You Won’t Believe How YouTube Star Gemma Stafford is Reinventing Home Cooking

Written by | Food, Screen

Gemma Stafford baked goods

“Mug Meal” sensation Gemma Stafford wants to teach you how to cook using a mug and a microwave.

Gemma Stafford is best known for creating YouTube cooking shows such as “Microwave Mug Meals” (22 Million+ Views), “Homemade Ice Cream” (25 Million+ Views), and “Easy, No-Bake Recipes Fit for the Most Amateur Bakers” (15 Million+ Views). In them Stafford shows that even people who can manage to burn a pot of water can create easy, home cooked-meals.

A few of Stafford’s recipes that amateur chefs can make are mug pizza, the mug donut (also known as a “mugnut”) and Stafford’s innovative twist on the classic McDonald’s Egg McMuffin — the egg “mugmuffin.”

Stafford, who currently resides in Southern California, grew up in Ireland in a large family with four siblings — all of whom could usually be found in the kitchen helping their mother cook. In fact, her earliest childhood memory was when she made her first apple crumble at the age of six; ever since then, she knew she wanted to turn her love of baking into a career.

churros by gemma

Gemma’s churros

Stafford began training as a professional cook with legendary Chef Darina Allen at Ballymaloe Cookery School. Using her passion and newfound knowledge, she and her husband co-created the online community “Bigger Bolder Baking” and her YouTube channel, which currently has over 150 million views and has earned attention from “The Today Show”, “The Doctors”, “BuzzFeed” and “The Daily Mail.” She has plans to expand her business into a line of “Mug Meal” products later this year.

We had a chance to asked Stafford about her unorthodox cooking style:

Metrosource: How did you come up with the idea of a Mug Meal in the first place?

Stafford: I was hearing from my Bold Bakers that they didn’t all have access to ovens or even a full kitchen. I want everyone to be able to bake no matter their circumstance. The Mug Meals are what I like to call ‘a gateway to baking’. They are something you can make with limited ingredients and limited equipment. All you need is a mug and a fork and you can make any one of my mug recipes.

Metrosource: How do you get your ideas for new recipes?

Stafford: A huge amount of my inspiration comes from the fans. They were the reason I started making mug meals in the first place. As I made more and more the bar kept on getting set higher and higher of what new mug meals I would come up with next.

Metrosource: Your summer recipes includes two-ingredient homemade ice cream. Could you tell me more about that and what

else you have cooking for warmer weather?

Stafford: Summer is a really busy time for Bigger Bolder Baking as my two ingredient Ice cream recipe is one of our viral sensations. Similar to the mug meals, it is ice cream made with limited ingredients and without a traditional ice cream machine. During the Summer we embrace frozen desserts in a big way and come up with a variety of flavors and ways to use my ice cream recipe. It’s a season where I can get really creative.

Gemma's bicsuits

Metrosource: If you had to pick a favorite Mug Meal, which would you pick?

Stafford: I’m a huge fan of our Mug Pizza, I make it often and never tire of it. It has a crust, tomato sauce and toppings just like a regular pizza, but can be made in a minute in the microwave. I have been to trade shows, in to schools and many other places making my Mug Pizza, and every time people are not only surprised by how good it is, but that it was made in the microwave.

Metrosource: Do you have any advice for up-and-coming chefs?

Stafford: A passion for food will get you very far. I turned my love for food into my career and worked as a professional chef for many years. I am lucky now to still be able to work with food but also share what I have learned with other bakers who are equally as passionate.

Metrosource: Can you share a fun fact about your mug meals?

Stafford: The first mug meal video we ever made took my husband and I two plus days to film. I turned and said to him ‘NEVER AGAIN!’ Now, 80 plus mug recipes a few years later, I have been featured on TV and in the media all around the world.

Enjoy a video introduction to Gemma Stafford below, and – for more information about Stafford and her recipes – visit her online at Bigger Bolder Baking

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Last modified: June 14, 2018