Making Life a Little Sweeter: An Interview with Livia Benson

Making+Life+a+Little+Sweeter%3A+An+Interview+with+Livia+Benson

Kayla Snyder, Writer

Baking is a big market with reports of an economic impact of $423 billion in baked goods produced and sold in the United States. Baking is an act of creativity that allows you to express yourself along with bringing joy to friends and family. Livia Benson, a 16-year-old living in North Carolina, is a dessert blogger and painter who makes TikToks where she has a whopping 981.9k followers and 22.8 million likes. She has her own website, which she shares with her twin sister, Maya, where they post their recipes at no cost for all to enjoy. Their recipes range from Baker Style Buttercream frosting to Crumbl Cookie Copycats to the Best Fudgy Brownies. They even have a gallery of all their favorite cake designs to give others inspiration along with tips. You can visit their website at: https://www.identicalrecipes.com/

 

When did you start baking and what inspired you?

 “I started baking about 4 years ago, right before Covid hit. My inspiration to learn more on baking was when it became evident that I’d have nothing to do when school was on pause. My sister was also obsessed with it and started a little business through our neighborhood, and it became too much for just her, so I helped her with cookie orders (until we got reported to the department of agriculture lol).”

 

What is it like to have a twin sister?

 “I get that question so much lol, but I can’t answer it because I’ve never had it any other way, so I don’t really know.”

 

What’s your favorite thing to bake and why?

  “My favorite thing to bake is macarons, because they are an extremely difficult dessert to make, though when they come out right, it’s very impressive. They can also be made with tons of different flavor combinations!”

 

What made you decide to start posting baking videos on TikTok?

“I started by posting painting videos for a reason I can’t even remember, and then I decided to post baking videos because I was already making so many desserts for orders in my neighborhood, so I decided to make videos out of it!”

 

How do you come up with your recipes and baking ideas?

“I have a basic vanilla cookie recipe and chocolate cookie recipe that I alter to fit whatever cookie I’m making. I made so many cookies that I was kind of able to comprehend the ratios of ingredients, so I couldn’t really tell you exactly how I was able to create them.”

 

What are some of your favorite baking tips?

 “I always recommend to bake a single cookie, before baking a tray of cookies, to test how much a cookie will spread on the pan and to alter the temperature if needed!”

 

When did you discover you like to paint and what do you like about it?

“I started painting about six years ago with acrylic, before I tested oil painting, because it was easier to use for my style of painting I liked. I love painting because no matter what I do I can just paint over it. (Unlike sketching and charcoal style artwork).”

 

What do you do with everything you bake?

“I give it to friends and family!”

 

What is your biggest strength and weakness when it comes to baking?

 “A strength is knowing the correct ingredient ratio for cookies and a weakness is decorating cakes.”

 

When did you discover you like to paint and what do you like about it?

“I started painting about six years ago with acrylic, before I tested oil painting, because it was easier to use for my style of painting I liked. I love painting because no matter what I do I can just paint over it. (Unlike sketching and charcoal style artwork).”

 

Do you prefer baking or painting?

 “That’s a question I’ve debated for a while. Financially, going into the food industry will lead to more success in my future, though with painting, I end up feeling more proud of myself with the creations. It depends on the day, for which one I prefer, but I think both are necessary to sustain my life lol.”

 

What do you plan on doing after high school? Does it incorporate baking/painting?

 “After high school, I plan to go to college, and hopefully to law school after. My plan is to hopefully continue food blogging, though I am not sure if my future contains much of painting or baking. My sister and I have an idea to open up a bakery, though at the moment it’s just an idea.”