16 & Baking: Local teen makes impressive cakes and treats
Grace Grogan is taking the local baking scene by storm with her delicious desserts.
When I think back to what my life was like at 16, running a business and maintaining a professional online presence were not even on my radar. But Grace Grogan, a Waunakee teen and self-taught baker, does all that and more.
“I consider myself very self-motivated and creative,” she says. “And by combining these two things, if I see something I really want to do, I work as hard as I possibly can until I accomplish it.”
So forget parties or whatever else teenagers in 2020 do — Grogan has custom cake and cookie orders to fill.
When this cooking kiddo turned 12, she launched her baking Instagram account, @graces_messy_kitchen, which has now attracted nearly 5,000 followers. Her feed is overflowing with colorful frosting-covered desserts that look far too yummy to eat, from spooky black cat Madeleines to three-tier, floral masterpieces that she makes for customers in the greater Madison area.
Grogan says she started seriously baking in seventh grade, but has a long history in the kitchen.
“I have been baking all my life because it has been something that has allowed me to be creative, fun and make people happy,” she says.
She started out goofing off in the kitchen with her mother — whose famous chocolate chip cookies occupy Grogan’s earliest baking memories — and through the glory of the internet and supportive parents, she taught herself how to become an at-home Master Baker.
“My parents have let me make many messes in the kitchen and don’t usually get upset about it!” she says.
A quick scroll through her Instagram will suck you into her fantastical world of succulent-topped treats, towering croquembouche laden with hardened caramel, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cannolis and so much more. But Grogan’s blog features some of her go-to recipes that are a bit more attainable for us amateur dessert-makers.
Her orange-cinnamon coffee cake is a refreshing way to start the morning, and “Fresh ‘N’ Flaky” blueberry cheesecake danishes will impress anyone who takes a bite.
But custom orders rule supreme, and Grogan can put together a gorgeous cake or set of cookies for any occasion, big or small. She’s helped folks celebrate third degree black belts, “Among Us” obsessions, Opening Day in Wisconsin’s hunting season and every holiday in between.
Her favorite project thus far, however, helped recognize the hard work of health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A 3-D heart, bulging with marshmallow fondant veins, may be a small gesture for the SSM Health St. Mary’s cardiologists, but it sure is a delicious one.
“Honestly, I am just so grateful for everyone supporting my baking,” Grogan says. “I have been getting a lot of direct messages recently from kids as young as 10 saying how they want to be like me when they are 16, which I find crazy considering that baking is just something that I love to do!”
Keep your eye out on the web and beyond, because Grogan is taking the baking scene by storm with her fun designs, quirky videos and devilishly delicious desserts.