Randy, 29

Randy, 29

Meet Randy…

Randy, 29
Incarcerated: 14 years
Housed: San Quentin State Prison, California

Better Than Freedom Cake

I made the cake a few years ago. The first time I was at work it was my co-worker’s birthday. The only ingredients we had on hand were a Honey Bun and cookies. I made it from scratch off the top of my head, thinking if this is all we have, maybe this is something we can do. It just came to me to combine the icing, leave the Honey Bun at the center and make a type of dough with the cookies.I made it for him and it ended up being really good. He said it was so good and suggested I should sell it on the tier because people would pay a lot of money for it. So, I made a hustle from it, and it was something I supported myself with for a while because people did love them and they sold for a lot. People would damn near harass me for these things. They always sold out. I started doing special orders for people for their birthdays. I actually became known for these cakes. I had an opportunity last year on my birthdays: on my birthday to make one with my wife. We each made one at the same time, and I walked her through the instructions over the phone. We both ended up making one, she lit the cake and sang happy birthday. We made a whole event out of it. The cakes are not difficult to make, but the first time you make it, it’s going to be a mess. Even the time I walked my wife through making it, it came out sort of messy. The first time it will be a little lopsided and difficult. I’ve taught a few cellies how to make them, and without fail, something always goes wrong. The biggest issue I see, and I’ve experienced myself many times is adding too much water. I try to point out that you can always add more water, but you can’t take it out. If you put too much, it becomes mushy, and the whole cake is ruined. Other than that, it’s just molding it. Some people mold it and it comes out sloppy. Making the cakes themselves is pretty simple once you get the hang of it, but expect the first one to be a fail, and the second one to be the one that comes out right.

Better Than Freedom Cake

Makes 2 servings


30 chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos)

1 Iced Honey Bun



Remove filling from cookies and place in a mixing bowl. Remove the icing from the Honey Bun, add to the cookie filling, and mix until smooth.

Crush the cookies thoroughly by placing them in a storage bag and pounding with a heavy pan, rolling pin or meat pounder. Place the cookies in a separate bowl.

Add water to the crushed cookies, one tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition. Continue to add water just until the mixture forms a dough that holds together without crumbling. 

Shape the dough into two cakes slightly larger than the Honey Bun. One of the dough cakes should be slightly larger than the other. 

Set the Honey Bun on top of the smaller dough cake, ensuring there is a margin of dough around the edge of the Honey Bun. Drape the larger dough cake over the honey bun and join the edges into the bottom half, pressing together to seal to make one hefty cake. 

Editor’s notes:

  • Iced Honey Buns can be found in the baked snack food aisle of grocery stores. They can also be purchased online.
  • When adding the water to the cookies, do so slowly – you can always add more, but too much water will make the dough too soft.

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