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Can’t Get Enough: Manuela Kjeilen

Meet the virtual queen of Scandi baking

Written by . Published on December 12th 2011.


Can’t Get Enough: Manuela Kjeilen

REMEMBER the Swedish chef on The Muppets? Imagine him re-incarnated as a beautiful, blonde (of course) baking queen obsessed with everything... pink.

Forget the Hummingbrid and Primrose Hill bakeries. There is a new girl in the kitchen. Out of the dark Scandinavian winter nights arrives Manuela Kjeilen, the Scandi queen of viral.

For all you would-be food bloggers out there, here is a lesson on how it is done. Get up early (‘cos it is a lot of work):

Come up with a recipe, turn the oven on, mix the ingredients, leave to rise, bake slowly, no mistakes, a cool finish, assemble all the styling props, arrange the lighting, shoot the photographs, post the text. One post everyday. Repeat again tomorrow. Passion4Baking.com has torn its way through the Google charts… our baking blog of the year for sure. In just over a year Manuela has come from nowhere to one of the hottest properties in the online kitchen.

Friday it was Fluffy Pure Vanilla Cupcake & Pink Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting. Sunday it was Chewy Christmas Lemon Snowdrops. Manuela does pink and frosting like a re-incarnation of Martha Stewart. Her book Love Manuela sold 10,000 copies at €45 a pop in three days last month (in Norwegian). On top of all the baking – and looking after five children – she does rock’n’roll style baking tours selling out halls at €100 a ticket. There were nearly 1,000 comments on her post when she started to give away viral promotions of pretty beads this week. She does not have one sponsor, she has eighteen from Betty Crocker down.

Baking has always had its sub-universe of devotees among cake lovers – as opposed to what you might term ‘cooking’, which is almost another discipline. And when times are hard, sales of self-sufficiency books start to take off again. Of all the cupcake girls what makes Manuela stand out is not just the feeling that here is a major star starting to take off, but the quality of her styling and photography plus her loyalty to her audience in posting daily into what is now an impressive compendium. She has 2.2 million visitors from Scandinavia and 22,000 followers on her Facebook page.

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