Stirring batter is replacing swiping right for one Los Angeles woman.
Audrey Shulman began blogging about her quest to meet men in via Cakebarring™ (yes, that's trademarked now)-- sitting in bars with homemade cake and passing out slices to eligible, worthy-looking guys -- in 2013.
Since, she met a boyfriend who loves cake and has turned her recipes and dating stories into a book, "Sitting in Bars with Cake: Lessons and Recipes from One Year of Trying to Bake My Way to a Boyfriend."
We asked Shulman a few questions about her sweet and unique dating strategies.
Can you have your cake and a boyfriend too?
Absolutely! I found a boyfriend who loves cake, and doesn't seem to mind when friends come to town and we take cake to a bar.
Have your friends copied your method of meeting people through cake?
I had some girlfriends try to meet guys by taking cupcakes to a bar, but they kind of struck out. It turned out cupcakes were too easily transportable; the guys just said thank you after picking them up and walked away. I can't explain it, but there's something about cutting a piece of cake for a guy that makes him stick around -- it's almost as if there's an implied conversation that should happen afterwards since you've just made an effort to give him something.
Do you think men can woo women with baked goods?
I had some guy friends try to meet girls by taking pie to a bar, but the girls were suspicious, especially when it was framed as, "Would you like to eat this pie with us?" not just, "Would you like some pie?" Unfortunately, I don't think the strategy works so well the other way around.
Does baking to attract the opposite sex feel outdated or anti-feminist to you?
I can see how people think baking to attract the opposite sex feels outdated or anti-feminist, but for me, this was my way of being proactive about dating. I didn't want to wait around for the right guy to read my online dating profile. This was how my friends and I could explore new bars in Los Angeles-- really, new parts of the city-- and go up to guys we were interested in talking to.
Do you think this would work in NYC? People are skeptical of free food…
I think this could totally work in New York, especially if you have some nice friends with you to imply you're not a psycho. (And especially if you don't cut into the cake before going to the bar, which was often my strategy to make the cake look more like casual leftovers.)
Do certain types of cake attract certain types of people?
Cake is this weird, universal magnet, regardless of what kind it is. Chocolate is always a winner, but I met guys who were into eating sweet potato cake, Greek yogurt cake, and definitely cakes I made with alcohol in them. Maybe craft beer cake would attract foodie hipsters, but I think people generally are just excited by something with frosting.
What made you want to put your recipes and dating stories in a book?
After chronicling all these adventures on a blog, the book was a way for me to get into more detailed portraits of the guys I met and invent new recipes. (The book contains 35 original recipes, all of them metaphors for the guys profiled-- the Sticky Maple Kiss Cake for The Guy Who Made Contact With My Mouth, the Seedy Cherry Cocktail Cake for The Guy Who Directed Adult Films, and so on.) I'd like to think this is the kind of book you'd buy for your best friend, whether she's single or not-- hopefully she'd laugh reading the stories, and make a cake either way.
If you want your best friend to start baking you cake, Audrey Shulman's new book is available now.