The Great Blogger Bake Along

A new blog series of baking challenges from The Great British Baking Show, where we test our skills, sanity, and ability to locate caster sugar in the U.S.

Friends! How many of you like or appreciate baked goods?
And how many of you are fans of the show The Great British Baking Show?

Well, if you haven’t heard of it, there are three seasons on Netflix and it’s suuuppper addicting to watch. The talent these average-joe people have is unreal, yet the woes of baking they experience are all too relatable for the typical home baker (soggy bottom-ed pies, caved-in cakes, flat pastries, etc). They are challenged in technique, creativity, and flavor and it’s so inspiring to watch.

In fact, it’s so inspiring, that I’ve decided to do a Julie and Julia-esque baking challenge for the next several weeks!

On the show, each week has a theme of some sort (like cakes or biscuits) and the bakers have three separate tasks to complete. First, the “signature challenge” where they bake something of their own creation. Typically something tried and true that they’d bake for their own family and friends. Second, is a “technical challenge” in which they are given all the ingredients, measurements, and vague instructions for a difficult bake, but with possibly no knowledge of what it’s supposed to look like at the end. This tests their natural intuition. In the final round, they must create a “showstopper.” This bake has to hit all the marks of skill, taste, and professional appearance. All of these challenges are given varying time limits for completion.

With that bit of background, here’s what you can expect from this series…

  • Starting April 5, every Wednesday, I’ll be tackling the technical challenges, starting with the first series available on Netflix. I have decided NOT to time these challenges because, well, I’d like to have a somewhat pretty bake to show you. Plus I cannot keep my kitchen anywhere near as consistent as theirs, and some of my U.S. ingredients will inevitably differ somewhat which may mean slightly different baking times.
  • That being said, I’ve been tracking down difficult-to-find European ingredients in hopes of being able to replicate these recipes as closely as possible. Someone please tell me the best place in the U.S. to buy Caster sugar in bulk!
  • About once a month, I’ll be featuring a friend and baking master - Cameron! She has done mannnyyy European bakes and will be my Showstopper for the series. I'm so excited to introduce you to this awesome lady. She's a real Mary Berry if I ever knew one ;) 
  • I’ll likely carry out the actual baking over the weekends, so be sure you’re following me on Instagram to catch some Stories or maybe even live videos en-process!

At the end of each post I’ll be sure and let you know what’s up next. If you’d like to join me on this challenge you are MORE than welcome! In fact, prior to each Wednesday, if you share your own photos of the current week’s technical challenge, I may feature you in my post. My mom (who has always been my baking mentor) said she’ll even join in, so alongside my bakes, you’ll see a few of hers too! Hashtag your photos #joylynnbakealong for a chance to be featured and to see other great bakes.

I am so excited to start this series and I hope you’ll follow along! Baking is something I find so therapeutic, yet challenging, and learning new techniques and using different ingredients sounds like so much fun. I’ve found myself baking the same recipes over and over - wonderful, delicious recipes of course - but the same ones nonetheless. Do you ever find yourself there? In a baking rut? This is how I’m going to break it and learn something new in the process. And if nothing comes of it but two people under my roof with more baked goods than they could possibly eat, well then… I suppose you should hope you’re my friend and you live nearby, or you work in my husband’s office.

Wednesday, April 5th
Bake #1: Cherry Cake

View all The Great Blogger Bake Along posts below!