Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Longhorn Bakers gathers cooking community

Courtesy of Bernice Ong-Trieu

A sugary aroma wafts from the San Jacinto dorm kitchen, followed by the lively chatter and laughter of student bakers. The Longhorn Bakers invite all with a passion for pastries, combining their love for baking with camaraderie, mixing students of all majors and culinary backgrounds to serve the UT community with baked goods.

The Longhorn Bakers held their very first meeting at the beginning of this year to provide students with the opportunity to cook on campus with a community of like-minded bakers. Club president Zoe Herndon said the club grew from the occasional attendance of five students to requiring a wait list for baking sessions.

“Every single event is almost completely full most of the time,” neuroscience senior Herndon said.

After practicing general techniques on Barbie-themed sugar cookies at their first meeting, Herndon said the club went on to make donuts, Tres Leches cake, animal-shaped rice balls and pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

“We try to diversify (our) desserts because a lot of people would know how to make cupcakes, brownies and cake from a box,” Herndon said. “We try to teach people how to make a variety of desserts, usually from scratch.”

However, Ava Mayfield, Longhorn Bakers social chair, said the delicate yet frustrating macaron particularly attracts beginners because of its popularity on TikTok and baking shows. Mayfield, a speech, pathology and language freshman, started a small homemade macaron business while in high school, which she said helped her perfect her recipe.

“It’s very tedious, very time-consuming and very specific,” Mayfield said. “But they’re really yummy.”

After moving from Washington, D.C. to Austin, Mayfield said the club helped her find a community that was also passionate about cooking.

“My mom grew up in a bakery in upstate New York, and I have the fondest memories of baking,” Mayfield said. “I think everyone should experience what it feels like to make something and have everyone enjoy it.”

No matter what attracts people to baking, club secretary Emilio Castañeda said the club welcomes all skill levels.

“It’s a great environment to come into,” accounting junior Castañeda said. “You may not know how to whisk something properly, (but) Zoe, one of the officers or even a member themself may teach you.”

Herndon said Longhorn Bakers also partners with other cultural and spirit organizations on campus, whipping up mango sago for The Austin Meal Movement’s Mid-Autumnal Festival and Halloween snacks with the UT Nutrition Institute later this month. She said they plan to bake cookies to fundraise with the Title IX office to raise the visibility of relationship violence issues, icing them with purple frosting, the color symbolizing Domestic Abuse Awareness Month.

“We try to reach out to anybody,” Herndon said. “(The club) is bringing communities of people together.”

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