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Couture cake artist Maggie Austin will now be baking for the masses at Buzz Bakeshop

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For most of us, a wedding cake by Maggie Austin LaBaugh was never in the cards. Most of us aren't getting married at the moment, and even if we were, we probably couldn't afford one.

[Wedding cake artist Maggie (Austin) LaBaugh still sweats every perfect detail]

But the ballerina turned couture cake artist -- better known as just Maggie Austin -- has a new gig that will have her baking for the masses. She's taking over as culinary director at Buzz Bakeshop (formerly Buzz Bakery).

"I was really missing that reason why bakers bake, and that's to give people good food on a more grand scale," LaBaugh said.

Expect a lineup including LaBaugh's favorite chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, brownies and muffins, including a very seasonal pumpkin one filled with cream cheese. Her lineup of baked goods should start rolling out Friday, debuting hand-in-hand with the expected reopening of Buzz's renovated location in Alexandria. The new menu will be available at the Arlington shop as well. Other sweets such as pies and cakes are in the works, too. LaBaugh said she knows people are going to ask whether she'll be doing wedding cakes at Buzz -- it's possible, though nothing has been decided.

One item sure to appear as the holidays approach: her signature rum bundt cake. (Also, decorated sugar cookies.) LaBaugh served it as dessert at the end of a lunch she'd prepared for Michael Babin, founder and co-owner of Buzz parent company Neighborhood Restaurant Group. "He was hooked," LaBaugh said, meaning the cake may or may not have directly led to Babin bringing her on to oversee Buzz.

[Naomi Gallego is Neighborhood Restaurant Group's new executive pastry chef]

LaBaugh said she'll continue to do her custom Maggie Austin cakes, though those only add up to a "handful" per year, mostly international. (Tokyo and Saudi Arabia are on her upcoming agenda.) But most of her time will be with Buzz, she said.

"I'm not going to be scooping the muffin batter, but I am going to be in the kitchen," LaBaugh said. The redesigned Buzz will feature an open kitchen where customers can see LaBaugh and her colleagues working.

The rest of the overhauled space in Alexandria -- the bakery first opened in 2006 -- will feature a more elegant design, including a collection of vintage plates mounted on the back wall.

LaBaugh described the look as sleek and modern. "It’s just a touch more refined and grown up," she said. Which is what she and Babin have in mind for the food as well.

Just don't confuse elevated with the "ridiculously fancy" stuff LaBaugh said she is known for.

"These are kind of the everyday treats, rather than the once-in-a-lifetime type of thing," she said. "This is not going to be fancy food."

Buzz Bakeshop, 901 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, 703-600-2899; 818 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, 703-650-9676. buzzbakeshop.com.

Related items:

Wedding cake artist Maggie (Austin) LaBaugh still sweats every perfect detail

Naomi Gallego is Neighborhood Restaurant Group's new executive pastry chef

Buzz Bakery to close at the Yards (boo), turn into Bluejacket bottle shop and tasting room (yay!)

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