Pastry Chef Christina Tosi’s Tips for Improving Store-Bought Desserts

Pastry Chef Christina Tosi’s Tips for Improving Store-Bought Desserts

Pastry Chef Christina Tosi’s Tips for Improving Store-Bought Desserts

  • Christina Tosi spoke to Insider about her tips for improving store-bought desserts for the celebrations.
  • The Milk Bar founder said focusing on presentation is an easy way to elevate the candy you buy.
  • She also said to look for opportunities to add mix-ins and make the guest of honor feel seen.

Celebrity pastry chef and TV host Christina Tosi shot to fame following the success of her Milk Bar bakery. Her birthday cakes, cookies, pies and more all have looks — and flavor profiles — that are unique to Tosi and undoubtedly gorgeous.

In an interview with Insider ahead of Netflix’s “Bake Squad” Season 2 premiere on Jan. 20, the chef shared her tips on how people of all skill levels can elevate store-bought desserts for the celebrations.

Whether you’re baking a cake from a boxed mix or choosing ready-made confections, this “MasterChef Junior” judge has a hack to make it even more special.

Maya-Camille Broussard on

“Bake Squad” expert Maya-Camille Broussard showcases desserts on custom boards during the show’s second season.

Courtesy of Netflix “Bake Squad”



The power of presentation

Tosi told Insider that she thinks the presentation is “the easiest way to elevate a store-bought cake mix or dessert.”

She said you can play around by stacking things like cookies or cupcakes and scattering them throughout the party space to really showcase the desserts.

Tosi also said you can think about contextualizing them for the specific celebration that’s happening, whether that’s through specific flavors or something else that makes the guest of honor feel like they’re being seen.

“A lot of the creations we make at ‘Bake Squad’ are about someone’s occasion,” Tosi said. “So if it’s someone’s birthday, it’s not just a birthday cake – it’s a birthday cake surrounded by things that personify the person we’re celebrating or the event or the occasion we celebrate.”

Milk Bar Birthday Cake Slices

Milk Bar Birthday Cake Slices.

Daniel Zuchnik/Stringer/Getty Images



Play with shapes and sizes of desserts

As for the presentation, Tosi also suggested changing the visuals completely by cutting the desserts into bite-size pieces.

So if you go to the store and buy a pre-made cake, box of cookies, platter of brownies or anything like that, you can make them a little more festive by cutting them up and removing this classic store. -bought look they might have.

It’s a small change, but it might show that you put a little more effort into the desserts, even if you didn’t make them from scratch.

Milk cookies

Someone adds cereal to cookies during a cookie master class hosted by Tosi.

Daniel Zuchnik/Stringer/Getty Images



Get creative with mix-ins

Milk Bar cakes have lots of colorful and eclectic ingredients, and Tosi says you should feel free to make them at home, too. If you’re making a cake from boxed mix, cookies with store-bought batter, or even serving something that’s already been made, think of ways to add your own style or flavors. .

“You can take your average boxed cake mix and swirl it around in color, texture, flavor, etc.,” Tosi said, adding that it’s about evoking “those fiery moments that create even more reasons for celebration”.

The chef said using things like mixes in cookie dough or cake batter, and colorful swirls in batter or icing will make the desert much more eye-catching. But, she added, these enhancements can also make the person(s) you celebrate feel cared for.

Whatever tweaks you make, Tosi said making the guest of honor feel understood is the best way to quickly elevate something you bought from a store.

“You don’t have to be a pastry chef to make something great, that’s for sure,” she said.

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