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Bake, bake, bake: Off the clock with MayLiza Baak

MayLiza Baak,
Executive Director, Research Services


Images of MayLiza Baak's cakes, tarts and cupcakes

MayLiza has been with the University of Toronto (U of T) for 25 years.


What do you do off the clock?

Bake, bake, bake!

How did you first become interested in baking?

I’ve always liked baking and cooking but the real passion — although if you asked my husband he would call it an obsession — started when I took an evening course in cake decorating at Michael’s Craft store in May 2012.

After completing all four courses offered by Michael’s, I enrolled in George Brown College’s Culinary School, September 2012, in the Baking Arts program. I have now expanded into baking artisan bread and am now dabbling in making artisan cheese too.

Why baking?

I bake for the pure fun of it. I just find it amazing that you can put a few things together like sugar, water and flour, and by miracle you get a piece of art.

I’ve come to discover that morale in the office is best achieved through the kitchen. Almost all of my baking comes to the University and some for friends. I’m also the designated cupcake queen for my book club too.

Who inspires or influences your work?

Other bakers or, more recently termed, sugar artists. I am constantly humbled by the amazing sugar art being created. Just do a Google keyword search for ‘sugar art‘ and check out the images and you will see what I mean.

Submitted by Paul Fraumeni, director of research communications, Office of the Vice-President, Research