She’s baaaack

Most people either like to cook OR they like to bake. Not both. Many exceptions exist (especially in the blogging world), but watch an episode of Top Chef: just the thought of pastries and creme brulee strikes fear into the hearts of many accomplished chefs.

I like to cook. I don’t bake. I leave that to my little sister, Mary Beth. And bake she does.

Mary Beth, in addition to her full time job as a UVA student, is a semi-professional baker. At age 18 (almost 19!). She is amazingly talented. She picked up baking a few years ago and developed a passion for it; so much so that she started putting pictures of her creations on Facebook, and then when people started asking her to bake for them, a business was born.

She worked 40+ hours a week at a bakery in Northern Virginia while living at home over the summer, and then would come home and bake for “College Girl Cakery,” her brand name, for an addition 5-6 hours each night. The only way you can maintain that schedule is with true passion.

People around our hometown tried her goods at various parties and events,  she received her first bit of press– a story in a local newspaper- the orders really started flooding in. She started a website in addition to her Facebook page to manage her flourishing enterprise.

Here is just a sample of her creations- see the website for the full picture archive.

She can’t really maintain her side business during the school year. Mary Beth attends UVA, and even lives in my old apartment- which I love, because I get to sleep in my old room whenever I visit, which is all too frequently ;). But she plans to take orders over all of her school breaks, including this weekend for Columbus Day. So of course she begins baking the second she walks in the door and usually doesn’t stop until she leaves. And our kitchen looks like this for three days straight:

So I present to you… PUMPKIN SCONES!


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 7 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 6 tablespoons cold butter
* 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
* 3 tablespoons half-and-half
* 1 large egg

Powdered Sugar Glaze

* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
* 2 tablespoons whole milk 

Spiced Glaze

* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
* 2 tablespoons whole milk
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 pinch ginger
* 1 pinch ground cloves 



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.

Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough.

Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.
When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.

Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.

These were incredible. Just like the Starbucks pumpkin scones, but homemade. 

She also made a cake for a my friend’s Bachelorette party this weekend. A lingerie cake, too fitting: 


I think I’ve convinced her to start blogging this summer when she’s baking regularly again. Sister-sister-healthy-living-baking-tag-team-blogging? Can’t wait for her to get started!

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2 Responses to She’s baaaack

  1. That’s so cool that she bakes all that stuff. It all looks amazing! I’m more of a baker than a cook. I wish I could cook. I mainly just wish I had more creativity in the kitchen.

  2. goeatapeach says:

    It’s true, baking is more of a science, cooking an art. That’s why I can’t bake- attention to detail is my downfall, and with cooking I can be very carefree and spontaneous.. With cooking, things can only come out so bad, and it’s usually fixable. With baking, though… you risk completely ruining a dish with one wrong move. it’s too much pressure!

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