October 13, 2015

Grandbaby Cakes with Jocelyn + Book Giveaway

Grandbaby Cakes | The Naptime Chef

My friend Jocelyn has the coolest blog called Grandbaby Cakes. If you haven’t read it before, go over and read it right away. It is full of warmth and love and amazing recipes! This year she also came out with her first book, Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories. It is chock full of recipes for cakes inspired by her family, specifically her grandparents, and they all look so delicious and lovely I want to make every single one. Today I am thrilled to share a little chat I had with Jocelyn and give away a copy of her book!

1) This is the warmest, most soulful baking book I’ve read in a long time. How did you come to writing a baking book full of new takes on family recipes? There are so many good ones, your whole family must bake!

First of all thank you so so much for the compliment.  When thinking about the process of creating this book, I realized there were soooo many recipes in my family that ranged from sweet to savory.  My publisher and I thought it would be great to start with my roots and give people some idea of what Grandbaby Cakes is all about so that’s why we narrowed in on cakes specifically.  I also wanted to make sure that the book wasn’t just a collection of old recipes that many people may already have enough of.  My intention was to create new classics with my funky hip sensibilities, modern flavors and a lot of soul so I really hope I did that.

2) I love all of your family photographs. How did you decide which ones to include and which recipes to use?

This was seriously one of the hardest parts of the entire writing process.  My mom happens to be our family historian in a lot of ways.  She has boxes and bins filled with old family photos.  For several days, we would spend time going through the bins and selecting photos.  We started with hundreds and little by little, we were able to whittle down the selection.  Also my editors were helpful with that process too.  If I could have had every photo I found in the book, I would have.  The book probably would have been 600 pages love but I wouldn’t have cared haha.

3) What is your favorite cake recipe in this book and why? I’d love to hear how you adapted it, if at all.

My favorite cake from the book changes all the time.  Last week, it was the Buttered Rum and Candied Sweet Potato Cake.  This week, as I write this, it is the Mississippi Mudslide Cake.  When I first thought about creating this cake, my goal was to develop the most decadent and indulgent chocolate cake recipe and also include the essence of my auntie Rose’s personality throughout the cake.  She has a bold personality that can be over the top but completely lovable so bold flavors were necessary.  I started with a variation of my auntie Rose’s basic chocolate cake recipe then added in the additional elements of kahula and Irish cream flavors, along with ganache and crushed cookies.  That cake is seriously epic.

4) Is there any recipe you worked on for this book that you found particularly tricky or gave you a run for your money? I know from experience there is always one recipe that doesn’t pan out as you expected and takes extra effort.

The yellow cake recipe was the bane of my existence for 6 months.  I tested it more than any other recipe in the book.  I found it to be the hardest because of the expectations people have for traditional yellow cake.  It is the quintessential cake that most remember from birthday parties so getting it right was so important to me.  I tried several variations from altering butter and oil amounts to trying buttermilk versus sour cream.  It seriously was so so hard but I have heard from so many people including Taste of the South Magazine that tested it that it is perfect.  So it seems that it paid off.

5) Now that you have this whole book is there anything else you are adapting or working on based on your family heirlooms? We want to know what is next!

Down the road, I would definitely love to write a book where my savory and sweet heritages combine.  I have tons of ideas for that jotted down in a massive google doc.   However, right now I am just enjoying the ride of my first book finally being out.  Hearing how it is touching people in a special way and seeing the photos of recipes being made from the book is making me so so happy.  I can’t even explain the labor of love this was so taking in the moments of this very special time is my top priority.  And truth be told, I have no idea what’s next and that’s both scary and exciting!

Thanks, Jocelyn!

To Enter to win a copy:

  1. Leave a comment sharing your favorite hand-me-down recipe in your family.
  2. Contest runs from October 13th through October 20th. Winner will be announced in the October 23rd newlsetter.
  • grandbabycakes

    Thank you so so much for this! I’m such a big fan of yours so this means so much.

  • DJohnson

    My favorite is my Grandmother’s Brunswick Stew recipe. It’s definitely a family favorite.

  • miranda

    I love my grandmother’s chili

  • Sophie

    oh my gosh I love her blog! My favorite is my mom’s pancake recipe. Thank you for the givewaway!

  • Joan Kubes

    I have the greatest chocolate chip cookie recipe from my grandmother.

  • Rust

    My grandma’s date nut roll is my favorite hand me down family recipe.

  • Karen D

    My grandmother’s raised donut recipe

  • Erin

    My grandfather’s bread recipe is my favorite although it doesn’t taste as good as when he would make it!

  • Anne

    Unfortunately, my mom never really enjoyed cooking, although did get dinner on the table for us every night. She did make great stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner, though, and my dressing is based on hers.

  • Christina C

    My fav family recipe is my mother’s thanksgiving butternut squash puree!

  • Tricia

    My mom used to make “chicken nut casserole”. It was rice, celery, water chestnuts, chicken, etc. with a corn flake crumb topping. It is my favorite comfort food, and it’s great to heat the leftovers for breakfast!