Students Bake, Take Cake at Motley Competition

Students across the 5Cs participated in the Motley Coffeehouse's Student Bake-Off, but only one can take the cake. Scripps College’s student-run coffeehouse hosted its biannual competition on Sept. 18 to determine which snacks will be featured on its fall menu. Competitiors were invited to enter the competition as student bakers, and others showed up to taste-test the goods. The line of students waiting to try their classmates’ baked creations stretched out the door as the Motley’s sitting room was converted into a tasting room. 

The treats available included classics like chocolate chip cookies, gluten-free and vegan options, and elaborate desserts like marmalade layer cake. After sampling the entries, attendees voted for their favorite three baked goods. The winning recipes will be judged on popularity, price, menu variation and accommodation for dietary restrictions. After the winners are selected, these individuals will be paid to bring in their creations once a week for the rest of the semester.

Caitlin Gaylord SC ’18, a winner last semester for her lemon ginger scones, was back again this year with salted caramel chocolate chunk blondies, apple snickerdoodle bread and chai oatmeal raisin bars.

“I went a little overboard,” she said.

Her enthusiasm for the event arose from her positive experience with the arrangement last year, as well as a love of baking.

“I really like to bake at home, but it’s kind of hard to bake here because of kitchen space and utensils, so once I got some of my own pans and invested in flour and sugar, I just started baking for friends,” Gaylord said. “Just being able to make people happy and having friends who are really appreciative when I make them stuff is very satisfying.”

While the Motley only hires Scripps students to work as baristas, the student baker position is open to members of all five colleges. Solveig Olson-Strom PO '18 and Caroline Greer PO ‘18 entered the competition together with a trio of rosemary, chai tea and lavender shortbread cookies.

“I love the Motley and I wish I could be a barista, but they only hire Scripps students, so I just thought I could be more connected to the Motley,” Olson-Strom said.

Results of the Bake-Off are scheduled for release later this week. The bakers agreed that regardless of the outcome, the event itself was a success. Bringing out a sense of community and love for the Motley, it offered students from the colleges a chance to bake and taste some homemade treats.

“I just enjoy baking in general, and getting to try the other contestants’ stuff was fun because, you know, free desserts!” said Olson-Strom.

Gaylord echoed these sentiments.

“Even if I don’t get it again this year, it’s totally fine. It’s great that so many people come and so many people are really into it. It’s just a really fun environment,” she said.

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