Betty Crocker Fall Baking: The backstory

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Many of you may have seen the cover of the Betty Crocker magazine I posted several days ago. You know… the one with these Pumpkin Cake Pops on the front cover. Yeah, pretty crazy stuff. I was so overwhelmed when I first saw it. Completely overwhelmed. I knew they were going to feature some of my recipes, but I never expected they would really pick one to be on the cover. It was all very exciting and it still is. Anyway, I thought I would share with you how it came about.

Several months ago, I was asked by the nice folks at General Mills if I would be interested in submitting some recipes for one of their baking magazines. My first response was internal laughter. Are you sure? Me? I’m not anybody.

But it turns out they didn’t think so.

So I submitted several fall baking recipes for consideration and they liked them. Liked em enough to print them. Months later I found myself on a flight to Minnesota to visit the Betty Crocker Taste Kitchens. It was a short but, jam-packed trip.

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I arrived in Minnesota and headed straight for the test kitchens where I was greeted with goodies and smiles. I arrived just in time to take part in their daily taste panel. Every day, several people get together and taste recipes and give their feedback.

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Kristen takes notes on everything. Every comment anyone says, good or bad, and then they go back and re-evaluate if necessary.

And they do this every day. Every. Day.

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Luckily the day I was there was filled with sweets. Cupcakes and cookies and cakes. I know. It was tough. Really tough.

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Look familiar?

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I can’t tell you enough how nice everyone was. I didn’t want to leave.

After we finished the tasting panel, Diane (above me) took me down to the photography studio to check in on things because the next day I was going to hang out there and decorate cake pops.

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When I walked in, everyone was working hard making my recipes look pretty for the photos. Food stylists rock.

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It was so amazing to see this all come together. From the kitchen to the camera. Amazing.

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Look. Cake balls ready and waiting for me.

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Their computer setup is incredible. The recipe cards for the magazine are already laid out and when they take a photo, it is immediately displayed with the recipe. The photographer can position the photo right on the spot… or take another one and know instantly if it will work with the layout or if they want to change something.

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Then, they have a huge monitor on the wall that allows them to view the entire book at one time.

This makes it very easy to see the flow of the book while it is still in progress.

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Here’s a page with photo placeholders from my website. Part of the reason I came to the headquarters was to have pictures taken for the featurette. They are replaced in the actual magazine with images shot from the trip.

All super efficient.

So, after saying hi to everyone, several of us went out to dinner.

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Grace, Michelle, Andi, Diane, Naomi, Chris, Me, Cherryl and Sue. I had a great time.

And after dinner, I went to my hotel room and crashed. Hard.

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The next morning I was greeted by these two.

Tara and Joe. I loved them both immediately. So much fun. Tara did my hair and makeup for the photos and Joe photographed me making cake pops for the day. It was a real treat.

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Hey Joe – I really like this one.

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This is what I saw all day. I would rather be where he’s standing.

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And these are some of the pics he took. I asked him to take most of the pics as action shots … close up… so I wouldn’t be in the photo :)

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Tapping.

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And more tapping…

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and styrofoaming. That’s a new word. You can have it.

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Here you can see how they can test photos for the cover right on the fly.

Cute … But these pumpkins definitely need faces.

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Luckily I brought my handy dandy edible ink pen.

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Yes, faces for sure.

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Faces = fun!

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After adding the appropriate amount of spooky sweet expression, I played food stylist for a few minutes and arranged the pops for the photo.

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Then I chomped on one and Carol came in with the big guns and performed minor surgery to make it perfect.

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Here’s Chuck. He was the photographer for the all the magazine food photos that day.

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Chuck is great. Super cool.

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He took the photo and then I practically ran out the door to make my flight home. It was a whirlwind.

When I went out the front of the building, I actually had to stop the tears. I’m kind of a sap and cry easily.

Everyone was so nice. Like nicer than nice. I really hated leaving. The trip was way too short, but full of fun, excitement, emotions and memories I will cherish. Thank you everyone at General Mills that made is so special. Oh… and thanks for putting my pops on the cover. Way cool.

P.S. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Here’s the final cover if you want to look for it through September.

And… for those of you who have emailed wanting to find it, you can also buy one online.

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198 comments on “Betty Crocker Fall Baking: The backstory”

  1. You are the Diva of Cupcakes. this proves it.

  2. Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes look at a food photoshoot. SO interesting!!

