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Humble Beginnings

November 19, 2014

I’m not gonna lie.  I wrote this post in its entirety, and that brief moment when I realized I should copy/paste it into a file saved to my computer until I decide to publish it, was also the brief moment in which I realized I had already lost it.  Gone - forever.  Won’t make that mistake twice!  So, here’s take two...


There are so many amazing bloggers out there already, I figured what better way to kick off my own than by making sure those who’ve inspired me are properly recognized.  And really, if you are at all interested in desserts, recipes, and/or food blogs, these are the resources you should know.


Let’s begin!




While these ladies certainly do a bit of everything sweet, their incredible cakes are what keep me coming back for more.


SWEETAPOLITA - Rosie's are some of the best cakes I’ve ever made.  In fact, I developed my “The Best Chocolate Cake” recipe from her Campfire Delight cake - still one of my all time favorite cakes to this day.  Other favorites I’ve made include the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Buttercream Cake, the Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake, and the Autumn Delight Cake (the third in my trio of most spectacular cakes ever made, along with the Campfire cake and my White Chocolate Lemon cake).  And her design & photography skills ain’t nothing to scoff at neither!


BIRD ON A CAKE - I find myself always coming back to Robin’s blog for design inspiration.  Her cake recipes are “simple” in that they are often one cake flavor & one frosting (sometimes a filling too), but they’re always delicious, beautiful, and creative.  She also does wonderful design tutorials.  Check out her Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, her Watermelon Flavored Cake, and the Petal Frosting tutorial.


SPRINKLE BAKES - Ooooh Sprinkle Bakes.  These are easily the CRAZIEST and awesomely creative cakes I have ever seen, made, and eaten.  Heather’s designs and photography are jaw-dropping, and when you read some of these recipes I’ll be shocked if your eyes don’t bug out of your head.  Case in point - both of which I’ve actually made - the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Devil’s Food Cheesecake Cake, and the Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Cheesecake (are you sensing a trend?)  Toward the top of my “must make” list lies her Coffee & Donuts Cake and Rainbow Meringue Truffle Cones, and two of my non-cake favorites will always be the Key Lime Swirl Cheesecake Bars and the Ale and Pretzel Soft Caramels.






These are the folks - along with Shirley Corriher - who I turn to when I want the best recipe for something, and a careful explanation to go along with it.  One of the reasons I love baking so much is because it’s precise - it’s chemistry, it’s science (yes, science - shut it).  Here’s where you go when you don’t want just the “how”, but the “why” too.


COOK’S ILLUSTRATED - Simply the best (better than allllll the rest).  Sadly, also the only one that requires a membership & fee - but it’s SO worth it!  Grab an account and split it with your friends if the cost is an issue.  The amount of testing and recipe development they do totally floors me, and I love the overload of background info.  They also do great equipment and ingredient comparisons & reviews - I use that section of the site just as much as the recipes.  If you’ve never made a CI recipe, I highly recommend their Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies and Yellow Cupcakes.


SCIENTIFICALLY SWEET - Christina is a food scientist turned baker, and is like a one-woman Cook’s Illustrated.  She goes deep into the chemistry, often explaining why each individual ingredient is included in a recipe.  I always enjoy reading her posts from start to finish, and often reply on her for the staples every baker should have in their arsenal, such as Chocolate Brownies, Salted Caramel, and Fudge Sauce.


BRAVETART - Stelllaaaaaaa!  (Sorry, I had to.)  Super creative pastry chef starts blogging?  Yes please!  She comes up with fancy, crazy things like Meyer Lemon Beet Buttercream and Candy Corn Panna Cotta, but also has great posts on the classics like Pate a Choux, Swiss Buttercream, and the ever elusive Macarons (an essay, as opposed to a recipe, perhaps).


DAVID LEBOVITZ - former pastry chef at Chez Panisse and well-known cookbook author, his is a blog I turn to for simply solid recipes, often considered classics (e.g. Marshmallow Cream Fudge, Candied Ginger, Sticky Toffee Pudding).  He is also an ice cream guru, with a fantastic ice cream book, “The Perfect Scoop.”  I can’t wait to make his Banana and Chocolate Upside Down Cake.






AVERIE COOKS - The queen of peanut butter  is really the queen of cookies and bars as far as I’m concerned.  The sheer amount of cookie and bar recipes she has blows my mind, and the fact that they’re all amazing?  INSANITY.  One of my absolute favorite bar recipes is her Nutter Butter bars (although I skip the chocolate chips and add a swirl of jam to the top to make PB+J bars), and her S’mores Cookies are outstanding.  Beyond compare, though, are her Lemon Lemonies - honest to god, the best "simple" sweet thing I’ve ever eaten in my life.


BROWN EYED BAKER - One of the first blogs I ever started following religiously, mostly due to her recipe for Guinness Cupcakes with Jameson Ganache and Bailey’s Frosting.  Michelle excels equally at cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and bars - and everything else too.  Favorites include her Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie, Pumpkin Pie Bars, and Black Forest Cheesecake.


BAKERS ROYALE - Naomi’s site is just beautiful.  Her photography, her food styling, her creativity - all of it.  It’s endlessly inspiring, evidenced by this LONG list of “must make” items: Snickers Macarons, Eggnog Cupcakes with Spiced Rum, Biscoff & Kahlua Crunch Cupcakes, Banana Bars with Rum Frosting, Chocolate and Butterscotch Mousse Pie, and Browned Butter Banana Cake with Salted Dark Chocolate Ganache.  I also love her because she shares my obsession with banana and biscoff (cookie butter).  I made her Banana Cupcakes with Bourbon Butterscotch Filling for a wedding last year and people freaked.  I used Peanut Butter frosting instead of the marshmallow because August.  LOOK AT HER PICTURES THEY’RE SO AMAZING YOU GUYS.






SMITTEN KITCHEN - A recipe from smitten = a win in the kitchen.  That might be the cheesiest thing I’ve ever written, but it’s very, very true.  Her cookbook is awesome.  Her Chocolate Brownies are awesome.  Should I go on?  Okay, sure: Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake (THE most decadent cheesecake ever), Apple Cider Caramels, Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake, and toward the top of my “must make” list - Apricot Pistachio Squares.


PASTRY AFFAIR - I initially landed on this site because of the recipe for Beer Bread (make it immediately - go forth and customize!) but stayed for everything else.  Stunning photography and a wide array of recipe types make this blog completely worthy of your time, attention, and subscription.


JOY THE BAKER - Joy is awesome.  Need I say more?  Her writing is supremely entertaining, and her recipes are solid.  She does a little bit of almost everything, sweet and savory alike.  A solid resource.






I Am Baker - author of Surprise Inside Cakes, purveyor of great recipes via gorgeous photography, and tutor of the Rose Cake deco method.  


My Baking Addiction -  Mmmmm Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes


Not So Humble Pie - The most EPIC macaron tutorial & post(s) EVER. 


TheKitchn & Food52 - both wonderful sites for not only recipes, but general kitchen/apartment/life things too.




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