Artisan Q&A: Jillian Hopke, Jillycakes


Jillycakes Orlando is a gourmet cupcake and specialty cake bakery serving the Greater Orlando area in Central Florida. Every cupcake is an experience, and every cake is an extravaganza. You may recognize Jillian Hopke from Season 6 of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, where she was crowned the winner. More recently, she competed on season 3 of Holiday Wars, which can now be streamed on Discovery+. Every occasion deserves a Jillycake! 

An Interview with Jillian Hopke, Founder of Jillycakes

What makes your products truly artisan-made?

I make over 60 flavors completely from scratch.

If you weren’t making these products, what would your dream job be?

I would love to have a job that required me to travel all over the world trying local snacks. Wouldn’t that be fun?

What advice would you share with artisans looking to expand their businesses?

Get your product into all the hands you can and always work towards building relationships in the community. Word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising and growth.

If you could travel anywhere in the world to eat for one week, where would it be and why?

Florence, Italy. They have the absolute best local market snacks for on-the-go exploration! 

Who had the biggest influence on the way you craft your products, and why?

My mother. She taught me at a very young age how to express my creativity through art and baking. 

Her Local Favorites

Where do you shop locally for interesting ingredients?

My best part of living in Florida is the fresh produce. Strawberry season is my favorite. I love picking berries straight from the field and trying new recipes!

What’s your favorite local eatery, and why?

I absolutely adore My French Cafe in Winter Garden. I don’t make any classic pastries, so when I want some, they are the first place I stop!

What’s your favorite way to use your products at home?

I always enjoy surprising my friends and family with custom cakes to celebrate their interests!

What three things are in your fridge at all times?

Cream cheese, honey turkey, and fruit. 

What was your favorite bagged lunch as a kid?

Peanut Butter and Fluff with Dunkaroos. I was a 90s kid!

To learn more about local artisans, visit our Artisan Guide.