  3. What a cool experience! And I totally want to work there : )

  4. I bought it! So sweet….Congratulations!!!

  5. this is so cool! i’d definitely want to be in General Mills…and congratulations, bakerella for the front cover. the pumpkin pops are just right for the fall season.

  6. OK seriously….I want to be just like you when I grow up. I LOVE EVERYTHING in the book…the blog…everything! How the pictures are presented, how YOU present pictures in the blog. It’s a feast for the eyes!!! LOVE the pink spiral bound thingy. I URGE YOU TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK!!!! I WILL PRE-ORDER FOR SURE….I DON’T EVEN CARE WHAT TYPE OF DESSERT IT’S ON. ALSO PLEASE USE THE SAME FORMAT AND PUBLISHER. LOOOOOOOVVVVEEE IT!!! Congrats on all your success. You are such a sweet person (I think :) and You deserve it! Yay!!!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s exactely what I need today – while wondering if I have to cancel my (next week) graphic design exams. Having a whiplash now and so many other things going on for Pink Ribbon fundraising I doubt if I really want to and have to do the exams… ít’s just for myself – don’t need it for work or so.
    This morning I asked for an answer – opened your mail and look at this! It’s all about graphic design and the programs I’m coping with. Amazing! This gave me the boost I needed : )
    Thank you so much!
    And are not all creative people the nicest on earth?!

    Enjoy the feeling of fame! You deserve it because you brighten up everyones life!

    groetjes from Holland,
    monique

  8. SO happy to see you get the raves you deserve. That purple outfit is gorgeous! The photos of you were beautiful. I can’t imagine what you must be feeling with Betty Crocker AND the New York Times Bestseller List – WOWSERS! SO cool and exciting! I bet your cute little kitchen helper is proud to show off her celebrity auntie at school!

  9. Wow this was breath taking.I really did enjoy reading the whole post.Thanks for sharing congs.

  10. Again, amazing things are happening for you, and I’m so excited for you….congratulations!

  11. Oh my! You must have been on cloud 9! How fun! What a kitchen! I don’t think I’d want to leave!

  12. I can totally understand the tears. I would have too!

    BUT….let me say this. Don’t be so hard on yourself in photos. You are gorgeous, your smile is fabulous…and you can tell that you are doing what you LOVE…..let them take YOU in the photo…after all…this is your journet…and you are on the ride of your life! Let it be documented, girl!!!!

    Can’t wait to get my hands on that book!

  13. you have started a nation of upcoming cake pop=sters!!

    what a great experience for you & all your bakerella fans!

    kudos!

  14. Great story! It seems the harder you work, the luckier you get, Bakerella. In other words, all the wonderful-ness and star treatment you’re receiving is absolutely well deserved. And its so much fun for me to experience it vicariously via your terrific blog. Thanks for all the insider details; your behing-the-scenes stories are fascinating. Your book, the magazine spread, the Emmies and all the recent buzz makes me even more proud to be a Bakerella Pop Star!

  15. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You are truly a success and a big inspiration to me. I can’t wait to buy this magazine :))

  16. wow……sounds like you had a fantastic time……………………..you so deserve it…………and you aren’t a no-body….you have so many fans…….all over the world………congrats

    i’m not sure if we have the betty mag here in australia………i’m always up for signed copies *wink wink*

  17. you must have felt like a rock star!!

  18. I’ve got to try the cute pumpkins. Must go and get the book. Thanks Bakerella. Paulette

  19. What a fabulous opportunity – thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  20. can i just say, you are living a dream! congrats, what a happy time for you. go girl!!! :) shine on!

  21. Thanks for sharing all the details. Congrats on the cover!

  22. Congrats!! I LOVE behind the scenes posts!!

  23. Great article! I love all of the photos, and your storytelling. sounds like a lot of fun! Congrats on the cover!!!

  24. This is very exciting! I am so happy for you! I teach cake decorating and have told many of my students about your website – we have so much fun with cake pops and everyone loves them. I have even made them without the sticks to send to my aunt – they travel well!

  25. I actually found out about these through that magazine while standing in line at the grocery store. I saw it and thought I should make those for my son’s birthday in October. Did a practice run this week and I am ready to make them for his class!

  26. This looks like an amazing experience!!! You’re so fabulous and everyone knows it!

  27. those nice minnesotans..always so nice!

  28. wow! amazing job Bakerella!!! You are an amazing inspiration for me!!! xoxo from SoCal!

