Baking in Brooklyn
Taste of Home|April - May 2021
She comes from Jamaican and southern roots, but now Shanika is transforming classic comfort foods into vegan delicacies with her family in NYC.
MANDY NAGLICH
IF SHANIKA GRAHAM-WHITE WANTED WINGS FOR DINNER, SHE WAS GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE THEM FOR HERSELF. And that’s just what she did growing up in Florida. “My family is from Jamaica, so they were always making more traditional island foods.”

Since the age of 11, she’s been experimenting with recipes for the foods she craved, like pancakes and cheesecake. Of course, she would make enough to share with the whole family when she prepared her favorite comfort foods. Today she shares those crave-worthy creations with thousands of followers on Orchids + Sweet Tea, a blog that combines her design sensibility (orchids) with her southern upbringing (sweet tea).

“In the South,” she says, “food is major, especially big breakfasts and all those decadent desserts.”

A scroll through her Instagram reveals pictures of golden waffles, baked oatmeal dotted with fresh fruit, and syrupy sticky buns—enough to work up anyone’s appetite. In the spring, Shanika loves to put her zippy Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Doughnuts on the breakfast table.

The word vegan in front of doughnut shouldn’t be discouraging; it’s nearly impossible to tell that these delightful baked and glazed confections contain no dairy or eggs. Shanika has taken years to perfect her vegan recipes to keep them light, sweet and fluffy—and downright delicious no matter what your diet.

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