Domestic Goddess: Sedaris isn't about to part with her moneymaking cupcake recipe, but she doesn't mind sharing her secrets to some fantastic cheese balls, below.

Sugar and Spice
She's got nearly a half-dozen projects in the works, but the
subversively witty Amy Sedaris can't stop thinking about a
baker's dozen

By Lily OeiPhotographed by Eibold and Erb (Mark Ibold and Billy Erb)

Any baker worth her copper cake molds will tell you that turning out the perfect cupcake requires a combination of precision and whimsy. Which is why it should come as no surprise that writer-actress Amy Sedaris—whose sharp wit has elicited laughs for years on projects like Comedy Central's cult fave "Strangers With Candy"—is passionate about the treats.

Next appearing in DreamWorks' "Chicken Little" as the voice of Foxy Loxy, Sedaris has built a sweet little business in New York's West Village peddling homemade cupcakes (and the occasional cheese ball) to local coffee houses like Joe the Art of Coffee on Waverly Place. She's also been known to pop up hawking the baked goods during theater intermissions—even at her own productions. (Sedaris has co-written a handful of plays, including "The Book of Liz" and the Obie-winning "One Woman Shoe" with brother David.) "The pleasure I get counting my singles in front of the cast, you have no idea," she says. "It's fun because no one actually makes money while in a theater, but I walk out with a bundle."

Sedaris bakes constantly in her small Manhattan galley kitchen, surrounded by jars of sprinkles and cabinets full of cake-top decorations neatly divided into categories like "holiday," "birthday" and "ballerinas." No homely hausfrau, Sedaris insists that she does her preheating and blending in an apron and high heels. Many of her favorite recipes will be compiled in an entertaining book, "I Like You," to be released by Warner Books in fall 2006.

The cupcake business started a few years ago as a way to provide allowance for a new pet bunny, says Sedaris: "I didn't want her to be a trust-fund rabbit." And in case the gig doesn't work out, there's always showbiz. Expect to see her in MGM/UA's forthcoming "Romance and Cigarettes" and the indie "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With," as well as headlining the bigscreen prequel to "Strangers With Candy," featuring appearances by Sarah Jessica Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman and other friends-of-Amy.

"I take (the cupcakes) very seriously," Sedaris says with all earnestness. "I like acting like Mildred Pierce, where I have this company that I'm completely responsible for. And I like having a job that I can complain about - you know, the price of butter, the price of vanilla and all that."


2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese
2 cups shredded smoked Gouda
1 stick butter, softened
3 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. A.l. Steak Sauce
Crushed nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Combine first five ingredients and refrigerate until firm. Form into balls. Roll in nuts. Serve at room temperature with Ritz crackers.

© October 2005  V Life: a Variety publication