Baking with a Nun

I was volunteering with an order of nuns in Chicago, Illinois. One of the sisters was on the show chopped and actually won! She was an an incredible cook, not to mention her baking skills were phenomenal. She decided to make a carrot cake for all of the volunteers, but she ran out of carrots. Instead, she decided to use zucchini. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it was the best piece of cake I have ever had.The flavors went together so well. I could not believe how fast she whipped up a cake, and it tasted absolutely amazing. I mean no wonder she won chopped. I felt honored to get to be in the kitchen with her. I named it Holy Cake because she clearly has a connection to God through cooking. I could go on about that cake forever. I spent most of the week talking about it. Yesterday

She gave me some great simple tips to use for baking:


  1. Use the correct consistency of butter. It’s important that the butter is not too hard or too soft. You also don’t want the butter to be too hot or too cold. It can make a big difference in how moist the cake is.
  2. Have your ingredients ready to go! That way the baking process is swift and efficient.
  3. Get an oven thermometer. This will help make sure your baked goods are cooked all the way through.
  4. Weigh your measurements. This will help your food to have a more balanced taste.
  5. Always cook with love. The sister I cooked with made everything with kindness and compassion for others, and it made a big difference.

My time spent cooking with the Sisters in Chicago helped me learn the importance of doing everything with purpose and love. Even something as simple as making sure the butter is a good consistency so that the people who enjoy your food have the best experience possible. If you love to cook or bake, take time to get each step right and enjoy the time you get to spend doing what you love. Sometimes I spend so much time baking I forget it is what I really love to do.