Jessika Lauren is a self-taught vegan baker and her special-order baking company, Courtesan Cupcakes, serves up 100% vegan and “made from scratch with love” desserts, with a focus on cupcakes. Baking is her Zen and she loves getting creative, using fun ingredients from seasonal fruit, artisanal jams, to small-batch chocolate and bitters. Jessika is always up for a challenge and specializes in creating themed cupcakes for any special occasion including fundraisers, quinceaneras, weddings, birthdays, holidays, and “just-because” days.

Most notably, Courtesan Cupcakes was featured on the popular Food Network television show, “Cupcake Wars” where she had the pleasure of baking for vegan musician Rob Zombie for a spooky Halloween themed episode. Although she ran out of time on the reality show, her Spicy Green Curry cupcake remains one of her most delicious and unique recipes.

Other achievements include Jessika’s Raspberry-Rosewater-Pistachio cupcake winning first place for ‘Most Unique Flavor’ at Los Angeles’ first vegan cupcake competition, hosted by Urban Food Crawl. The popular event, ‘Cupcakes & Art’ was covered by The Los Angeles Times, VegNews Magazine, and Alicia Silverstone’s blog TheKindLife.com.

Some of Jessika’s favorite events for which she has baked include being a vendor at the popular Artisanal LA show, craft service for TV Guide’s coverage of the Grammy® Awards, 826LA, a beer and cupcake pairing at Downtown LA’s Buzz Wine Bar, Madex’s GueriLA Drive-In, Burrito Project LA benefitting the homeless, special events for The Los Angeles Opera, baking for bands like Blink 182 and Anti-Flag, as well as various fundraisers for animal welfare organizations such as PETA, including a gifting suite at the Teen Choice Awards and a vegan fashion pop-up, Mercy For Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, Beagle Freedom Project, The Gentle Barn, and Bunny Luv Rabbit Rescue.

Jessika also contributes articles for the PETA.org website as well as blogs and recipes for PETA Latino. In her free time, Jessika enjoys hiking and backpacking, exploring ghost towns, and volunteering as a tutor to underserved youth in Los Angeles.