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Sip & Savor

February 11th, 2021

Meet The Pancake Princess

Erika Kwee is the Rice MBA behind big-deal blog The Pancake Princess, her data-driven quest to compare recipes using crowdsourced taste buds.

The Pancake Princess has a huge following and fans including Smitten Kitchen. How does it work? 
I start by choosing a bake off subject (for example: banana bread or lemon bars) and scraping as many recipes as I can from the internet. I also gather recipe suggestions from the community on Instagram, then cull the spreadsheet down to 9-12 unique or interesting recipes. I bake all 9-12 recipes in one day, invite friends and friends of friends in the Houston area to pick up samples, they rate the samples and then we crunch the numbers to find the most crowd-pleasing recipes!

Favorite bake off so far?
It's a close tie between cinnamon rolls, chocolate cake, and lemon poppy seed muffins!

Bake off with the most contenders?
The biscuit bake off included 16 different recipes! I probably won't do that many again in a single bake off because of taster fatigue. But that still wasn't the most difficult bake off to pull off—that honor goes to either pumpkin pie or pecan pie.

How long does each bake off take?
At least 20 hours… from the actual baking to gathering and deciding on recipes to taking pictures and writing the full blog post. It's a lot of work, but I love the notes I get from bakers who find the results were worth it!

One bake off you’ll never attempt?
Cheesecake! I've yet to bake a cheesecake that hasn't cracked, and I'm not a big cheesecake fan to begin with. Nine full-size cheesecakes sounds like a nightmare to me...but you never know.

Favorite pancakes in Houston?
Baby Barnaby’s and Kraftsmen Cafe!

Craving something sweet for Valentine's? Watch Erin's video about copycat recipes she compared to Levain's famous cookies.

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