Paula Deen Says She's Indulging 'Way Too Much' Post-Scandal

Reeling from the career-shattering scandal last summer that she has likened to “a death,” Paula Deen took comfort in her family, friends, fans and her favorite place: the kitchen.

“I made eight cakes in six days,” the celebrity chef, 67, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s cover story.

Paula Deen: 'I'm Fighting to Get My Name Back'

At her lowest point last summer, Paula Deen struggled to get out of bed.

“When I woke up each morning, it was like my world was crashing down again,” the celebrity chef, 67, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s cover story.

Paula Deen in Crisis

Last Sunday Paula Deen was able to carve out a brief moment of joy, celebrating the christening of her stepdaughter’s baby girl near the Savannah home she shares with husband Michael Groover.

“The subject of the sermon was stand strong. She felt like it was a message,” says a source close to the family. During the service, “when Paula went to pray with the minister, he said, ‘We’re behind you,’” adds a Deen pal. “She got emotional.”

Paula Deen Dropped by Target & On 'Pause' at QVC While Fans Show Support

While businesses continue to bail on Paula Deen in light of the racial controversy that is damaging her reputation as the Queen of Southern Cooking, fans are showing that she is not alone in this fight.

Bobby and Jamie Deen Deny Paula Deen Is Racist

Paula Deen’s sons Bobby and Jamie have leaped to their mother’s defense in her racial-slur scandal, saying she’s a good person who’s being unjustly maligned.