These days, you can become an at-home expert in just about anything, from drag beauty to the KonMari method, thanks to YouTube’s endless tutorials. The streaming site has created its own batch of camera-friendly stars, including Canada’s Yolanda Gampp, a superstar baker who has whipped up everything from an edible, oversized nail polish bottle to giant Lego blocks. On her channel, How to Cake It, Gampp breaks down elaborate desserts for nearly four million subscribers. “Nothing inspires me more than when people post their versions of my creations,” she says.
Gampp’s cakes are extravagant, but she insists that baking and decorating successfully comes down to a few simple steps: using simple syrup between layers and keeping an extra stash of fillings on hand. “I always keep cookie dough, buttercream, and cake layers in my freezer,” she says. “Something as simple as layering a chocolate cake with Italian meringue buttercream and your favourite chocolate bar chopped up inside is sure to please anybody.”
Valentine’s Day marks four years since Gampp debuted the channel with her 50 Shades of Cake video. Here, she shares the essentials to creating something similar for your loved ones this Feb. 14.
Simple syrup bottle
“I use this in almost every video – it keeps cakes moist and is very easy to use.”
‘Sir Squeeze A Lot’ simple syrup bottle, US$19.99 through howtocakeit.com.
“Sprinkles are just such a pretty way to dress up any cake, cookie or cupcake. I always have them on hand.”
Sprinkles, starting at $4.75 for a 4 oz. jar through sweetapolitashop.ca.
“Rulers, fabric measuring tapes, they’re all necessary for cake decorating and a general great tool for life.”
Gimars stainless steel rulers, $14.99 for a set of three through amazon.ca.
Silicon baking mat
“Not just great for baking, also great for cooking, decorating and easy clean up. They’re completely non-stick and a universal tool.”
Artisan non-stick silicone baking mat, $18 for a set of two through amazon.ca.
“These are important, and I have three favourites: a serrated one for leveling cakes, a paring knife for fondant details, and a chef’s knife to cut a giant slice when you’re done.”
Cuisinart six colour knife set with guards, $25 through amazon.ca.
“Very helpful to get every drop of your ingredients, whether you are baking or decorating.”
Cuisipro silicone spatula, $12.99 at Hudson’s Bay.