When people ask her how she started baking, she replies, “Because I had no friends.”
Describing herself as an awkward and shy transfer student, Portland-native Lizzy Early said she quickly learned food was the way to people’s hearts. What started out as a friend-making strategy turned into a quick success following Early’s graduation from college.
In her third year at BYU, Early started a little blog called Your Cup of Cake as a place to keep all her recipes. The blog quickly received a huge following, according to Kelly Schumacher, spokesperson for Covenant Communications publishing company.
“I didn’t mean to start a business or anything really,” Early said. “But it took off! People started coming to my site, commenting, pinning, sharing on Facebook. Buzzfeed and Huffington Post started emailing me and featuring my recipes.”
Taking advantage of the quick attention, Early published her first cookbook, which included all of her own recipes and photographs. Soon after, she began striking deals to work with major brands like Pillsbury, KitchenAid, Chex, General Mills, Crisco and Tillamook to create recipes and promote their products.
Now, Early is enjoying the success of her second cookbook, “Make it with a Cake Mix,” which was recently published and can be found at Amazon.com, Deseret Book, Seagull Book and, soon, Costco and Barnes & Noble, according to Schumacher.
Early promises the new book is full of easy, quick, foolproof recipes that all include a cake mix base. It has recipes for cupcakes, layered cakes, bundt cakes, cookies, whoopee pies and all sorts of other treats, accompanied by beautiful photographs Early took here in Provo.
“I wanted to do something that really showcased how much you can do with a cake mix,” Early said. “Cakes and cupcakes can be gorgeous and taste incredible without slaving away for hours. It really can be fast and simple.”
As for the day-to-day, when Early’s not coming up with new recipes in the kitchen, she is working as a full-time blogger.
“Life after college, it does exist,” Early said. “But I never thought I would be a full-time blogger. I get the strangest looks when I tell people that — especially boys. It’s like a red flag in their brain, so they turn and run.”
Although it wasn’t the anticipated career for Early, who majored in communications at BYU, it brings her joy and satisfaction. Early said her favorite part is getting to see people try her recipes and gain confidence by doing what they never thought they could. As for herself, Early will continue her career in baking and blogging and excelling in ways she hadn’t expected she would.