On the Road

Who You Calling Cutie Pie?

Our weekend visits to Austin used to be incomplete without a stop at the air stream cupcakery on South Congress Ave. But we recently noticed a bit of competition nearby. Cutie Pie Wagon is a pink wooden building, barely bigger than an outhouse, that holds the one-woman fireball Jaynie Buckingham, aka the Pie Queen.

The Pie Queen bakes up mini pies filled with goodness - there's white chocolate coconut, bumbleberry, and her award-winning buttermilk, which she sells to Austin's chi-chi Driskill Hotel. Growing up, Buckingham watched her mother to learn how to be an amazing home baker, and found she too had a talent.

A former nurse, Buckingham gave it up to do what she loves best - bake pies based on her mother's recipes. Though it's been a long journey, the Pie Queen is now sitting pretty in her fuchsia box, wearing a tiara, and decked out in all things sparkly. Numerous newspaper write-ups and awards surround her, but she most values the framed photo of her mother that hangs proudly on the wall.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon we sampled the famous buttermilk confection and were delighted by the levels of flavor complexity, including the freshly grated smattering of nutmeg on top, and a creamy filling with a hint of warm spiciness inside a tender crust. Check out the goodness for yourself at cutiepiewagon.com.

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Geri Maria Harris