre-made mini cakes, alongside candles and cake toppers fit for any occasion. This month and next, Pham and her creative team of five employees are whipping up the perfect confections to help customers savor the spirit of the festive season. The bakery's winter-themed goodies will be thoughtfully designed to match their tantalizing taste, whether doused with gingerbread, peppermint chocolate, cranberry or hot cocoa-flavored deliciousness.

Pham's affection for sugary goodness — inherited from her mother and grandmother, whose specialty was making Vietnamese desserts — has not always received her undivided attention. After graduating UH with a psychology degree in 2016, the artistically minded female entered the rat race, and the days of baking shows and fondant experiments with her younger sister, Hannah, seemed to be just cherished childhood memories.

A growing restlessness ultimately drove her back into the kitchen, and it wasn't long before her spare time became consumed by the creativity of her youth. Once her mother started selling her mouthwatering delights to friends and acquaintances, her side-hustle began to bloom into a lucrative business. Through trial and error, the self-taught cake designer developed a sleek, romantic aesthetic that boasts rich textures and exquisite embellishments, often in the form of her signature sugar flowers. An artistic alternative to fresh florals, the lovely lifelike blooms — favorites of which include roses, dahlias, peonies and hydrangeas — make sentimental keepsakes, especially for newlyweds.

Weddings, in fact, have always been at the core of the young entrepreneur's scrumptious venture, and she collaborates closely with couples to bring their luxurious visions to life, starting with a complimentary cake tasting and design consultation. With impeccable attention to detail, Pham transforms every blank canvas into a harmoniously palatable and highly customized piece of fine art.

"People are still learning who we are and what we do," she says, "so my main goal in the upcoming year or two is to just get our name out there and to become a staple in Houston — a go-to for people when they need sweets."

Food

SOUTH FLORIDA-BASED Italian shoe line Concetto Limone will make its Texas debut at a cocktail reception at Valobra Master Jewelers (2150 Westheimer Rd.) on Thursday, April 29 from 5-7pm. The evening of "All Things Italian" will transport guests immediately to the coast of southern Italian as they sip on Italian wines, Aperol Spritzes, Negronis and Limoncellos while feasting on an assortment of Italian hors d'oeuvres from Houston's beloved Tony's. Invited guests will have the first glance in Texas on the Concetto Limone line and the opportunity to purchase unisex styles on Thursday evening and all day Friday at a trunk show at Valobra.

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Pastries at Cafe Leonelli

CAFE LEONELLI IS now open inside the MFAH's Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, the stunning new wing that first opened in November.

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Food

Abbie Preston Edmonson gives a special presentation this weekend

DESPITE SOME APRIL showers, there's still plenty of fun to be had! From art-centric and Earth Day activities to family-friendly fests, check out a rundown of the weekend's best bets.

LEARN FROM AN ARTIST Tune in tonight for an hour-long talk by ceramicist and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft resident artist Abbie Preston Edmonson about her creative process. She'll give a virtual presentation about her work and a special demonstration in her studio space.

Brennen's exec chef Joey Chavez (photo by Kimberly Park)

TAKE A VIRTUAL PAINTING LESSON OR COOKING CLASS Be inspired by the great state of Texas during a virtual painting lesson hosted by Honey Art Cafe on Friday night. For only $20, stream a two-hour virtual lesson and make a series of stylized mini paintings inspired by West Texas and Big Bend National Park. Honey Art Cafe also has supply kits available for purchase for beginners or artists low on supplies.

And if painting isn't quite your speed, see what you can cook up in the kitchen! Brennen's exec chef Joey Chavez leads a "date night" cooking lesson for couples on Friday at 6:30pm. Hosted at the restaurant, the socially distanced demonstration, which costs $150, includes a reception, followed by an interactive demonstration and seated dinner.

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY! Join the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center from 10am-4pm on Saturday for a fun- and information-filled day! Explore informative booths, nature hikes, fun displays in the Discovery Room, and Earth-friendly take-home activities. Or join Discovery Green on Sunday from 12-5pm, when the park will screen a series of short films about Houston's environment, host a panel about February's freeze, and showcase a live painting demo by local artists working on murals to decorate the park.

GO ON AN OUT-OF-THIS WORLD ADVENTURE Fifty-one years ago, the Apollo 13 crew splashed down safely back on Earth after their famously harrowing mission to the moon and back. Space Center Houston is celebrating that anniversary on Saturday, hosting two livestreamed panel discussions with current NASA experts as well as Apollo-era legends.And now through May 2, local NASA and Apollo 13 fans can check out the center's new spring exhibition, titled "Apollo: When We Went to the Moon," that looks at the legacy of the Apollo era through the lens of the engineers and astronauts who actually lived the experience.

FIND FUN AT THE INTERNATIONAL KIDS FEST Traders Village hosts Kids Fest on Sunday, with games, activities, interactive shows, live music, acrobats, magicians, clowns and more. Parking is $5, but the event itself is free, sure to keep the whole family entertained from 12-4pm.

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