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Baker Gigi Butler, of Gigi's Cupcakes, is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share two recipes from her new cookbook,"The Secret Ingredient: Recipes for Success in Business and Life": a spiced pumpkin bread recipe that was passed down from her great-great grandmother, her banana bread with pecans and chocolate chips — which she easily turns into her famous cupcakes, and her top baking tips.
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"This recipe has so much meaning," says Butler. "Not only was it the first cupcake I baked the morning I opened the original Gigi's store in Nashville, but I also made it for gifts every Christmas season. When I had my cleaning business I didn't have much money, but I wanted to show my clients my appreciation. I would bake this in little bread tins and tie them with a ribbon along with a card of Christmas blessings."
"This recipe has been in my family since the late 1800s, passed down from my great-great-grandmother," she says. "This bread also inspired the pumpkin spice latte cupcake that's added to the menu at Gigi's Cupcakes every fall; it's one of our most beloved recipes. When I slice this bread it brings back many warm memories—of working at my aunt's elbow, of making my way through recipes with my mom, of laying out a Thanksgiving spread for the whole family. I love it so much I can eat almost a whole loaf in one sitting! (Seriously, I can!) Put a slab of butter on it and... PERFECTION!"
Gigi's top baking tips:
1. Always fold in your fruit, nuts or chocolate chips so they don't smash or fall to the bottom.
2. If you don’t know whether your cake is done or not, keep it in the oven, pull it out on the rack and check it with either a clean knife or toothpick. If it comes out clean, it’s good to go.
3. A homemade pie crust is so much better than a store-bought pie crust and not as time consuming as you might think!
4. Always bake with love because your family deserves it.
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