Secret Snacks

A popular snack cake is hiding on the menu at Sepia

At Michelin-starred Sepia, diners expect posh, seasonally inspired desserts filled with ingredients they can't pronounce or spell.

They probably don't expect Little Debbie snack cakes.

"We like our junk food, too," explains pastry chef Cindy Schuman. "I'll take a good cookie and some cotton candy any day of the week."

Schuman has recreated four classic Little Debbie sweets (the Swiss Roll, the Nutty Bar, Honey Buns and the ever-popular Oatmeal Creme Pie) for the restaurant's current dessert offerings. The menu doesn't necessarily call them out as drugstore-inspired confections, but you can spot them if you're in the know.

"I was kidding around in the kitchen and said jokingly 'I'll put Little Debbie on the menu.' Chef said 'Yeah right.' I decided to do it just to prove that I could." Schuman polled the kitchen staff on their favorites and then deconstructed each of them. "We brought boxes and boxes in and everyone tried them–a great excuse to eat cakes."

The Little Debbie collection at Sepia

The Nutty Bar, which you may remember as wafers with peanut butter and chocolate, has been transformed into a bar made of layers of crispy phyllo topped with a peanut butter crème, a sweet port reduction ("What's peanut butter without jelly?") and peanut toffee.

Schuman's take on the Oatmeal Creme Pie is made with oatmeal cake, a caramelized coconut crust and maple ice cream. Love Honey Buns? Hers are made by glazing mini beignets with honey and serving them with lemon curd and lingonberries.

Schuman laughs, "People are loving it." Us included.