Holly Evans specializes in macarons, sugar cookies, hand pies and more at her business, Prairie Rose Desserts.
Writer: Karla Walsh
After almost 20 years in professional kitchens around Des Moines, Holly Evans was “very nearly burnt out.” She wanted to make her own baked goods and set her own hours to spend more time with family. That’s how she created Prairie Rose Desserts in July 2020, focusing on homemade creations like macarons, custom sugar cookies, hand pies and laminated doughs like croissants.
Throughout those two decades, Evans honed her craft at some of the best around the city, including 801 Chophouse, Sweet Binney’s, Proof and Crème Cupcake and Dessert. She discovered that she felt most passionate about “freshly baked, homemade elegant desserts perfect for everyday,” Evans says. Rather than gourmet chefs, cookbooks or magazines, her best inspiration comes from right outside her back door–from what’s fresh and best in the garden.
“There will always be fan favorites that I make year-round, like carrot cake, or almond-raspberry macarons,” Evans says. “But I definitely lean heavy on fruits when they are in season, like strawberries and rhubarb in June and peaches in July. In the winter it’s more apple, spice, coffee and chocolate flavors.”
She also enjoys putting her own twist on a classic combo. Her lemon-blueberry macarons, for example, feature fresh thyme-infused blueberry jam. And her homemade marshmallows for s’mores showcase a swirl of dried strawberries.
So where can we score all of this goodness? Evans has pop-ups around town, which I’ve learned about by subscribing to her email newsletter. I’ve also devoured goodies from her stand at the weekly Wednesday Waukee Farmers Market. (Note: She’s taking a vacation this week and will be back for the Aug. 25 market.) Follow @prairierosedesserts on Instagram and keep up with Evans’ latest oven adventures at facebook.com/prairierosedesserts.