Foodie Events / Restaurants

Joy the Baker Reveals All on Brunch, Blogging Superstardom and that Drake Connection

She’s in Houston on a Food Mission

BY // 04.06.17

If Instagram followers functioned as currency, let’s just say New Orleans’ butter and sugar queen Joy Wilson would be rolling in the dough. The self-taught turned professional baker turned cookbook author touts more than half a million followers on her dual Instagram accounts — @joythebaker also the title of her eponymous, award-winning baking blog established in 2008; and @drakeoncake, a collection of vibrant cakes embossed with Toronto-bred rapper Drake’s most popular lyrics.

Now, Wilson takes her budding career to new heights with the launch of her third cookbook, Joy the Baker Over Easy: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Leisurely Days, which tackles everyone’s favorite meal: brunch.

We caught up with Joy before her Houston book signing to talk all things baking, her love for Drake, and what’s next.

: In creating Joy the Baker I was hoping to carve out a small space where I could marry my love of food and my exploration in the kitchen with my compulsion to share and write. I didn’t start with a solid plan, but creating recipes and sharing bits about my life felt compelling to me and helped me connect with similar people in the world.

I am a self-taught turned professional baker. I worked in bakery kitchens, and just about every position in restaurants while starting and working on my blog. I didn’t start my blog in 2008 thinking that I could make a business of it… no one in 2008 really thought of making their blog a full time job — it was the early days and pretty unheard of.

Along the way I’ve stayed the course and shared what I care about and worked my site into a business that feels authentic to me.

Joy the Baker started as a way to share recipes with… really a very small (we’re talking handful) community of people. As the Internet has grown, as we changed who we look to for information, I’ve grown a website into cookbooks and a branded business. That’s something that I never could have imagined nine years ago when I started a simply recipe blog.

I cringe to go back that far on my blog. The site has a changed a lot since I started. I think my first post was about Mise en place, and I tried to explain the importance of setting out ingredients before setting off on a baking project. I think in that post I misspelled mise en place no less than three times.

I’ve been working on my site for so long it’s hard to have an all time favorite. I do hear often that the Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are a game changer for people! Favorite thing to bake: Pies. There’s a sweet rhythm to bringing together the crust, rolling out dough, and slicing fruit for filling that always feels right to me.

JTB’s beloved brown butter chocolate chip cookies. (Photo credit: joythebaker.com)

I feel lucky to be the first to act on the fact that Drake rhymes with Cake. Favorite Drake Lyric: “P***y run everything.”

Brunch seems like the best way to combine all the baked sweets that I love with the savory dishes that I balance my diet with. Brunch is the perfect combination of sweet and savory, when dessert at breakfast is encouraged.

I love the Praline Bacon recipe in Over Easy. It’s salty, sweet, nutty, crunchy, totally over the top bacon. I also love the recipe for Earl Grey Ricotta Waffles which are lightly flavored with tea. They’re served with a honeyed cream. Sweet and comforting.

I started by cooking the classics in the kitchen. Start with brownies and banana bread. The basics will teach you about measuring flour and incorporating ingredients and give you some delicious confidence in the kitchen. It’s all practice and learning.

Piano lessons.

Joy Wilson will sign her third cookbook, Joy the Baker Over Easy: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Leisurely Days, on Thursday, April 6 at Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive at 7 pm. For additional information, click here

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