Traci Wilbur Makes Pumpkin Cheesecake

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the third annual Pie Social Saturday, November 3rd, from 2 to 6 p.m. on Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix. We've got an all-star line up of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now til Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one.

Today: Traci Wilbur of Pie Snob makes pumpkin cheesecake.

See also: -Wait 'Til You See the Final Celebrity Baker Lineup for Pie Social 2012! -Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row's Pie Social 2011

She might run her pie business solo, but that hasn't stopped Traci Wilbur from becoming a tour de force in the local pie scene. Perhaps it's her impressive digs that put her over the top -- Wilbur creates and bakes in a woodshed turned chef's dream kitchen behind her home.

Wilbur is a red head with a big smile, casually dressed in shorts. She leads us through a gate and towards a building in her backyard. She opens the door, and instead of finding a tool shed behind the door, we are met by a stainless-steel industrial kitchen. Lilac walls and black-and-white checkered floors give the space a calming, yet homey feeling.

She tells us she will be making pumpkin cheesecake today. Three of them, to be exact.

Blocks of cream cheese, cut into one-inch squares, go into the gigantic stainless steel standing mixer (the mixing bowl can hold enough filling for 20 pies, Wilbur tells us), and then the machine gets turned on.

She adds a sugar and spice combination that smells like fall. As she is adding the sugar, a little girl's face peeks through the window. Realizing she's been spotted, she quickly ducks out of sight.

Wilbur, who has two young daughters, mentions that her oldest already wants to take over the business.

Eggs and pumpkin puree are added to the mixer, then she starts to pour them in the molds, which are lined with a graham cracker crust.

Once a slot machine sales representative, Wilbur quit that job when her children were born and started Pie Snob after a friend suggested she do so. "I told my 'mommy friends' and business took off," she says.

Wilbur graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in English. She learned everything she knows about pie baking from her mother, who helps her bake during the busy weeks before Thanksgiving. Her most popular pie: apple, a family recipe.

She enjoys cooking as well. "If you asked my family what I like to cook most, they would say anything with garlic, " she says.

But really, Wilbur says, her favorite thing to make is "anything where you know people are going to love it."

Wilbur's pies are sold at Bertha's Cafe and O.H.S.O. And, of course, you can try them at Pie Social this Saturday.

Want to read about the other competitors? Corianne Sizemore Makes Raspberry Pop Tarts Tammie Coe Makes Eyeball Cupcakes Karen Olson Makes Chocolate Chip Cookies Brady Breese Makes Pumpkin Bread Joan O'Connor Makes Mediterranean Pasta Salad Monti Carlo Makes Banana Bread Muffins Mamma Toledo Makes Egg Sammies with Horseradish Cheese Slade Grove Makes Gluten-Free Amaretti Cookies Jeff Kraus Makes the "First Time Crepe" -- Nutella, Elderflower, Spiced Walnuts and More David Duarte Makes Peanut Butter Crunch Bars Winnona Herr Makes Butterscotch Bananas Foster Pudding

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.