Hi friends! Thrilled to be sharing part 2 in a series where I’m highlighting some of my favorite food bloggers in the industry. Several months back, I traveled and had the honor of collaborating with these amazing ladies in their own kitchens, gathering an editorial story to showcase their incredible talents and their contribution to the food scene worldwide.
Today’s feature is highlighting the beautiful Linda Lomelino. All food styling and recipe development is by Linda, and the interview, art direction and photography is by yours truly.
I’ve always been a dessert-first type person and had it been socially acceptable, I’m pretty sure I would indeed order dessert first. Maybe even dessert only. In the comfort of my own home, I can do exactly that. Eat several slices of cake before dinner.
Linda Lomelino is the author of the popular blog, Call Me Cupcake, a world-renowned recipe developer, food photographer and 4-time cookbook author based in Sweden. She’s authored Lomelinos pajer, Bonnier Fakta (May 2016), Sweet food & photography, Bonnier Fakta (2014), Lomelinos glass, Bonnier Fakta (2013), and Lomelinos tårtor, Bonnier Fakta (2012) all originally written in Swedish, but now boasts translations into several languages including English (US), French, German, Finnish, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese and Spanish.
I met Linda for the first time in person when I visited Sweden at the time of this shoot and lets just say I felt so honored to not only meet her in her homeland, but spend the day creating with her. She carries a leading voice in the industry, specializing in the art of sweet treats, ranging from cookies and candy, buns and bread, cakes, ice cream, cupcakes and muffins, pies and tarts and more… if you love anything sweet, beautiful and incredibly delicious, you must follow her work if you haven’t already!
Our day together was so lovely, Linda is calm, sweet and passionate about her craft. She dedicates her life to creating beautiful work with intense commitment to detail in every facet.
Walking into her kitchen I was wonderfully surprised at how small it truly was! I suppose I had imagined something rather impressive of sorts, to match the grand beauty of her work. I was pleasantly surprised though to find it simple and charming. I loved hearing her story about the journey of her finding her passion and seeing her work in person was beyond inspiring.
What’s the story behind your blog?
Everything happened very quickly and I’m still not entirely sure why I started a blog! I think I made cupcakes once (which was like completely new and fashionable in Sweden at the time), then I was hooked. Before that I baked twice a year, tops. Baking was never a hobby and neither was cooking. When I started baking & blogging, I had absolutely no intention for it to turn into anything else than something fun to do once in a while. I had a DSLR camera and a high school education in photography and I decided I wanted to shoot and share my photos online.
As I started blogging more and more and thoroughly enjoying it, I decided I wanted to become a pastry chef. I couldn’t though because my high school grades were too good for me to get accepted (don’t even get me started on this one). I had even moved to the city where the education was, because I was just so sure I would get accepted. On top of that, I moved into an apartment with a really crappy gas oven which made it impossible to bake.
…One day, I was sitting on my mattress on the floor at home and I received an email from a publisher (one of Sweden’s most prominent publishers too) and the subject line was “We want to make a book with you”. I remember that amazing feeling so well! I was beyond excited.
What keeps you fueled to continue blogging and shooting?
The fact that it’s still so much fun after all these years! Constantly seeing improvement in my work keeps me inspired and makes me want to be an even better recipe creator, stylist and photographer. The blog is also great because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want to. I have so many notes on my phone where I’ve written down all the recipes I’d like to create for my blog.
What is it about it that keeps you inspired and loving the journey of creativity?
I would say it’s definitely a love/hate relationship with lots of ups and downs. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I love being creative but there are so many other aspects of running a company that is like the complete opposite of being creative! Nevertheless they have to be done and it’s great practice for me.
I think the thing I love about being creative is there is just so much to do… an endless number of recipes and photos that I want to create. I get all giddy thinking about it!
What is it about food that you love and are passionate about?
I’m fascinated by the versatility of ingredients…there are really so many ways and so many contexts you can use an ingredient! It sounds a bit silly, but for me it’s like thinking about space.
It’s fascinating how every food culture has its own use of an ingredient, for example cardamom which is common in Indian cooking. In Sweden, cardamom is mostly used in very typical Swedish pastries such as the cinnamon roll and the semla.
Do you have childhood memories or defining moments that are connected to your love of food?
I would say I’ve had a rather complicated relationship with food over the years. I was always a picky eater, and when I was around 9 years old I decided I wanted to become a vegetarian. This wasn’t a very popular choice amongst people around me (i.e. parents, school). Being a vegetarian at the time was not so common, I think. So yeah, food was always more of a “problem”. Like when I came to visit people, nobody had a clue what a vegetarian ate and I was even asked many times “What do you eat? Only rice? Potatoes?”… and many times that was exactly what I ate because that was all there was to have.
I think my view on food changed when I started high school. There was a vegetarian option every day, and I learnt to eat so many things that I never tried before. I do feel that my love and interest for food is still so new and I have so much to learn.
My heart belongs to pastries though, it always has…
My mother used to bake a lot when I was young. I never ever wanted to help with the baking, I just wanted to eat whatever she was making! When we visited my grandparents there was so much food but almost everything had meat in it so I dug into the dessert table, which usually consisted of seven types of cookies, some kind of cake and ice cream. Like a three course meal but with sweets, perfect for me!
What type of food and/or cooking are you most passionate about?
I try to use organic all the way, and locally sourced if possible. Of course, I can’t get a hold of locally sourced peaches for example, then I always go for organic if available. I try to cook/bake seasonally these days, something I was completely unaware of in my early food blogging days.
…That’s why I feel so much more inspired from Spring until Autumn – I love using locally grown berries and fresh flowers for my photos
When I created this recipe, I had just fallen in love with the apple and orange flavor pairing. I’m not sure why I never tried it before. Before, I always used lemon whenever baking with apples. Out of habit, I guess. With the addition of cinnamon and cardamom which are both spices I adore, it makes for the perfect combination.
Spiced Apple Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze
- 420 g all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 225 g softened butter
- 375 g granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 300 g apple (1 ¾ cups diced)
- zest from 1 orange
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 100 g cream cheese
- 120 g powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Butter and flour a 10 cup bundt pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes.
Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add flour mixture and sour cream in additions.
Scoop about 1/3 of the batter into the pan, smooth with a spatula and sprinkle with some apples. Put the rest of the batter and the apples in layers, smoothing the top.
Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto the rack. Let cool completely.
To prepare glaze, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Add orange juice and beat until completely smooth. Pour glaze/icing over the cooled cake.