About Me

I’m Elissa. I’m a baker, photographer, writer and blogger. I’m a lucky girl.

It started at 14, with a cake cookbook filled with pretty pictures. When I was 15, I got a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas. Four months later, for my 16th birthday, I got a KitchenAid food processor and ice cream machine. As my dad puts it, “You’d have thought we got her a convertible.”

I started 17 and Baking when I was 16 (I like to say I was thinking ahead) after years of following over 40 other food blogs. I admire everything from the writing to the photography to the recipes themselves and I wanted to be a part of the foodie community. For my 17th birthday, my parents bought me a tripod and my friends gave me a Williams-Sonoma apron, matching oven mitt, and a vanilla bean… It’s official, everyone knows how obsessed I am!

It turns out I have a real passion for photography: people, crumbling buildings, animals, interesting colors, textures, and angles… And food. I use a Canon Rebel XTi and two lenses: a 50mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/2.8. I don’t have any other equipment but I try to always use natural lighting, which is easier said than done sometimes in Seattle.

As of 2013, I am 21, and I’ve since graduated high school and headed off to college in Boston. I’m studying journalism and creative nonfiction with people who love the English language as much as me. Even though I don’t want to go into the culinary field, fewer things make me happier than a freshly baked cake. So no matter how much my life changes as I figure out my life – 17 and Baking is with me every step of the way. For now, I can’t think of anything that makes me happier than knowing someone is reading this page.

Contact Information__________________________________________________________

Question about a recipe? Please post it as a comment for everyone to see. Otherwise feel free to contact me at 17andbaking [at] gmail [dot] com anytime!

More ways to connect:

Subscribe to 17 and Baking’s RSS feed and never miss a post
Follow me on Twitter
Become a fan on Facebook
See my photos on Instagram
Read my blogs on the Huffington Post

105 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Luisa  |  November 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm


    I just wanted to let you know that I think your blog is truly extraordinary. Not only is every recipe you post absolutely delicious, but your writing style draws me in for your photos to hold me here forever. I hope that you can continue updating this blog even through the craziness of college, because I absolutely adore every post. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful blog!

  • 2. -J  |  November 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I have never commented on a blog before, not because I am new to them, not because I haven’t enjoyed them, and not because I haven’t returned to them countless times. However your blog for some reason has broke this cycle, you have a beautiful, honest, refreshing way with words. Within each passage I am struck by a person who seems to have an old soul that already knows the small pleasures in life, yet is illuminated by all the possiblity and new experiences surrounding her.

    I look forward to continue reading your journey.


  • 3. theo  |  November 21, 2010 at 4:54 am

    It’s “love the English language as much as I.”
    Good luck in college.

  • 4. Fragolina  |  November 30, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Nice to meet you Elissa. This is my first time visiting your blog and I love it, it’s so nice , the recipes are good and delicious and the pictures amazing. I’m enjoying reading your posts.

  • 5. Aynce  |  January 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm


  • 6. Tammy La  |  March 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm


    Your recipes and photos look absolutely divine. I simply adore your blog! Just yesterday I made your Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake for a favorite teacher’s birthday of mine. Needless to say, I’ve never received so many awesome compliments! I’m so excited to try more of your recipes. :)


  • 7. Jae  |  March 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Elissa,
    My name is Jae and I just found your blog— while trying to study for a biology exam :) (Senior in high school).
    I love your blog. I really do, I’ve already gotten up to the watermelon basil bars and I just found it 2 hours ago.
    You are an amazing writer and I cannot wait to find the time to read more! :)
    Happy college days~

  • 8. Sharon  |  May 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I don’t do the whole you go girl very often but YOU GO GIRL! Keep on baking and loving it!

  • 9. spinypineapple  |  May 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Hello hello, nice flog and photos. Another student (London, UK) cook/baker here and have much to learn from the blogging community. All the best in your cooking ventures and I am envious that you got a kitchenaid when you were 16 D:

  • 10. Sarah  |  May 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I Iove your blog, you remind me of myself in high school. I frequently took over the kitchen from my mom. I was an English major in college and now teach and foodblog when I get the chance! Keep cooking and inspiring those around you!

  • 11. Soy Latte  |  July 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    HI, I’m a 14 year old girl, and I’ve always love, love, LOVED looking over food blogs and salivating over the recipes. But I’d never really tried to make them. I always thought that I wouldn’t really be good at it because I didn’t start early and never really made full meals by myself. Unfortunately, my Mom discovered that she had cancer a few months ago and though she will get better very soon, the treatment has made it harder for her to work at home so I’ve had to take over. I’m so glad that I found your website because it’s given me so much confidence and good ideas in the ways of baking that now, I feel like I can take on the world, one family dinner at a time! Thank you Elissa!

    I’ve tried to post this like, three times everybody, so, sorry if this shows up 3 times in a row. I’m tech deaf in the weirdest ways! /:P

  • 12. ElissaM  |  July 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Thought I’d say hi….my name is Elissa too, but i’m 33 :)

    I love to cook as well! Nice to meet you!

