SprinkleBakes — it’s a phrase that triggers all your senses. It brings to mind sugary sweet confections, nonpareils, pink rain boots decorated with cupcakes, and puppies. Yes, definitely puppies.

At first glance it looks like a mish-mashed word pulled from Mary Poppins or Alice in Wonderland. However on closer examination, it makes perfect sense that Heather Baird chose SprinkleBakes as the name for her blog. She’s been known to wear pink rain boots decorated with cupcakes and she has two adorable pugs named Biscuit and Churro. (What else would a woman who “eats cake scraps for breakfast” name her dogs?)

And then there are the desserts.

Like a white cake, filled with lemon curd, covered in Swiss meringue buttercream and topped with fresh fruit. It’s one of those cakes with not a lot of fuss, yet it’s the perfect finale to any meal. Or her take on Cow Tales, the nostalgic soft caramel candy that every generation loves. They look just like you remember them as a kid, but chances are they’ll taste better.

There are dozens of baking-themed blogs, but SprinkleBakes is on another level. Baird doesn’t just offer readers another great recipe for red velvet cake (although she does have several lovely variations). She covers a cake in tiny chocolate glazed doughnuts. She spins her own pink cotton candy. She makes sushi rolls out of sponge cake. Oh, and she lights cupcakes on fire for her version of Baked Alaska.

These are not your average sweet courses. They are feats of baking that resemble edible art. It makes sense though, when you consider Baird’s background.

“My creative outlet has always been painting and I was having a case of artist’s block,” Baird said, thinking back to 2009, when she started SprinkleBakes. “I had recently moved (From Nashville to Knoxville, Tenn.) and I was trying to find a new creative outlet, and I began to bake.”

For Baird, painting was a solitary hobby, but with baking she could share it with others. However, family and neighbors weren’t enough. She wanted to share her new art with more people, so she picked up her camera, planted herself in the kitchen, and started SprinkleBakes.

SprinkleBakes is only two-years-old, but it’s already made its stamp on the blogosphere, garnering thousands of followers and dozens of mentions in the media.

“I feel very lucky that I always get a great, positive reaction. I think that’s what every artist wants whether you’re working in canvas or cake,” Baird said.

This May, Baird will share her tips and recipes with an even broader audience when she releases her first cookbook, SprinkleBakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist. The book will feature many of the desserts from the blog, along with basic recipes for chocolate cake, Swiss buttercream, and the perfect sugar cookie. Baird also includes tips you didn’t know you needed until you picked up the book, such as which brush is best to use for an egg wash.

Baird loved the idea of combining her two loves — baking and art — into a book, but after more than a year of writing and editing, she’s ready to see the finished project.

“I hope everyone loves it as much as I do. I think May is going to be a lot of fun, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,” Baird said, laughing.

Judging from the advanced copy, Baird has nothing to worry about. The book reads like her blog and her fans will love having Baird’s recipes, tips and techniques at hand.

“Going to her blog even once, you just know this is someone who should have a book,” said Stella Parks, the pastry chef at Kentucky’s Table 310 and the woman behind another baking blog, BraveTart. “She has such an amazing aesthetic. Every time I go to SprinkleBakes I’m totally smitten.”

Parks met Baird through Twitter about a year ago, and helped her test some of the recipes for the book.

People come to SprinkleBakes because it’s hard to look away. (Blame it on all the pink.) When you see a towering cake covered in bright Sixlets you want to know more. But people keep reading SprinkleBakes because of Baird. Her writing style makes you warm and optimistic, giving you just enough confidence to conquer the perfect macaroon.

“I do keep it peppy and sparkles because it’s my happy place,” Baird said. “I just want to spread the gospel of home baking because everybody can do it.”

Baking can be terrifying at first and phrases like “stiff meringues” and “poured fondant” can make you run the other way. But you can breathe easier knowing that the fearless leader of SprinkleBakes has had plenty of baking mishaps and struggled with self-doubt when she first started the blog.

“I would think, ‘Should I really be doing this?’” Baird recalls. “But then I would think, ‘Well what’s the worst that can happen? I’ll have some flat macaroons and I’ll eat them anyway.’”

Unlike painting, Baird said, baking isn’t about the end product; it’s about the process. Sure, she wants perfectly smooth petit fours, but what she needs is to create. As Parks said, “This is a girl who loves beautiful colors and spun sugar.”

The next few months for Baird will be busy, wonderful, and nerve-wracking — and not just because of her book. She’s also making her first wedding cake, and for her sister-in-law no less. A wedding cake is all about the end product, but Baird and her fans are much more interested in finding out how she gets there.

Cincopa WordPress plugin