Welcome to Cupcakeland!

I’ve slowly but surely been getting back to my baking roots this year. Not long after I moved to Portland I went gluten free, then paleo, and pretty much gave up everything I learned about baking in culinary school. It was too expensive to experiment with paleo baking and honestly things just aren’t as much fun without real flour, butter, and sugar when that’s what I had been baking most of my life.

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So when my health issues finally subsided and I was able to eat gluten again without getting sick, I slowly started baking again. I don’t think I realized how much I missed it until now, but baking was always a creative outlet and a stress reliever. Being back in the kitchen, trying out recipes, and making delicious things for people I love just makes me happy.

Getting asked by my boss to back some treats for my coworkers this week was the perfect opportunity to bring back and old favorite recipe. Chocolate stout cupcakes were a staple when I ran my pastry business in California, and after some deep internet digging I finally found the tried and true recipe I always used.

I felt so good to do something familiar, like I could reach back in time to when my early twenties were full of days being covered in flour and nights drinking my sorrows away with my friends at the bar. I was so sure in those days that I would some day have my own bakery, where I could serve cupcakes and cocktails. Honestly, I still have this fantasy sometimes, especially when I’ve been staring at my computer for 8 hours and having all the creativity sucked out of me at my day job.

So will these few batches of cupcakes be the turning point I need in my life right now? I’m not sure. But I do think it’s cracked something open in me that makes me realize I need a constant creative outlet in my life. And tomorrow I’ll get to express myself even more at I make these cupcakes look extra beautiful before taking them to work on Tuesday. I hope I can create a little wow on my coworkers first day back at work after summer break.