Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meet the Baker: 8 Questions with Stefanie Gaxiola

Stefanie Gaxiola has a cheesecake named after her
photo courtesy of Stefanie Gaxiola

Finally, someone who loves red velvet as much as I do. 

24-year-old baker and entrepreneur Stefanie Gaxiola beat more than 10,000 others in Cheesecake Factory's "What's Your Flavor" contest (yes she's that awesome) last April. The challenge? To come up with a new flavor for the restaurant's already ginormous cheesecake roster (33 kinds and counting). Remember that red velvet cheesecake I raved about a few weeks back? That was her brilliant doing. Now, not only does she have a cheesecake named after her, she's also got a new online store with gourmet cupcake mixes and a cupcake catering business to show for. Did I mention she's only 24?

You have a cheesecake named after you! What was the first thing you did when you found out you won?
I screamed and jumped up and down, I was so excited! I called my mom and my best friend to let them know I won, it was 12am. 

Why red velvet? (...thank you, thank you!)
Red Velvet is my favorite dessert indulgence. I literally live, eat and breathe it. I wouldn't have felt right about submitting any other entry.

What makes an awesome red velvet anything?
Moist Red Velvet Cake is very important, as well as just the right amount of cream cheese frosting. A light layer of frosting is all you need.

What ingredient would you always, always have in your cupboard?
I really love having  Pure Vanilla extract on hand. It really spices up anything! Add it to canned frosting, packaged cupcake mix, cool whip, hot cocoa, cookie dough, etc.

Favorite chocolate?
See's Candy Chocolate covered marshmallow. 

Name a pastry chef/foodie/ food personality you want to meet.  
Paula Deen is my idol. I absolutely love her! She is so sweet and funny, a fabulous cook and makes for an amazing television personality! I want to go to her restaurant in Georgia, The Lady & Sons.

What's an important but often overlooked baking tip?
Sifting! I can not stress enough, take the extra time to sift all of your dry ingredients. The end product will come out 100% better every single time.

Thoughts on "never trust a skinny chef?"
I realized when I wanted to pursue baking as my career, I needed to make a lifestyle change so I do not gain weight. I work out 1-2 times per day, 6 or 7 days a week. I am more than fine with the fact that I have to be a work out machine to stay trim but, I will NOT skimp on my sweets!

Check out Stefanie's red velvet cupcake recipe on her web site!

Spreading the Red Velvet Love,
- Kris Alcantara   


  1. Wow, that's an amazing exercise routine. That's probably why I can never be a great cook, I don't want to exercise to pay for it :P

  2. i know, i love chocolate but exercising? ehhhh not so much. :)