By Shaela Foster,
Special to the AFRO
From baking seven up cakes with her grandmother to discovering the intricate cuisine of chimney cakes, Adeirdra Campbell, owner of Buns and Roses Chimney Cakes, has transformed Baltimore’s baking scene.
Buns and Roses Chimney Cakes opened in the summer of 2023 in the Federal Hill, downtown Baltimore area and it’s been a hot commodity for lots of residents.
Baking has been Campbell’s passion since she was eight years old when she first started baking with her grandmother. The first cake she made was a seven up cake, her grandmother’s favorite. From there, it turned into something she did for herself periodically sharing it with friends and family. She says it was finally time for her to turn her passion into her purpose.
“Anytime anything is your passion, whether it’s baking or not, you should turn your passion into your purpose,” she said. “I never feel like I’m coming to work when I’m coming to Buns and Roses. This is my happy place. People come in the door and they’re like ‘I’ve been dying to try this, I’m so excited’ and I’m just as excited when they walk in the door.”
Campbell discovered chimney cakes in Paris, France on her quest to visit 40 countries before turning 40 years old. Chimney cakes originated from Hungary. When she tasted it, she instantly knew this had to be brought back to the states.
“When she came back from Europe, she was telling me about the chimney cakes. She said, ‘Ma I want that,’ and we looked around
[for storefront locations
]. I told her do what you have to do– start from the ground up,” said Myra Campbell, Adeirdra Campbell’s mother.
Chimney cakes are a sweet dough wrapped around a wooden spool then placed into an oven finishing with a crunchy outside and fluffy inside, according to the Buns and Roses website. At the Federal Hill location, they’ve added a twist, allowing customers to fill the cakes with ice cream, caramel, nutella, fruits and many more.
Campbell is a native of Baltimore but lived in Atlanta for 16 years. She knew chimney cakes, what she calls “a mouth full of Christmas,” had to be brought back to the city she holds close to her heart.
“Baltimore is special to me. I wanted to do it back in Baltimore
] my support system is here. It was just convenient to be back home and be with the people I love, opening a place that I knew I’d love,” said Campbell.
The bakery has sparked popularity all over Maryland through social media platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok, prompting large weekend crowds. With such high demand, Campbell says they haven’t run into any supply chain issues yet, but have struggled to keep up with the growing fan base.
“On a Saturday we could sell 220 chimney cakes and we used to sell out a lot,” she said. “We’d open on a Saturday and be sold out by 8 p.m., 7 p.m. on Sundays.”
Campbell isn’t the only one creating the chimney cake masterpieces, she gains assistance from her mom, who works part-time at the bakery, and her young all-Black staff. The biggest piece for her was ensuring she could teach the young workers about financial literacy and what it means to run a business.
“I know growing up a lot of times we don’t learn financial literacy, it’s not until we get older that we understand credit, the importance of having credit, the importance of having a bank account and the importance of saving parts of your check and not spending everything,” she said.
Chimney cakes aren’t the only thing offered at BandR. They offer homemade banana pudding, caramel apple dumplings and unicorn lattes which customers could get in three different colors, pink, blue or purple.
In the next year customers, Buns and Roses will be expanding to the Dallas area. From there, she’ll franchise the business allowing her to open more locations all over the US.
Her mom, Myra, says she’s excited to see how far Buns and Roses gets. Seeing her daughter follow through with her dreams allows her to know no matter what the color of your skin is, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
“It’s always going to be the middle man that’s trying to knock you down but you still, as a Black woman, stay strong. As a man or woman, stand your ground,” she said.
Campbell and her mom advise anyone who hasn’t tried a chimney cake to come to Buns and Roses and expose their taste buds to its exciting flavors.
“Everybody should try a chimney cake, it’s just soft and delicious,” Campbell said. “It’s almost like if a cinnamon roll and a donut had a baby, it would be a chimney cake.”
Shaela Foster is an AFRO Intern from the University of Maryland, College Park.