About me:

Hey there! I’m Kyra (though you probably guessed that), and this is the place where I think out loud, often bake, and always eat. And this is my story:

I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder when I was 20 years old. I spent 8 years in and out of the hospital, whenever I’d get really stressed out and have a flare up. Much of this time I was taking steroids and Nsaid drugs. When those failed to control my symptoms (and provided a whole host of side effect, like clumps of hair falling out, drastic weight gain in a period of hours, and chronic digestive distress), I began looking for a long term solution.

I spent several years on Class D drugs, getting my brain and liver panels tested to ensure the drugs hadn’t shut down my organs. I spent 6 hours every 6 weeks in the chemo ward getting drug infusions. Despite all this, I had no energy and my autoimmune symptoms were running amok.

In the middle of a particularly rough flare, my GI wanted to schedule surgery to remove a diseased portion of my intestines. I suggested I try going gluten-free and begged him for a chance to get my inflammation under control. My mom has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and her doctor had told her that anyone with an autoimmune disorder might benefit by going gluten-free. That’s the only reason it was even on my radar. I figured if I went gfree, I could get the inflammation under control enough so the drugs would work, and I might be able to stave off the prospect of surgery.

Luckily, it worked. Within three days, I could stand up straight for the first time in months. The longer I adhered to eating gluten-free, the more I continued to improve. But this came with a new set of concerns.

After being disappointed in the gluten-free products that were available on the market, I thought I’d have to live without birthday cakes and scones and doughnuts. I attended the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, which gave me a solid foundation of knowledge about classical French baking techniques, which I applied toward baking gluten-free.

By craving, and by necessity, I began experimenting with alternative flours and developed a handful of cake recipes that taste as good, if not better, than traditional wheat-filled cakes.

TV ~ Cupcake Wars

I made my first appearance on the popular Food Network show back in 2010 for their Holiday Tree-Lighting episode and was extremely proud to come in second place against other top cupcake bakeries from around the country – especially since I was the only ones baking gluten-free!

Then, I was asked back for a redemption round in 2011 to celebrate the 100th episode of The Closer, and I won (again, as the only gluten-free competitor), beating 3 “regular” bakers! I thought I was done, but the folks at Food Network had other ideas.

The following year, I returned for a special series of Cupcake Champions, where I went up against other previous Cupcake Wars winners. It was a 5-episode mini series, with the winner of each of the first four episodes competing for the Championship. I won the semi finals (in the Madagascar 3 Premiere episode), and went on to the grand finale. Though I would have loved to win it all, I was extremely proud of my second place over all result in the final championship episode! Throughout the entire series, the judges praised my delicious cupcakes, which they never would have guessed were gluten-free. Again, I thought I was finished with Cupcake Wars, but in November of 2013, the producers called and begged me to go back on the show.

Winning the Barbie Is Moving episode made me one of only a few people to have won 3 times. To date, no one has won more episodes than that. And to be the only gluten-free winner is thrilling—and shows that gluten-free products can be more delicious than their gluteny counterparts!



Sweet Cravings is my first cookbook and includes some of my favorite gluten-free recipes that I make at home. Also included are recipes for some of my award-winning pastries!

Delicious flavor combinations and unique recipes like Cherry White Chocolate Scones, Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes, and Mexican Chocolate Baked Alaska, this collection of 50 foolproof recipes invites home cooks to whip up sweet treats that everyone at the birthday party, brunch, or potluck can enjoy.

Google Books