Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana


Bella McCuen is all about the biscuit roll and anyone who’s sampled her biscuit cinnamon rolls from the Baked! by Bella table at Whitehall’s Farmers Market can understand why – there’s no other word to describe them except delicious!

Baking has been Bella’s hobby since she was very young; some of her first memories are of baking with her grandma. Though she originally considered being an aesthetician she thought it through and decided to go to culinary school. Considering she can’t go a full week without baking, it made total sense.

“It all fell into place as soon as I looked into culinary school and then it all happened very fast. That’s how I know it was just meant to be,” she said. “I would just be driving home from school some days and I just had this feeling of fulfillment.”

Bella attended pastry school in Texas at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, obtaining a Pastry Arts Associates Degree. She’s now working at the Sacajawea Hotel where she did her externship to finish off her education and, though only 20 years, anticipates soon being made the pastry chef there.

“That’s my dream location, job, and everything; it’s very thrill, awesome,” Bella said.

So, how did Bella come to focus her baking energy on biscuit rolls? It started with biscuit cinnamon rolls which she made at her last job in Texas while she was attending school, in part because a lot of biscuit scraps were being thrown away and she didn’t want to let them go to waste. Once she developed her idea her sous chef there actually told her she might have a business in cinnamon rolls.

“I didn’t think anything of it but here we are and I’ve been making them religiously since about June,” she said. “I’m selling biscuit rolls, running with the biscuit dough itself and rolling up goodness in them and making biscuit rolls. I’ve decided that I think anything would be good in a biscuit.”

Bella has also made ham and Swiss, and bacon cheddar jalapeno biscuit rolls. She tried out a pizza roll but wasn’t satisfied with the result, deciding it might be the one thing that’s not good in a biscuit. She has “tons” of ideas in her mind for other sweet variations, including a peach cobbler roll and a strawberry shortcake roll.

Bella’s lived in Montana for three years, in Whitehall the entire time. Being here has influenced her baking.

“I’ve noticed Montanans enjoy hearty, filling foods that warm your soul and I think that’s exactly what my biscuits do. I only use Wheat Montana flour, it’s the only flour I’ve ever used here in Montana and it’s my favorite,” she said. “I also use lots of butter both in the biscuits and filling. I think that goes along with hearty foods.”

Her cottage industry works as she juggles working full-time at the hotel, caring for her three-year-old son, and making her biscuit rolls, which she does in her parents’ kitchen. Bella will need to move soon and the future of her biscuits is dependent on finding somewhere to live that includes a kitchen. Though she’s on the search, she hasn’t found anywhere yet.

“I would love to stay in Whitehall, if not, I would go to Three Forks, but my son’s daycare is here in Whitehall,” Bella said. “I would take anything at this point that has a kitchen; I’m a baker and need to have someplace I can bake. Other than that I’m not picky at all.”

Along with biscuit rolls, Bella would like to take orders for other baked goods. As a pastry chef, she is proficient in baking cakes, breakfast pastries, muffins, croissants, and scones. She’s done chocolate work, including truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries, and her signature cake - a dark chocolate cake with Kahlua simple syrup and caramel filling with espresso buttercream, a chocolate ganache on top, and more buttercream decorations – would be perfect for any special occasion.

“I like to do mini cakes because they are so indulgent and I like to do as many layers as I can get,” Bella said.

Participating in upcoming events will depend on her housing but Bella is hoping to get and fill many holiday orders. She can be contacted by phone, email, and through Facebook, advising readers to look for her black and white Baked! by Bella logo with the cinnamon roll graphic on top.

Bella McCuen has accomplished a great deal in her twenty years. She believes in her cinnamon rolls.

“I think I would like to take these cinnamon rolls and run with them. I don’t know if I want to do that as my signature item in a bakery, for a food truck, or to go wholesale. I just don’t know yet. But I think cinnamon rolls because I’ve got my recipe down and, without being conceited, it’s really, really good,” she said.

“I’d also like to be known for being a quality chef, backing my customers, my ingredients, and my employees. Just being all-around just genuine, that’s what I really want to be known for.

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