A Moose with a sweet tooth
Hungry Moose baker Ashley Dodd brings sweets to the people
The savory scents of fresh pie crust and whole baked chickens mingled with the sweetness of fresh cupcakes and banana bread on a Friday afternoon in the kitchen for the Hungry Moose, located across the parking lot from the market in the same building as the Big Sky Discovery Academy.
This is where baker Ashley Dodd creates her sweet masterpieces for the Moose. On March 2, she was putting the finishing touches on a custom-made birthday cake—those being one of her favorite things to bake since she loves birthdays.
Cupcakes are another favorite item for Dodd, “because you can do a lot of fun flavors with those,” she said. The flavors that came to mind for Dodd were the occasionally-offered fried chicken and waffle variety, plus coffee and donut.
Then fellow employee Michael Schaub chimed in, “Don’t forget the root beer float ones—those are my favorite.” With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, customers can also expect to see Irish car bomb cupcakes for sale.
Cupcakes are almost always available, but donut aficionados can also rejoice: fresh-made, crunchy, fried cake donuts are on sale at the Moose, typically on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, but check with the Hungry Moose counter staff to confirm dates. They’re additionally available by custom order.
With sprinkles added as the finishing touch, Dodd boxed up the chocolate, vanilla-iced cake and wasted no time moving on to blending together the tangy lemon-crème filling destined for the crisp tart shells, which just finished cooling. A stand mixer hummed nearby, whipping up cream for one of Dodd’s favorites—a chocolate silk pie. The whipped cream was soon loaded on liberally, topped with fresh-shaved chocolate, and the pie destined for the counter of the main Hungry Moose Market.
Dodd, who’s exclusively in charge of baking the sweet treats sold at both the Town Center and Mountain Village locations, said she’s never had formal culinary training—the skill came naturally to her. She and her twin sister learned the art of baking from their mother’s sister making cookies together.
“It started because I just like to bake,” Dodd said. “And now I learn from watching people, and YouTube videos.”
Dodd and her kitchen crew have been busy lately preparing catering orders, and for one reason or another, there’s been a recent spike in birthday cake requests. Any aspiring professional bakers out there take heed—Dodd said they’re in search of more baking staff as demand continues to grow.
Visit www.hungrymoose.com or call (406) 995-3045 for more information.