The last week of October is a momentous one for Elise Strachan. Strachan, the host of the popular YouTube channel MyCupcakeAddiction, released a cookbook called Sweet! Celebrations on October 25th. Five days later, at 11 am ET on October 30th, she will host a program called Sweet Smarts on the Food Network.
Strachan’s book, published by Simon & Schuster, teaches readers how to make the same sorts of sweet treats viewers can find on MyCupcakeAddiction. It buttresses those recipes with tips on dressing them up and presenting them to guests. After arriving on the 25th, Sweet! Celebrations quickly became one of Amazon’s hottest new releases, with Strachan’s 2.9 million YouTube subscribers showing up to support their favorite confectioner.
Those fans will also have a chance to support Stratchan on TV when Sweet Smarts airs on the 30th. On the show, she will work with other bakers to create delicious treats; beyond their taste, they will also be designed to “send your social media ‘likes’ skyrocketing,” according to a Food Network description.
To discuss everything going on in Strachan’s life, we asked her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say about her current ventures:
Tubefilter: How do you feel now that you’ve completed your first cookbook?
Elise Strachan: No one tells you how much work will be involved when you start a project like this, but the payoff when you see your ideas, recipes, and vision come to life in the glossy pages of a cookbook is truly amazing. I feel relieved, excited, elated, and above all proud. People are receiving their pre-orders as we speak, stumbling across Sweet! Celebrations in bookstores, and taking my recipes into their homes. I hope my book will inspire millions of treats, parties, cakes, and occasions for many years to come.
TF: What does your book offer beyond what we can find on your YouTube channel?
ES: Of course you’ll find new and unique sweets, desserts, and creative baking inspiration, but Sweet! Celebrations goes on to answer the question of “what happens once you leave the kitchen?” You’ve made your desserts and baked amazing treats, and now you’re off to present them to your guests. Forget the standard “cake on a plate” or plastic cups with lemonade — I’ve combined simple DIY projects, fun style tips, and a couple of themed beverages to elevate your occasion, no matter how big or small.
TF: Your channel is very family-friendly; did you strive to make your book good for families as well, and if so, how did you accomplish that?
ES: Absolutely! As a mother of two young boys I know how tough it is to find a balance between work, family, and the ever-increasing pressures to be at every bake sale and in the kitchen with my kids on the weekends while still throwing fabulous parties for friends. I have a great cross-section of people watching my content — nearly ten million across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram — but the one common denominator is that we all want to make “wow” desserts in as little time as possible.
Sweet! Celebrations provides a fantastic variety of options for every skill-set, from ultra simple no-bake ideas that take five minutes to larger, centerpiece cakes that take around four hours. The book incorporates tips on how to save time and money, as well as noting recipes that are great for kids.
TF: How did your TV show come to be?
ES: I’ve been discussing TV opportunities for the past few years but hadn’t found the “right fit.” I strive to provide something new and fresh to my audience when I start on any new platform, so rehashing the same thing I do on YouTube didn’t make sense. I found an amazing production team and worked on a fabulous concept with the Food Network to create something unique, fresh, and perfect for both my existing audience as well as people who may never have heard of me. Sweet Smarts airs October 30th and takes me outside of the kitchen doing what I love most: helping others to create buzz-worthy treats and Instagrammable sweets!
TF: Are there celebrity chefs who have influenced you as you have developed your TV voice?
There’s something to admire about the way Martha Stewart elevates every aspect of life, from the kitchen to the home to your special events, but I think “Martha’s way” may have been for a different era. If Martha and Rachael had a baby, it would be me. My focus is everyday, simple ways to create extraordinary memories, occasions, and events.
TF: Has it been difficult to adjust to a show with a much larger crew than the team you work with on your YouTube videos?
ES: It’s actually made me realize just how multi-skilled my team is. In a given day on my own productions, I’m a social media expert, a graphic designer, editor, photographer, food prep, dishwasher, and chef, with a little parenting thrown in to keep things interesting. With TV I get the luxury of concentrating solely on doing the thing I love most and working with incredibly talented people to pull off a vision much bigger than anything I could achieve on my own.
TF: Are there any other areas where the transition from YouTube to TV has been challenging?
ES: On YouTube I create content that’s 100% what I want and when I want, and I can turn it out in a day or two. On TV there are loads of different factors to consider, from locations to crew, transport, and scheduling. It’s a much larger machine to run and much slower to get to a finished product, but it’s incredibly exciting to be a part of and so fun learning a whole new way of doing things!