  29. Cool beans…fun and educational as well..what a great trip that must have been. One I’m sure you won’t ever ,ever forget !

  30. Congratulations – I am so happy for you! I bought the magazine as soon as I saw it!

    You are one of the most creative people I have ever encountered.

    Now I just have to pick up your book!
    :)

  31. I want that purple top you are wearing! Looks great on you. Where can I get one?

  32. How wonderful! Congratulations. I’m so proud of you, and I don’t even know you. Great work, keep it up and YOU ARE AWESOME!

  33. What timing of your blog. I just purchased the recipe book and wow! I didn’t realize how many recipes they had posted from you! What an amazing thing you have going for you! Congrats.

  34. This looks so cool! So fancy – you are like a celebrity! Love all the pictures you got! And an edible pen – wow!!

  35. This is so awesome! I seen the book the other day at Walmart and almost bought it. I think I will buy a copy the next time I see it. Congrats!

  36. I think this would pretty much be my dream day!

  37. I am really sad you didnt stay longer in MN. I would have loved to meet you. I also wish you were stopping here on your book tour! Think about it, we are a SUPER fun state.

  38. I bought this at the grocery and was all “I know this lady!” This is sooo cool :)

  39. Thanks for sharing such a great moment in your life and allowing us to follow the journey that took you there. You are an inspiration to anyone who bakes. I would imagine there will be many gift baskets that include your ideas during the holidays. Best Wishes for continued success.

  40. I saw it and I just knew they were yours!!!! Now I’m going to go get it!

  41. So neat. What a cool behind the scenes look.

  42. This looked like tons of fun. The cover looks awesome! Congrats and hope to see you soon

  43. Got my copy and already made some of the recipes out of it – all of them are hits! Waiting to get closer to Halloween until I made the pumpkin cake pops!

  44. Such an amazing job, congrats!

  45. So cool! I saw this and bought a copy to show some support – your blog is wonderful and inspiring. It’s also so great that I can actually do what you post. Thanks and much deserved!!!

  46. I’m soooo excited to make my cakepops. I have both, your book and the Betty Crocker Mag. I reserved my book online (I could not wait til the the 18th to come) and when I went to buy it they had no hold for me or books. I was so disappointed but, they were able to find it at another store and I haven’t put it down. Congratulations!!!

    Blessings to you on your new adventures!!!

  47. Okay, let’s just start with what’s important. You look great in purple! What a fabulous experience you had and how fun to see how it all comes together. Thank you for sharing with us!

  48. Oh Bakerella!

    I wish I could make stuff like that!!

    *sly smile* You’re very discouraging, you know.

  49. I’m just SO happy that this is all happening to you! Because you’re awesome and you deserve ALL of this! Good luck!

  50. After seeing your latest post I had to go by the grocery store before work this morning. I walked in and became a little panicked when I didn’t see it in the magazine section. Then I turned the corner and there it was…sitting on the stand near the register. I am soooo excited to begin my fall baking!

  51. Love the behind the scenes photos! So…about the cake pops…I just made them for the second time tonight…however, the consistency of my melted candy does not look half as thin as yours…what’s the secret to getting it so thin? How many times do you zap it at 30 seconds in the micro?

  52. Congratulations! I can’t wait to pick up the magazine! I have been saying for a while now that working in a test kitchen would be a dream job! I’m not that great at creating my own recipes, but I love trying other peoples’ and add on to them. Edible experimenting is the best kind!

  53. This was so interesting! It’s pretty amazing the technology they have to see the photo immediately on the recipe card layout. How fun for you!

  54. I’m so proud of you and your success! I saw the little magazine in the checkout line this week. Congratulations!

    I loved seeing the behind-the-scenes photos. How fun.

  55. Thank you for sharing! It is neat to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff.

    & so many congrats to you for your continuing success! You are the real deal, girl!

  56. Congratulations! Your pictures are bringing back memories. Going to the test kitchens was one of the best blogging trips I’ve been on.

  57. I love your humble spirit! You deserve every bit of recognition that you have & will continue to receive! Take it all in, you will have a lot more awesome opportunities like these in the future! God bless all your endeavors:)

  58. congratulations!!!!!!!!! It´s a dream come true and a vision of hope for the rest of us who have the same dream,you are the proof it can happen.Thanks for sharing it with us and all the best to keep going on.

