Many of us do the standard bake two dozen cupcakes for our kid’s birthday to hand out in class, or bake some for the holidays and throw some sprinkles on and think “now doesn’t that look festive?” But for Stef Pollack, baking cupcakes is much bigger than that. Much, MUCH bigger. It’s a Project.
Although Stef always enjoyed baking, it was certainly nothing she did on a weekly basis; she was more of a “bake for special occasions” kind of girl. She does have fond memories of growing up and baking with her mom, licking the beaters...that kind of thing. Remember the days when they weren’t warning you that batter with raw eggs would kill you? It’s a wonder we all survived. And although she had always enjoyed baking, she had never even baked cupcakes until the “Cupcake Project”.
Stef first started what she calls the Cupcake Project back in 2007. She was having dinner with some friends, and they mentioned how they were trying to figure out where to buy cupcakes for their upcoming wedding. She surprised herself by offering to be the one to bake the cupcakes. They surprised her by taking her up on her offer. The rest, is as we say…baking history.
Stef and and her cupcakes for the Wedding!
She decided that the route to go was to make a cupcake each week up until the wedding and let the couple figure out which ones they liked the best. Now, obviously, this would get hard to keep track of after the first how many trial runs…so Stef came up with the idea of her blog. The Cupcake Project was first just meant as a means to remember what cupcakes she baked; and for the bride and groom to remember which ones they liked. She thought that it would only be read by her friends and family. She had no clue it would end up being read and enjoyed by regular readers from all over the globe. But then again, who doesn’t love cupcakes?
When she first started the blog, she was the one doing the blogging and just taking quick snapshots of what she was baking. But as time went on, due in part to the Cupcake Project, her husband has become a professional photographer as well. So they spend lots more time planning the photos for the site, and setting them up just right.
The Cupcake Project got so popular, it went for round two, which she recently completed…baking 300 cupcakes for yet another couple’s wedding, and blogging about it during the entire process. During the blogging process, she started having people send her free products to try once in a while. And who wouldn’t love that?
Stef and the cupcakes for "Bride and Groom 2.0"
She decided that she wanted to learn more about these companies, so she started doing some interviews on her Cupcake Project blog. Her readers loved them; and she loved doing them. This spun off onto her sister blog “Food Interviews”, where she is able to do all kinds of foodie interviews, not just cupcake related. She’s interviewed some amazing people; and is having a blast doing it. Her Cupcake Project blog also got her involved writing for Slashfood, after the lead blogger there wrote a post about her. It’s all been quite a ride.
Stef believes that anyone can bake. It’s just a matter of following the directions step by step. And her secret just may be that she never ever uses margarine. Always butter or vegetable or olive oil. (Ahhh…the delicious calories!) And even with all of the cupcakes she has baked, she has yet to burn a batch. She’s usually too excited to see how they turn out, that if anything, she may undercook them.
The biggest crowd pleaser cupcake? The “Better than Sex Chocolate” cupcake. Sounds good to me! Stef’s favorite is the olive oil cupcakes that she makes with lemon and thyme. She uses a balsamic whipped cream frosting on them (which is also great to dip strawberries in!). Mmm Mmm.
Occasional baker to Master Cupcake Creator…Stef is proof it’s all about being creative and doing what you love. Bon appétit!
More of Stef's delicious handiwork!
Be sure to check out Stef’s amazing Cupcake Project!
~The writer would like to thank the Cupcake Project for use of
the photographs used in this story.~
Thank you Stef, for sharing your Story with us.
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© 2008 by Jodie Andrefski and Story of My Life®