booksweekly wrap up

weekly wrap up + back in the day bakery cookbook!

by Grace Bonney

Few things make me happier than good things happening to good people. And if anyone ever deserved to be a raging success, it’s Cheryl and Griff Day from Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Georgia. Let’s put it this way: When I decided to get married in Savannah, the very first call I made was to Cheryl. Before anything else was booked or signed, I’d already begged her to make my cake (thankfully she obliged, and it was amazing). I’ve been enjoying Cheryl and Griff’s delicious food and baked goods since my first trip to Savannah and have been honored to share their friendship over the years, as well. They are quite simply great people making great food that comes straight from the heart. So I’m overjoyed to share and celebrate the debut of their very first cookbook, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook (Artisan Books), on D*S today.

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook is packed with over 100 recipes for everything from the bakery’s legendary Old Fashioned Cupcakes to S’more Pie, Rustic Cheddar Pecan Rounds and, one of my favorites, Nanna Pudding. To say that these are Southern comfort foods is an understatement; every single recipe has so much soul and history that they’re as close to a hug from your family as you can get. Whenever I eat something from Back in the Day, I feel like I’m sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen and someone is taking care of me. And that’s just what Cheryl and Griff do — every day they treat their customers to delicious made-from-scratch treats that have been passed down through generations of family bakers who cooked with love. Even the queen of Savannah, Paula Deen, took notice. She wrote a glowing and heartfelt introduction for this cookbook, and if my love-fest for Cheryl and Griff doesn’t convince you, hers will. This is quite simply a cookbook everyone should own. So please, check out The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook online right here and here. Pick up a copy and then pick up another copy for someone else in your life. This really is the sort of cooking that needs to be passed on and shared with people you love. A huge thank you to Cheryl and Griff for being such generous and kind friends to all of us here at D*S. We wish them every single ounce of success in the world. They deserve all of that and then some. xoxo, grace

*After the jump, Cheryl and Griff are sharing a recipe for their delicious Old Fashioned Cupcakes! I hope you’ll enjoy them. All photos and recipes are excerpted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. Photographs by Squire Fox.*

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:

The full recipe for Cheryl + Griff’s delicious Old Fashioned Cupcakes (and more pics from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook) after the jump!

Excerpted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. Photographs by Squire Fox.

Old-Fashioned Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes

Every time we make these cupcakes, I am six years old all over again and tempted to lick the beaters of the buttery cake batter. We decorate the finished cakes with buttercream and sprinkles in my favorite pastel-toned palette of pink, green, baby blue and yellow. We haven’t tried to reinvent this nostalgic cake, leaving the American classic just as it should be.

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 recipe Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Hand-tinted sprinkles (see Sweet Note below, optional)


1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.

2. In a large measuring cup or a small bowl, mix together the milk and vanilla; set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), combine both flours, the sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until thoroughly combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the cubed butter a few pieces at a time, mixing for about 2 minutes, until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4. Turn the speed to low and gradually add the milk and vanilla, then mix for another 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, incorporate any ingredients hiding at the bottom of the bowl, making sure the batter is completely mixed.

6. With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake cups, filling each baking cup about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

7. To frost the cupcakes: Using a spatula or a butter knife, spread the tops of the cupcakes with swirls of frosting. Top with sprinkles, if desired. The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Buttercream Frosting
Makes about 6 cups

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 to 7 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • liquid gel food coloring (optional)


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 4 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, the milk, and vanilla and mix on low speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add up to 3 cups more sugar, mixing on low speed, until the frosting reaches the desired light and fluffy consistency, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. If desired, to tint the frosting, add a drop or two of food coloring to the frosting, mixing well; add more coloring as necessary until you reach the desired shade. If you want multiple colors, scoop the frosting into several bowls, then add the food coloring. The frosting can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Sweet Note: Hand-Tinted Sprinkles
Sprinkles add a touch of fun and color to the tops of cupcakes and cakes. We hand-tint our sprinkles in the same shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow that we frost the cupcakes, using the simple technique my mother taught me. To tint sprinkles, pour white sprinkles into a Mason jar and add a pinch (it doesn’t take much) of powdered food coloring. Screw on the lid and shake, shake, shake until the sprinkles take on the desired shade, adding more powder if necessary. Store the jar of sprinkles in a cool place and use as desired. To decorate a kitchen shelf, fill multiple jars with sprinkles of different colors.

Image above: Bourbon Bread Pudding

Image above: Creole Brownies — these are DELICIOUS!

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