lovely little inspiration: sarah kieffer of the vanilla bean blog & her pumpkin pound cake

Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog

Today’s ‘lovely little inspiration’ features Sarah Kieffer, the extraordinary self-taught baker & brilliant photographer behind (my absolute favorite site)ย The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Sarah’s enchanting work has motivated me to pour myself, heart & soul, into photography and writing for several years now, and I am so delighted to have the opportunity to share her talent here, on Lace & Lilacs.

Below you’ll find a few simple interview questions that Sarah was kind enough to answer – I can’t thank her enough for taking time out of her busy schedule to compose responses -, along with a recipe (which I’ll describe in detail further on) from The Vanilla Bean Blog.

By Sarah Kieffer

lovely little inspiration: sarah kieffer of the vanilla bean blog

1) How did you become interested in photography, and for how long have you been shooting?

I’ve always been interested in taking photos. In high school I would take pictures of everything – I remember clearly seeing the picture in my mind, but couldn’t figure out how to get that image on film with my little Kodak Star 110.

2) What do you most enjoy photographing, and why?

People. People are so amazing, with all their quirks and movements and smiles and furrowed brows.

3) How would you describe your photography style?

I guess it’s been referred to as ‘lifestyle’. I would say I’m interested in capturing specific moments and movements.

By Sarah Kieffer

4) When and why did you begin blogging?

After my son was born I started blogging. I had been baking for quite a few years before having kids, and missed it terribly. I started a space to document my kitchen adventures.

5) Do you have a favorite recipe? If so, what is it?

I love making scones. My kids beg for these maple ones.

6) What are your favorite food blogs, and which do you derive the most inspiration from?

There are so many fantastic food blogs, it’s becoming harder and harder to have favorites. I have a list of my reads here. Right now I am enamored with Cherry Bombe – a magazine that celebrates women and food.

7) What advice would you give to someone just beginning their a) photography and b) baking journeys?

There are really three things that have gotten me anywhere.

One is working hard. Iโ€™m a firm believer that one should not feel above doing the hard work, the scrub-the-toilets-in-the-coffeehouse-type work, in order to learn and move forward.

Two is having good support. My husband has always respected what I do, whether it was a job or a hobby, and has supported me everything. His faith in me has encouraged me not to give up, and to pursue what I love.

And three, various people throughout my life invested in me when they didnโ€™t need to. All my small steps forward were because someone gave me a job when I didnโ€™t have enough experience, or spent time teaching and helping me when they had better things to do. It has taught me that I need to do the same, to help others, however I can.

Now… about this pumpkin pound cake…

I first prepared this recipe as a sophomore in high school, autumn 2013. At the time I had very little experience with bundt cakes; ones I had attempted previously crumbled apart as I flipped the pan. This one did not. I was stunned, and relieved, and overjoyed.

It sliced like a dream. And the flavor! Just incredible.

In fact, this recipe is still my #1 favorite… though peanut butter cake is certainly a close second.

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Thanks again, Sarah! I can’t wait to purchase, read, and bake from your cookbook next year.

And everyone else… I hope you enjoyed this post. xx

– Abby

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12 comments on “lovely little inspiration: sarah kieffer of the vanilla bean blog & her pumpkin pound cake”

  1. Beautiful interview, I too adore Sarah xx

  2. i wish i could give some sound advice but all i can say is just stay true to your own personal creative style and adapt on that. stay original. love this post btw!

  3. Lovely post! I love Sarah’s advice about helping others whenever we can :).

  4. Great post! I’m a big fan of Sarah’s; she’s such an inspiration!

  5. Such a great interview Abby!
    and lovely post ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just love her third answer to the last question – what a gem!

  6. Abby! You are so sweet. Thank you for all the kind words. Much love. xx

    • Thank you for answering my questions, Sarah! I so appreciate it and can’t wait to see your cookbook. xx ๐Ÿ™‚