New Recipe: De’Lani Delights, a new dessert shop, opens in Macon, GA

Macon native and pastry chef Kanesha Taylor has been “in the kitchen watching or learning” since she was 12.

One of her signature dishes, a red velvet cake, is based on a recipe her mom gave her.

“I tweaked it and made it my own,” Taylor said.

Another signature dish is her strawberry crunch cheesecake, which is a cheesecake with a strawberry crumble on top.

Taylor and her fiance, Issachar Smith, recently opened De’Lani Delights at 2310 Ingleside Ave. in Macon.

The dessert shop is named after their eldest daughter, 5-year-old Priya, whose middle name is De’Lani. They also have another daughter, Ava, who’s nearly 3 months old.

“Everything is done in-house — made from scratch,” Taylor said.

Everything includes cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, mini-cheesecakes, cookies, pies, macaroons, cinnamon rolls and other small desserts. She also makes cakes that have cheesecakes on the inside.

“The whole cheesecakes and cakes, I do a one day turnaround, so you can like order today and pickup tomorrow,” Taylor said. “I do birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, ‘just because.’ I do everything.

“If you want something similar to a picture, you can bring it in and I can do that for you.”

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A made-from-scratch chocolate cake with buttercream created by Kanesha Taylor, a pastry chef and co-owner of De’Lani Delights at 2310 Ingleside Ave. in Macon. Courtesy Kanesha Taylor

She offers more than a dozen cheesecake flavors. Her mini-cheesecakes can also be bought by the dozen. Her small and mini-desserts can be bought in the store.

“They’ll be rotating,” Taylor said. “There won’t be something set because I’m trying to get a feel of what people want.”

She’s in the process of putting together an online menu.

Her fiance, who has a full-time job, helps out at the shop when he gets off from work and handles the business side of their store. She’s at the shop “all day every day” and does all the baking there.

Taylor wanted to give a shout out to her high school in Macon, what was then the William S. Hutchings Career Center, where she majored in culinary arts and was part of the 2011 graduating glass.

She next earned an associate’s degree in baking and pastry at The Art Institute of Atlanta in 2014.

“I’ve opened bakeries and I’ve opened diners and here I am opening up my own,” said Taylor, who most recently worked as a pastry chef for the Westin Sarasota in Florida for nearly four years.

Red velevet cake with cream cheese and butter cream flowers.jpg
A made-from-scratch red velvet cake with cream cheese and butter cream flowers by Kanesha Taylor, a pastry chef and co-owner of De’Lani Delights at 2310 Ingleside Ave. in Macon. Courtesy Kanesha Taylor

She moved back to Macon last year after the tragic death of her twin brother, Bibb County sheriff’s Deputy Kenterrous Taylor, 27, who was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Forsyth Road when responding to a burglary in progress call March 18, 2020.

“So this is also a way for me also to grieve because I’m so busy during the day that I don’t really have to think about him not physically being here with us,” said Taylor, who also has three sisters and one other brother. “It helps me because it takes my mind off not being able to call him or text him.”

De’Lani Delights celebrated its grand opening March 27.

“It feels absolutely amazing — absolutely amazing,” Taylor said. “ It feels good to come and turn the doors to my own store and not having to worry about somebody over me saying, ‘Hey, make sure you do this and this and this.’ And I can make my own schedule. Absolutely amazing.”

The dessert shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The number is 478-227-6373.

Ava and Priya .jpg
De’Lani Delights,a new dessert shop at 2310 Ingleside Ave. in Macon, is co-owned by pastry chef Kanesha Taylor and her fiance Issachar Smith. The dessert shop is named after their 5-year-old daughter, Priya, whose middle name is De’Lani. She’s pictured here with her little sister, Ava, who’s nearly 3 months old. Courtesy Kanesha Taylor

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Becky Purser covers business news, having moved back to Middle Georgia in 2000. She’s also covered crime and courts primarily in Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. She’s also covered local government for The Daily Sun when it was a daily newspaper in Warner Robins, for the Kingsport Times-News in Tennessee and for the Bristol Herald Courier in Virginia. She’s a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
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