Today we're interviewing the creative mind behind Bake It in a Cupcake, Megan Seling! Her very first cookbook, Bake It in a Cupcake, was released October 2nd and she's extremely excited to share her amazing recipes with the world! Name, age,
My name is Megan Seling, I’m 32 years old
and I am a writer and web content coordinator for The Stranger, a weekly
newspaper in Seattle.
us a little bit about yourself!
Obviously, I love to bake and write. I’ve
written for The Stranger for over 10 years, mostly focusing on music and food
writing. I also love: pictures of baby animals, hockey (watching, not playing,
I’m far too clumsy for playing), my cat who is sort of a jerk, candy, swearing
(I don’t curse once in the book, though, I promise!), and my husband (sorry, I
know, don’t roll your eyes, he’s just awesome!).
Cheese Cuppie Cake
inspired your love of cupcakes?
Oh, where do I begin? I’ve loved cupcakes
since… always. Not just cupcakes, but all baked goods and desserts. I have a
massive sweet tooth. (Don’t tell cupcakes, but I have a pretty good thing going
with ice cream right now, too.) But unlike so many other desserts, cupcakes are
a really inviting thing to make. You don’t have to worry about decorating or
transporting a whole cake, you can make as many or as few as you’d like. And,
it turns out, you can also bake awesome things inside of them, which can be
harder to do with a full-sized cake because there’s so much room for things to
sink and shift and move around. Cupcakes hold things in place, nice and tidy.
did your blog Bake it in a Cake get started?
It started as a joke, actually. I was
making cupcakes for a friend’s party and, inspired by some half-off Easter
candy, I decided to see if I could bake a mini Cadbury Crème Egg into a
cupcake. It worked! I love to bake, but more than that, I love to make up my
own rules and experiment and see what’s possible when baking. So I tried some
other things—inside-out pineapple upside down cupcakes, cherry pies in
cupcakes… some stuff worked, some didn’t, but it was fun. Then one afternoon I
got bored and figured I’d start a photo Tumblr blog of all my baking exploits.
I thought it’d just be a funny thing, nothing too serious, just showing pictures
of half-eaten cupcakes, but people loved it. They wanted the recipes, they
wanted to see more, so it pretty quickly became something much more intensive
than I initially set out to do. But it was so much fun, so I kept doing it, and
decided to see how far the idea could go. It went pretty far. If you look at
some of the very first posts, there aren’t recipes and the photos are BAD. Ha!
I’ve come a long way in two years.
Birthday Cake Cupcake
I didn’t choose stuffed cupcakes, stuffed
cupcakes chose me. It really was just a thought that came to me in the candy
aisle. I stuck with it because I’m not so great at decorating cakes, and I
don’t have the patience to make intricate or fancy fondant decorations, so
putting a surprise inside the cupcake proved to be an easy way to still make an
impressive treat. I love watching someone bite into the cupcake and get really
excited about how you can see the mini pie or candy bar or heart inside. For
me, when a cupcake is decorated really well, it’s not as fun to eat because I
don’t want to ruin the pretty thing! But with a stuffed cupcake, you have to eat it in order to fully enjoy
it. Plus: No cake decorating talent required! (Which is good, I have none.)
have some amazing recipes on your blog, are you a self-taught baker?
I am, yes! There are a lot of amateur
bakers in my family, so I have a lot of childhood memories that involve making
cookies and cakes and have baked a lot
in my lifetime, but everything I’ve learned I’ve learned through trial and
error—with the emphasis on error. When I first started baking things into other
things, I thought really anything could work. Nope. Learned the hard, messy,
gross way that that just isn’t true. (Damn you melting, worthless Starbursts!)
did you decide you wanted to take your website to the next level and create a
I can’t remember exactly when I decided to
attempt a cookbook—it was quite a few months after the blog had been up. I had
started to get e-mails from people who were interested in doing a Bake it in a
Cake cookbook, but having never written or published a book before, I was
hesitant to just jump into something. If I was going to do it—put that much
time and energy into something—I wanted to do it well. So I got a literary
agent (Renee Zuckerbrot, who’s AWESOME) and she helped me write a really strong
proposal to send out to publishers and luckily there was interest in it! It
definitely helped that I already had a presence on the internet. And while
there are so many cupcake cookbooks out in the world, people were still drawn
to Bake it in a Cupcake because it was doing something different with cupcakes,
taking them to kind of a ridiculous level, I know, but a really fun and
delicious level, too.
Bake It in a Cupcake Cover
is your favorite recipe that you’ve created?
That has to be the pumpkin pie-stuffed
cupcakes. I am a pumpkin pie fanatic and when baked into a cream cheese
cupcake, it gives the cupcake a custardy, creamy center that is just amazing.
Plus there’s a little flaky, crispiness thanks to the pie crust. It’s so, so
good. I top them with cinnamon cream cheese buttercream, so they taste like
fall, which also happens to be my favorite season. I make them a few times
every year. A close second would be the crème brulee cupcakes that I just
posted on the website just a couple weeks ago. I have to give my husband credit
for coming up with the idea. The crème brulee is in a little cupcake dish
instead of a ramekin, still topped with the glassy layer of caramelizing sugar.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Yes! THANK YOU to everyone who’s sent me photos or
kind words, come to my bake sales, bought or even considered buying my book, or
made me smile in any other capacity. This has been a hilarious, fun experience
and (cliché alert!) it absolutely would not have happened without the kindness
of my family, friends, colleagues, and strangers. So sincerely, to all the
sugar-loving people in the world: THANKS. Also: Be awesome. Everyday.