Lizzy Early wakes up at 6:30 a.m. to make and decorate beautiful cupcakes. When finished, she heads to campus to begin her full day of classes and work. She also takes the time to blog each cupcake recipe and the story behind it.
Early’s blog, “Your Cup of Cake,” averages 8,000 views a day and has received much attention from other bloggers. The blog simply began as a way to back up her recipes.
“I started because my computer is kind of slow and I was afraid it would die,” said Early, a senior from Portland, Ore., majoring in broadcast journalism. “So I just put my recipes up online, but then I noticed people started to check it and follow me.”
Early has no formal baking training, though she had a summer job at a bakery. She picked up most of her skills on her own before that.
“Cupcakes have endless possibilities with different combinations, fillings, decorations and everything … and they’re easy to give away,” Early said.
Her grandmother sparked her interest in baking at a young age.
“I just remember my grandmother … would somehow find a way to make a perfect cobbler,” Early said. “First of all, it would feed over a hundred people. And they were always so pretty and wonderful no matter where we were. That’s almost magical to me.”
Her blog has more than 100 cupcake recipes and has been in operation about a year. She gets many of her cupcake ideas from her friends or from requests on her site.
“[My friends] say ‘hey you should make this kind of cupcake’ and I’ll make it happen,” Early says. “Or sometimes it’s just whatever I have in my pantry or whatever I’m craving that day.”
She makes new cupcakes at least once a week, but the cupcakes don’t go to waste. She often takes them to campus and gives them to random people and her friends.
“I think my home teachers are going to get pretty fat,” Early said.
Her Nutella cupcakes, possibly her most popular, got her blog featured on other sites and won attention in the food blogging world.
“I didn’t think you could make Nutella any unhealthier until I tried Nutella frosting, but it is so good,” said Lindsey Cahoon, a junior majoring in chemical engineering, from Highland.
Others prefer something with a little less chocolate. Jared Sederholm, a junior accounting major from Rogers, Ark., tried Early’s orange cupcakes.
“They were delicious,” Sederholm said. “They were citrusy, light and not ridiculously sweet. My sister ate the frosting out of the bag.”
While others may be able to pick favorites, Lizzy Early cannot.
“It’s like picking a child, and I just can’t pick a favorite,” Early said.
Early gave a few pieces of advice for aspiring bakers. The most important thing about cupcakes is to make them pretty. Buying piping tips and a pastry bag improves presentation and makes decorating faster. Instead of using water for boxed cake mixes, she suggests using milk.
“Knowing a few simple tricks can make the biggest difference,” Early said.
Early is also a full-time student and appears on BYUtv, but her blog is something she does for fun and plans to continue.
“I would love to produce for the Food Network or be a photographer,” Early said. “No matter where I end up, I would love to continue catering weddings in the summer and keeping up my website on the side.”