You can’t miss the glass display case at the entrance of Jerry’s Famous Coffee Shop inside Jerry’s Nugget, with its display of elaborately decorated cakes. Think Boston cream, German chocolate, lemon and carrot for starters—modern dessert masterpieces created by executive pastry chef Douglas Taylor, who runs the property’s baked goods program. (His previous stints include Art of Flavors, B&B Ristorante and CarneVino.)
Taylor not only works with classic recipe ingredients, he experiments with additions throughout the year. “The seasons inspire me,” he says. “[For spring,] I’ll be doing some cool fruit tarts with lemon curds and different kinds of flowers. I’m definitely looking at roses and whatever’s in bloom. Peach. Gardenia. Hibiscus is always a big one for me.”
Taylor’s baking imagination isn’t only fueled by farmers’ market wanderings. “If I just walk by a giant Kit Kat bar, I’ll think, ‘Man, I bet I can turn that into a pound cake, a mousse or a cream’.” he says, noting that plenty of good ol’ chocolate will be featured in May.
Taylor’s repertoire also includes the super-shiny, one-of-a-kind NASCAR cake, which he created in honor of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The multilayered confection combines chocolate sponge cake, New York-style cheesecake, chocolate mousse, red velvet cake and white sponge cake under a buttercream frosting hood—then everything gets decked out in a shimmery, opalescent, multihued glaze.
All this cake-making mastery aside, longtime Jerry’s fans might wonder if the chocolate-covered éclairs and Bavarian cream-stuffed strawberry rings—two of the coffee shop’s longtime staples—are still on the menu. Rest easy, diners: they’re forever desserts. “We’d have tables being turned over if we got rid of those,” Taylor laughs.
Jerry's Famous Coffee Shop 1821 Las Vegas Blvd. N., 702-399-3000. 24/7.