Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Caramel Factory: Made in Mississippi and Sweeter For It


Less than an hour west of Oxford is a sweets shop in Batesville: Caramel Factory. The store-front is adorned with bright colors of baked candies, locally-made preserves and spreads and cheerful aprons around the store’s centerpiece: a caramel cake.
The store hummed with the sound of five mixers stirring in the back, visible from the counter. The smell of sugar and marshmallows sweetens the air as the store’s owner, Deonna Cummins, greeted customers with their special orders.
A customer asked Cummins if she could bake a birthday cake: “I love caramel but I can’t do a caramel cake like y’all do!”
As Cummins reached for a pamphlet detailing Caramel Factory’s catering prices she passed a framed picture up high on her desk. The picture within was a lady with jet black hair and a wide smile, her face almost quite the same as Cummins. This picture was her late sister: Wanda Belk, Caramel Factory’s founder.
Cummins said, “My sister was in the food industry and she had a catering business on the side. She had an education at Mississippi State University in home-economics and knew nutrition so she created this business, but I did come up with the caramel frosting recipe.”
Cummins remembers she came up with the recipe years ago when a mother asked her to make a caramel cake for a birthday. Cummins took up the Caramel Factory three years ago. She now offers not only the caramel cake but baked candies, snacks, preserves and some local goods. The store still has the caramel frosting front and center by the entrance, the same frosting that put their name on the map when QVC featured the sugary brown goodness on national television in the late 1990s.
Cummins said, “The caramel frosting recipe isn’t quite the same as it was then but now (the frosting) is not as quite affected by the weather. It’s more durable.”
The caramel frosting is $8.50 per pound which yields 16 servings per container. It has a shelf life of six months, and the refrigerator is not necessary for its storage. The frosting can be microwaved in its container sans lid for no more than two minutes to make a soft spread on a cake. The frosting can also be microwaved longer than two minutes with addition of some vanilla and nuts to make a crunchy praline. The Caramel Factory’s website is filled to margins with more recipe ideas for the caramel frosting.
Here is a video of the Caramel Factory:
Cummins invites the Oxonians to try out the Caramel Factory: “We’re less than half hour away so come by and try a caramel cake here!”
Caramel Factory is available for ordering, cake baking, and can even make game day desserts for the Grove tents. Contact Cummins or her daughter-in-law, Karen, here for more information. Its address is 127 Lakewood Drive, Batesville, MS 38606.
Callie Daniels is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. Shoot her an email at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com for comments, criticism, or a story idea.