Seventh-grader bakes for cancer and Alzheimer’s research
By Debra Moore
In the mood for some homemade cinnamon rolls or a decadent chocolate cake? Then local baker Madeline Blaufuss has just what you are craving.
The 12-year-old has turned her love of baking into a business — Lassen Confections — but with a twist; half of the proceeds are donated to cancer and Alzheimers’ research. She made that decision because she lost a beloved grandparent to each
of those diseases and wants to honor their memory.
“My grandma was diagnosed with cancer last fall, and she died in December on the winter solstice,” Madeline said during an interview June 30. “She always encouraged with me my baking.”
As have her parents, aunt, uncle and sister. “Uncle Cody bought me a huge bag of sugar and a few bags of flour,” she said. “My sister — she likes to sample.”
Madeline has always enjoyed baking, initially with her mom, but for the past few years on her own. She uses her mother’s recipes, as well as a Moosewood cookbook and, most recently, “Duff Bakes” by famed baker Duff Goldman.
Six weeks ago, she decided to turn her hobby into a business and has been taking orders ever since. She bakes layer cakes in two sizes and in a host of flavors including chocolate, lemon, vanilla, confetti, coconut, red velvet, strawberry, carrot and manymore. She also offers cookies such as gingersnaps, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, and peanut butter; as well as brownies, blondies and lemon bars. Other items on her menu include cobblers and fruit tarts, the latter are her favorite to bake.
Madeline commandeers the family kitchen most afternoons — trying out new recipes or filling orders. She’s careful to keep everything for her business in separate containers to meet health requirements.
She plans to continue baking through the summer and throughout the school year, when she will be entering Chester Junior Senior High School as a seventh-grader.
While half of her profits go to cancer research and Alzheimer’s, what does she want to do with the other half? “Most likely I’ll take a gap year after high school and travel,” she said.
But that’s still five years away. In the meantime she wants to bake. Anyone who would like to order from Madeline can call 530-258-7257 or email her at [email protected].