Cinotti’s Bakery in Jacksonville Beach made Hurricane Dorian-themed goodies, Publix took a stab at hurricane cakes.

What started off as a back-of-house joke has turned into a local bakery’s new claim to fame.

Cinotti’s Bakery — a fifth generation Beaches mainstay known for its pastries and sandwiches — is selling Hurricane Dorian themed baked goods by the masses.

“The guys in the back wanted to be funny,” owner Michelle Vining said. “We didn’t do very many in the beginning.”

But a few was all it took.

Saturday alone, Vining said the bakery sold over 500 Dorian doughnuts — a cyclone-shaped doughnut dipped in vanilla icing and hand airbrushed to represent the hurricane’s eye and colorful eye wall.

“It takes an entire team to pull these off,” Vining said. “It’s a lot of work and time consuming because not everyone can do them. I am literally dipping doughnuts for hours.”

The bakery is producing Dorian-themed doughnuts, cakes and cookies as long as it remains open and the demand is there.

Vining expects to sell thousands.

Cinotti’s isn’t the first to make light of the hurricane with sweets.

This week, Publix bakeries received mixed reactions for its hurricane-themed cakes. Photos across social media showed the grocery store’s oversized chocolate chip cookie cakes with icing illustrations of Florida and a red cyclone encroaching.

Criticizers went to Twitter, saying the cakes were “not funny” and in bad taste. Publix responded on Twitter, saying “It is never our goal to offend anyone with the products we offer."

Hi, thank you for your feedback on the cakes. It is never our goal to offend anyone with the products we offer and I apologize that we let you down. Individual locations did make some of the hurricane cakes you’ve seen and I will personally share your feedback on this cake design

— PublixHelps (@PublixHelps)August 29, 2019

The availability of storm sweets’ varies by location, with individual locations opting whether to create the cakes.

In Jacksonville, Perét Pass, a local political consultant and former chairwoman of the Jacksonville Young Republicans, found one of the coveted cakes at a Publix on Saturday. It was a chocolate chip cookie base with Florida drawn in green icing and a red cyclone just atop. The $8.99 cake said “Weather It Out” in white icing.

Thank you,@Publix! We’re ready for#Dorian! pic.twitter.com/M08lY3dDhF

— Peret Pass (@pnp07)August 30, 2019

This isn’t the first time Publix has taken a stab at hurricane cakes. In 2017, the grocery chain’s bakeries released Irma-themed cakes that said things like “Go Away, Irma.”

On Instagram, Publix bakery cake decorator Kelly Higginbotham said she made 48 Irma cakes in one day, all of which sold out.

To the naysayers, Vining says the cakes and doughnuts are all in good fun.

“We never wanted to be ugly about it,” she said. “We’re only looking to have a little fun during a stressful time. Now, we’re selling out after doing crazy numbers.”

Emily Bloch: (904) 359-4083