Christmas comes early for cupcake tween thanks to KitchenAid
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Gracie Clifford, Cape Town's tween baking sensation, is having the time of her life running her not-so-little cake business.
Cupcakes, desserts, doggy treats, you name it - she makes it to order. The 11-year-old has somehow managed to find the perfect balance between doing her school work, an area of her life her mother Cher Morris assures us she excels in, and producing the most decadent confectionery for profit. Even Gracie's Latin American dancing scores are high.
Gracie started baking to pass the time and stop boredom from setting in during lockdown last year, when level 5 restrictions were in effect countrywide and schooling went online. When she and her mum posted a few cupcake photos on social media, a flurry of orders came flooding in. Morris describes it as "a blossoming business" which now features a weekly pop-up store at Pinelands Market. Return customers far outnumber the newbies, we are are told. And Gracie's chocolate cakes and cupcakes rate highly. "The public has been unbelievably supportive," the young baker said.
Since we splashed the inspiring story of Gracie Bakes on the front page of Weekend Argus on Sunday, there's been a boom in interest from all around Cape Town. Orders continue to streaming in. Where the aspiring pastry chef finds the time to juggle it all, only she knows.
Gracie's most immediate goal had been to save up for a stand mixer. And not just any mixer - it had to be the KitchenAid variety which cost around R15 000 each. After reading our news article, KitchenAid got in touch with Weekend Argus.
"Dear Robin, we hope you are well," read an email. "What a lovely article you have written on Gracie Clifford! We would love to gift Gracie a KitchenAid Artisan Mixer, through you. Would you mind finding out from Gracie what her colour choice would be. If we could then deliver the Mixer to you, for you to handover to Gracie?"
A wonderful gesture indeed. And now the mission to surprise Gracie and her mum at their Athlone home was on. It took an entire week for the family to finally squeeze us into their busy schedule, but when we arrived, gift-wrapped box in hand, we got confused stares all round. All healthy and safety protocols were observed.
As little Gracie starting tearing off the paper and ripping through the box, a clearer picture started to emerge of its contents - a brand, spanking new ice blue (her favourite colour) mixer.
"Shocked. Excited. Surprised," said Gracie about the newest addition to her inventory. And she put it into service immediately. "I do have an order, so I am going to make some butter cream icing to go on a Mickey Mouse cake I am making," she said happily.
Having tried some of Gracie Bakes’ top sellers including the Oreo cupcake, this reporter can confidently say it is like a little taste of heaven. Just beautiful.
Gracie could definitely give the more established bakeries in the city a run for their money any day.