  • 13. Madeleine  |  August 2, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I’m 15 and saw a recommendation for your blog on the Smitten Kitchen website. I too love baking and cooking and am thinking of starting a blog. In fact, your story about getting a Kitchen Aid and ice cream maker reminds me of how the one thing I wanted last year for Christmas was a Le Creuset dutch oven! Your blog is wonderful and the pictures so clear. I plan to keep reading!

  • 14. Alex  |  August 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    You’re such a great writer!

  • 15. Kim  |  November 20, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I stumbled across your blog when I was looking for a chocolate (birthday) cake to wow my mother in law. Your choc mint ice-cream cake was fantastic, thank you. We are now in the middle of renovating our kitchen and for the last month I have been filling the void of no kitchen with reading your blog. Reading you blog today was a little tough as we feel as though we are tied to the house due to the reno’s and can’t even hint when our next holiday will be. We dream of our next visit to Italy (honeymoon was there 6 yrs ago) and your gelato adventures remind me of our daily delima of what flavor to select and whether we enjoy at lunch or wait for dinner. Thank you for bringing such a beautiful view of the world to our screen and I can’t wait to have my new oven in place to begin / restart on my own cooking adventurers

  • 16. Frances  |  December 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Since I saw your blog, you inspired me to do what I love. :)

  • 17. sunflowerchild11  |  December 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Just re-googled you – can’t believe it has been two years since you were officially “17 and Baking!” Still quietly beautiful writing. Make the most of Europe (have you come to Paris yet? tried the passionfruit macaron at Pierre Herme?) xx

  • 18. maddie  |  January 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I just saw your blog featured in the new Food & Wine and immediately went online to check it out. This is amazing! I have a food blog myself (just started out about a year ago) and this will be a HUGE inspiration to me. You are very talented!

  • 19. Sparrow in the Tree Top  |  January 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Wow you are totally inspiring! You’ve given me motivation to keep going with what you love best : )

  • 20. LUGS  |  January 15, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    you are one fortunate lady, gifted with so much talent and inspiration! keep it up girl and you will be blessed more and more,, take care,,, very nice blog indeed!! :)

  • 21. DLCS Management  |  January 17, 2012 at 3:53 am


  • 22. DLCS Management  |  January 17, 2012 at 3:54 am

    Simply WOW! Very impressive! Keep it up and keep on loving it.

  • 23. nicolle9  |  March 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Your blog is so impressive. I love your recipes and your photography is beautiful!

  • 24. Emily  |  March 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Dear Eliza,
    Like you I love to bake. Although I already have a permant job, at the age of 11! I work in a cupcake franchise as head chef! Reply, as I love your photography and recipes!

  • 25. Natasha Rodricks-Naidu, India  |  April 12, 2012 at 4:36 am

    I’ve 3 questions.
    1. When a cake recipe includes baking soda (not baking powder), does it always have to include another acidic ingredient like buttermilk?

    2. I’ve noticed all carrot and date cakes are made with oil and not butter, why’s that?

    3. As a standard cake measurement for moist cakes, does the proportion of butter always equals flour?

    Thanks, Elissa. What an enterprising young lady you are.


  • 26. Julie  |  May 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I just stumbled upon your website from a post on pinterest. Your blog is great! Can’t wait to try some of your recipes!

  • 27. Brandi K  |  August 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Love your blog – saving several recipes to try!

  • 28. Zest  |  March 5, 2013 at 3:32 am

    Hi Elissa, I’ve nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award: http://sunshinescrapbook.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/the-golden-rule-of-blogging/

  • 29. Caroline  |  June 13, 2013 at 2:57 am

    i was lacking inspiration and then came across your blog and I LOVE IT! its so professionally done and, your stories and recipes are awesome :)

  • 30. misstaolin  |  July 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Elissa,

    I came across your blog purely by chance this morning and I have to say it’s already one of my favourite blogs that I folllow. Gorgeous photos and really beautiful prose – you’re a very talented writer! I’m also studying journalism as well – it’s the best isn’t it! :D

    From all the way in New Zealand :)

  • 31. Prateeksha  |  August 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Hi, you have got a very nice blog with creative stuff and unique presentation of food. Gonna try as many recipes I can specially Cocoa Meringues !! Happy blogging !!

  • 32. Redunovin  |  September 16, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long)
    so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for newbie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • 33. Naomi  |  September 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Hey Elissa,
    I’ve just discovered your blog and it sounds like pages from my own life. I spent a couple years in depression after finishing school, but am feeling a little less dark and i’m back baking again. It’s a good feeling. :)
    If I met you on the street, I wouldn’t know you from a bar of soap, but you’re awesome and I wish you hope and strength from australia.

  • 34. FightForTheBite  |  October 7, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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    Beautiful posts, happy to have stumble upon your blog !!

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    I absolutely love your blog! I’m planning on testing out many of your delicious-looking recipes (:

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    Wow! You have definitely inspired me! I’m 15 and just started my own blog about baking yesterday. I’m so excited to try some of your recipes! Your photography is beautiful too!

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