MANTACHIE – Georgia Pitts might be churning out cakes and cookies now, but don't count on her making a career of the culinary arts.

"I want to keep making things for people, but I want to be a vet," said Georgia, a sixth-grader at Mantachie Attendance Center. "I love animals. We just lost our lab, Belle, who was 12. We have a cat, Scully, who's really lazy. We should have named him Garfield. And my granddad has a border collie that hangs around our house named Cutter. Maybe I'll make cakes for people when I'm in vet school."

Georgia figures she was 5 or 6 when she first got in the kitchen with her maternal grandmother, Katherine Nichols, who was featured as a Cook of the Week in 2010.

"Grand would make cakes and desserts all the time and I'd help her," said Georgia, 11. "I probably started making box cakes when I was 8 or 9. I'd decorate them with Momma's butter cream icing and sometimes I'd put a design on the cakes."

Georgia learned a lot about cake baking and decorating from Rosanna Pansino's cooking show "Nerdy Nummies" on youtube.

"She makes a ton of desserts and decorates them," she said. "She makes cakes, cookies and s'mores. I got her cookbook for Christmas from Santa Claus three years ago and started making her recipes. I would watch her videos and see her designs, but I couldn't keep up with that. One day I hope to accomplish what she has done."

Georgia likes to make brownies with Grand and muffins and cupcakes with her paternal grandmother, Doris Pitts, whom she calls Grammy.

"I've thought about going to a cooking camp or something like that to help me improve," said Georgia, the youngest daughter of Wes and Leslie Pitts of Mantachie. She has two older sisters, Ella and Darby.

"I don't do box cakes anymore," she said. "I do everything from scratch now. My sisters buy box cake mixes and I'm like, 'I could have just made you some batter.'"

Georgia said she'll make a cake at home and when it's gone, she makes another one.

"I make most of my desserts in the summer when I'm out of school," she said. "If I waited until I got home at 3:30 to make a cake, I'd probably still be working on it at dinner time."

DO YOU KNOW A GOOD COOK? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, P.O. Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can call Ginna at (662) 678-1581 or email them to


1 stick margarine

1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring


Combine all ingredients and moisten with milk to make desired consistency. This makes enough to ice a 9x13-inch cake.



3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla


2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sugar

For the muffins, beat together sugar and egg until light in color. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into egg mixture and stir. Add oil, milk and vanilla. Divide mixture among 10 cups in a greased muffin tin, filling 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

For the topping, melt the butter and brush on cooked muffin tops. Roll in sugar.


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick salted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

5 large egg whites

3/4 cup whole milk


1 stick shortening

2 sticks butter, room temperature

2 pounds confectioners' sugar, divided

4 tablespoons water, divided

2 tablespoons vanilla flavoring, divided

For the cake, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

With a mixer, cream the butter and shortening until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 6-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

For the icing, cream shortening and butter together. Add 1 pound confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon vanilla and beat until creamy. Add remaining confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla and mix until spreadable. Spread icing between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Note: You can also make the cake in a 9x13-inch pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 sticks butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract


5 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners' sugar

Lemon juice (optional)

For the cookies, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.

On low speed, beat in the flour mixture until combined. Shape dough into 2 disks about 1-inch thick. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll out each disk and cut cookies out. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes. Ice with Royal Icing or Momma's Butter Cream Icing.

For the icing, whisk the egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time, mixing after each addition to reach spreading consistency.

Note: If you want the icing to be really white, add a few drops of lemon juice when mixing the confectioners' sugar into the egg white mixture.

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