  59. I finally found a copy of this magazine at a local Walmart and it looks great!! Congrats again :)))

  60. just bought the mag and cant wait to get busy.

  61. I’m so happy for you! This looks like so much fun. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  62. yay for you!!!! this is super awesome! congratulations and thanks for showing us all the behind the scenes stuff! very cool!
    :)
    Shannon
    http://www.cascobaysoap.blogspot.com

  63. Just three words: YOU DESERVE IT!!! Congrats!!!

  64. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! So exciting for you! And so awesome that you’ve made the top 10 in books! Congratulations Bakerella! You’re very inspiring :)

  65. You are so cute! What a wonderful, fun, and informative post. First, a great opportunity with Betty Crocker, and second – look what you have managed to create… an EMPIRE! My kids are grown, and my cake pop days long gone… meaning, I am not interested in making this kind of thing until I get grandkids… then… her I come, baby! But, what a fantastic story – and thank you for sharing it. I learned of you through a local blogger who has a good friend who made some cake pops. They all have little kids and are making different ones all of the time. You really found a niche and went for it. I love that. And your spunk and sparkle has really made it work. I am glad to have found you, but must admit – I usually never leave any comments when someone has this many – it was over 165… because I write to be read, as you do. But, I get the feeling that as you have written here, you will read all of your comments.
    :)
    Valerie

  66. I saw this magazine at the grocery store last night. I was like hey that’s Bakerella! I know her! Well sort of. In spirit. Congrats by the way!

  67. I saw your cake pops in the bety crocker book and decided right away that I had to try and make them. So I did like you say and started with the cake balls. I am a little disapointed in how they turned out. They were too soft and the chocolate didn’t look good it was lumpy. I am not sure what I did wrong. Do you have any suggestions? I am going to try these again sometime and would love any help.

  68. you look like u’re having so much fuun envy! congrats again for the cover!

  69. Congrats on the cover!! Just got your new book, Angie… you rock!!! Can’t believe I saw how your blog evolved, I am so happy for you!

  70. Congratulations! So cool!

  71. amazing! i bought the book just because you’re in it :)

  72. Can anyone tell me until when the Betty Crocker magazine will be in store? I would like someone to bring it for me to Europe (I can’t seem to order it anywhere?!) but she will come over in october..

  73. Love them!! and it looks like you had a TON of fun! I cant wait to try some pumpkin pops!

  74. Ok. So after reading this blog at work (ssshhhhh) I had to run to the store at lunch time and get this cookbook! I immediately started to plan my son’s dessert table for the weekend. Then a co-worker came in and wanted to see where I got that little cookbook. Needless to say, you now have a whole new bunch of fans from my workplace :)

  75. I totally had to buy this when I saw you were featured!!! AND I made the Chocolate Zucchini Ganache Filled Cupcakes…OH MY GOODNESS!!! Chocolate yummy goodness!!! I made the for a Ward party in my Church…i had signed up to make a dessert with Zucchini in it…I was going to make pumpkin zucchini cookies….THIS was a much BETTER choice!!! THANK you Bakerella!!! YOU are the BOMB!!!!

  76. Hi there
    We were wondering what you use to color your chocolate, if you color it. Unfortunately we live in Sweden and don’t have access to colored chocolate and are yet to receive your book on cake pops wich seems to be delayed due to it being out of stock. But we are patiently waiting for it and we have great hopes about it. Last but not least we are sorry if we have a bad English.
    XOXO Linn and Carolin in Sweden

  77. Just bought my copy! I love it! Great recipes.

  78. I’ve only just found your blog online a little while ago, but i’m a huge fan. I just think everything you make is crazy awesome. I bought the whoopie pies book and can’t wait to pick up Cake Pops. Anyway I just wanted to say that i went on a mission and found your edition of Betty Crocker with your adorable pumpkin cake pops on the cover. Looks amazing!!!! Also real quick question, what is the best edible pen to use for treats and where could i find one? (i mean like the one you used for the faces on the cake pops–just to be clear)

    THANKS
    XOXOXOXOXO

  79. I live RIGHT by General Mills! Looks like a beautiful building. I drive by it all the time. Lucky you to get to experience it! And everyone was so nice because we have Minnesota Nice here! Ever heard of that? We’re known to be a “nice” state! Glad you enjoyed your stay here! And Congrats! Your creations are awesome!

