Last updated: February 2016
Welcome to Fresh April Flours! I’m Lynn, the woman behind the recipes.
It would be cliche if I told you I’ve “always been in the kitchen” or I “grew up baking with my grandmother.” None of this is true. In actuality, I didn’t make a single baked good from scratch (completely on my own, at least) until late 2010. I’m also a pretty bad cook, but I’m working on that one…
I grew up in an Italian family, surrounded by amazing food and plenty of opportunities to consume it. Many of my childhood memories involve those large gatherings at holidays, dipping my Easter Pizza in a big bowl of the spaghetti sauce my grandparents used at their restaurant in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Other memories involve playing with bugs, looking at things under microscopes, and playing sports.
I never had an interest in baking until I forced myself to find a hobby. In October 2010, my boyfriend was a senior in college and busy as anything with school. Having been out of school for over 2 years at this point, I was in my work-gym-sleep-repeat routine and only seeing him on weekends. On a whim, I decided to take up a Wilton cake decorating class at my local craft store and I.FELL.IN.LOVE with it. Not only that, but I was good at it.
I was required to bring a cake to the second class, so I decided to bake one from scratch. I found that experience therapeutic, stimulating, and science-y. My full time job is at a lab bench in an immunology lab, so the science was right up my alley.
The more I practiced, the better I got, and in April 2011, I opened my own home bakery (licensed by the Department of Agriculture) out of my tiny apartment.
I quickly became known as “the cake lady,” and I brought a cake with me to almost every party or gathering I went to. I gained a lot of local popularity, and did so many showers, parties, and weddings. It was great! I even traveled to Utah to do this wedding cake for my best friend’s little sister.
I took a short hiatus during May and June 2013 because wedding planning was taking precedence. It was during this time I realized the weight of the business had been heavy on my shoulders for several months. It was nice to have a break, and I wasn’t looking forward to going back to it as much as I should have been. After a few months of back and forth, I decided to call it quits, and in January 2014, I put down my professional spatula.
I started baking on my own time, things other than cakes, and it was fun again. I was enjoying baking when I felt like it, not when I had a deadline. I wasn’t up to my eyeballs in buttercream anymore, but rather lots of recipes I had found, adapted, created, and wanted to share with people.
Enter: Fresh April Flours.
I am thoroughly enjoying sharing my love of baking with the world. The feel of the recipes you’ll find here is fun, simple, approachable, and most of all tasty. I am always learning when it comes to food photography, but I hope to draw you in visually and top you off with the passion for writing I inherited from my English teacher turned fiction writer mother (hi, Marm!). Remember, I’m a science geek (my pond scum enthusiast dad is so proud), so you’ll often find bits of science thrown into the mix, since baking is itself a science (excuse me while I adjust my lab goggles).
My husband, Matt (the boyfriend who was in college), and I live outside of Philly where we maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. We love to travel (specifically road trips), go on spontaneous dinner/movie dates, work out together (yep, we’re that couple), and motivate others to live with a positive attitude. Aaaaaand, the most exciting part about our lives right now is that we are expecting a baby boy in June 2016!
We live with the notion that dessert is a treat, not a need-to-have-after-every-meal. I approach my recipes the same way– I encourage you to embrace your inner baker, recognizing that it’s really cool to be able to mix everyday ingredients and end up with something extraordinary. Don’t be afraid to fail (goodness knows I frequently have baking fails) and learn to be a great baker through the lessons I hope you take away from my recipes.
My favorite ingredients to bake with are cinnamon, brown sugar, and almond extract. My favorite show is still FRIENDS– I’m an annoying fan who quotes it quite often, and I can guarantee you find some references in some of these posts. I love the color orange and own a lot of orange baking equipment. I will eat anything with cheese on it, and I think that the world should be covered in sharp white cheddar. My favorite desserts are chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting, and carrot cake. And although back in my Lucky Duck Cakes days, I swore I would never share my beloved carrot cake recipe… I might crack one of these days… 😉
Look around, maybe drool a little, clean up your keyboard, and get to baking! And don’t forget to visit the list I’ve compiled of everything I want to learn how to bake– suggestions welcome!