Exposed | Paloma Efron

  • Paloma Efron
  • CoCo Paloma Desserts

The front room of Coco Paloma Desserts, where owner, pastry chef and artist Paloma Efron meets with clients to discuss her custom cake designs, feels a bit like a sweet culinary confection itself: The high ceilings are topped in crown molding and the walls are painted a sugary shade of pink. Efron, whose longtime dream was to open a pastry shop, says she still occasionally pinches herself. “There are days when I just stand here and look around and think, 'This is mine. I did this,'” Efron says.

Efron comes to cake making by way of graphic design. Though she worked in her former field for years, she found herself baking in every spare minute. So she took a leap, enrolling in Le Cordon Bleu pastry arts program in London. Upon her return stateside, she immediately landed a gig at the Driskill, and while there, she crafted as many cakes as possible. And then in 2006, she opened her own shop. “The best part of it is not so much the physical end product, but instead the feeling that you’re a part of somebody’s celebration,” Efron says. “That’s what I get joy out of. I’m creating a product that’s actually an important part of someone’s life.”

8 Questions for Paloma

What is your favorite dessert?

I love ice cream. It’s so versatile; whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find it in ice cream. You can mix up textures and flavor profiles, go simple or extravagant. Plus, everyone can have a different flavor profile and be happy.

Which place in the world inspires you most?

London. I’ve been there a few times, and I’m looking forward to another trip with my daughters this spring. It’s such a multicultural city, and there are all of these amazing pastry shops. When I was there for school I sought out as many as I could find. Plus, there’s a lot of interesting wedding cake design coming out of the UK. In London, they put wedding cakes on display in Harrods and fancy department stores. They’re crazy about cakes there.

If you could choose another career, what would it be?

I would love to be a dessert historian, or a dessert anthropologist. I would travel the world, trying different desserts everywhere and writing their histories. I don’t know if dessert historian exists as a job, but why not? What could be better?

How does your graphic design background affect your work now?

I approach cake design the same way I approach graphic design. The cake is a blank sheet of paper to me. I start to make a plan, and then I take away everything that’s not necessary. In design, you try to keep your work concise. My teachers used to say, “You don’t need that there; you don’t need that line, take it away.” I do the same in my cake designs.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

It’s one I’m still working on: work-family balance. I have two girls aged six and nine and I’m not home on Saturdays. I have to plan my weeks really well.

What is perfect happiness to you?

Watching my children discover the world, seeing the light go on when they learn something new. It was amazing to see it when they were babies, but even now, there’s still this whole world for them to discover piece by piece. London is going to be an amazing experience for them.

Describe your style in four words.

Restrained whimsy, colorful, graphic

What’s the best kept secret in Austin?

The Elisabet Ney museum in Hyde Park. She was this talented German-born sculptress with a long, romantic life story. It’s this amazing historic gem right in Hyde Park—and it’s a castle! How cool is that?


Photography by: Nicole Mlakar

  • 0f8dfbf1-b6d6-4c56-b842-05d45acda39c.gif
  • image1.JPG
  • Elite 25_300x250.gif
  • unnamed-37.jpg
  • Copenhagen_Feb2015.jpg



  • 1cb151d1-621d-47f9-941e-7259eea04612.gif
  • Subscribe.jpg
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 2.07.04 PM.png

As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.

For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.


The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...


Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.



Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.

Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?

From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...


As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.

Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...