  80. Wow! Awesome trip and well deserved. :)

  81. I just stumbled across your blog and just read this post….I work right across the Highway from General Mills, never been in there so I had no clue they had their test kitchens there….I should be having lunch there everyday! And seeing the test kitchen really makes me want to work there instead!
    Congrats on all the media attention for great works!!

  82. Hey I love these pumpkin guys! Currently my cake and icing is “chillin” in the fridge. Saw these a few weeks ago and thought maybe I could make cannonballs for my boys birthday party this weekend:) It’s my first time doing this and just realized I haven’t a clue how to make those green pumpkin tops! Was going to do it white as the fuse for the ball! Is there any chance someone could help me out? Plmk:) & TIA in PA

  83. I made the pumpkin pops this week, and I guess my orange candy melts weren’t thin enough. They didn’t come out very smooth, so I had “textured” pumpkins. Then my edible ink pen doesn’t work — I’ve tried 2 different ones, and they just won’t work on the hardened candy melts. So – I picked up a pkg of Halloween black candy melts, melted them, and piped on the faces. It worked fine! I wish the pens would work, tho! Any ideas from anyone??? Oh, and I didn’t use a tic tac for the stem part. I got some Life Savers Jelly Rings, and saved out the green ones. I cut them into little tiny wedges and rolled them in sugar, so the cut sides weren’t sticky. They look great! They’re for my 3 yr old Granddaughter’s Pre-School party!

  84. I baked in the Betty Crocker kitchens a couple months ago, we had a blast!! And I will have to agree, everyone there is SUPER!!
    Thanks for sharing the pictures, they brought back great memories!
    ~LIz

  85. I have tried two to cover my cake balls but the Wilton’s chocolate wafers are setting up hard. I tried the microwave and then a new package of wafers in the double boiler. Both became hard and I could dip. Help!!!! I’m frustrated. I did add veg. oil like you said but it didn’t help.

  86. I love Belle from Beauty and the Beast! She’s the princess in the story, everyone has to love the princess! My one year old will come to love her as I did all Disney movies!

    I have to say I just love, love, love all your stories! I have made the cake pops and they are just fabulous! I’m going to try making the pumpkin face ones, I just got the stuff to make them! I love cooking and making all kinds of stuff! I have to add that your pictures are fantastic! Thanks for helping me get through baking! :)

  87. I’m not kidding…when I saw the cover I (screamed) said in a louder than normal voice…”OH MY GOSH!!!! BAKERELLA’S CAKE POPS ARE ON THE COVER!!! OH MY GOSH I AM SO PROUD OF HER!”….then my hubby said, “Do you know her?” and I said, “Of course! I read her blog…”…He looked at me like a child who had just waved at Cinderella at Disney World…”Sweet sweet girl….you don’t really KNOW her…” – that’s what his eyes said and I said, “Well…I FEEL like I know her!”

    Then I bought the cookbook and smugly knew in my heart that we are “BFFs”…..right? :)

    CONGRATS TO YOU!

  88. Hello! These are gorgeous!!

    I was wondering what you used for the green stem.

    Thanks!

  89. Congratulations! I admire your work – I purchased your book and just love it. I’m retiring at the end of this month after 30 years and am looking forward to baking. I gonna get through your whole book. Thanks.

  90. I was wondering if the wilton’s edible ink pens work well on the candy melts as well as the american gourmet ones?

  91. you know what is funnie 2 years ago my aunt opened a bakery and when some of our cakes were flops we made balls out of them every one loved them but the bakery closed no more cake balls we didnt decorate them like you do we just drizzled fondant over them but they were really good happy for you that it worked out better for you have fun, first time i have ever been on this site it was great good luck!!

  92. love it—yummy!!! can you please share what kind of melted candy you use for the cake pops? THANK YOU!!!

  93. I’ve got to say, I bought that on the magazine stand for the cover and have been following your blog and baking your goodies ever since! So thrilled to have found you!

  94. your the best cooker

  95. I am dying to know which edible ink pen you use!!!!! I try to use the wilton edible ink pen, but I never have any luck!!!!! They dont work very well with writing on chocolate i assume? Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find a good, working, edible ink pen?? Thank you so much!!!

  96. What an awesome opportunity! It is beyond amazing when you see your own work published somewhere! Such a great feeling. You’ve earned it :)

  97. Your cake pops look great!! I have trouble with using my edible markers on them. How come yours turned out so great? Help!

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