Seventh grader and star baker?

Food Network contestant and business owner Foster Smith shares baking recipes and tips
Seventh grader Foster Smith decorates her cake in the professional kitchen on Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship.
Seventh grader Foster Smith decorates her cake in the professional kitchen on Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship.”
Food Network Channel

Do you remember what you were doing at 12 years old? Maybe you were launching your slime business or watching the latest Taylor Swift music video. Not Foster Smith. 

St. Mary’s seventh grader Foster Smith competed in season 11 of Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship. She was one of 12 contestants and one of four to participate in the “Sweets-Giving” holiday episode.

For years, Smith has dedicated her time to the craft, and she joined the show as an experienced baker. Smith even runs her own business called Dessert Before Dinner, where she regularly bakes and designs cakes, cupcakes and cookies. She posts some of her creations on her Instagram account @fostergracebakes.

Although she enjoyed the experience of baking on television, Smith’s favorite part of being on the show was spending time with her fellow contestants.

“I really liked just hanging out with the other kids. We all stayed in a hotel, so we got to hang out every single day, and we would just do super fun things,” Smith said. “We went to Universal [Studios], and we tried all sorts of different desserts.”

Although Smith has been baking for years now, she still learned many new things from her time on the show.  

“[On the show], I poured in an entire [container] of almond extract, so it tasted really bad,” Smith said. “Now I’ve learned to be more cautious with flavors.”

Smith will continue to grow her business and her baking expertise along with it. Whenever you are looking for a place to buy some sweet treats, look no further than Dessert Before Dinner. 

Finally, check out Tatler’s exclusive look at Smith’s personal recipe book and be sure to try some of these out. 

Buttercream Frosting
Buttercream Frosting

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (4 ounces)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
3 drops food coloring, or as needed (Optional)

Step 1: Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract.
Step 2: Add milk and beat for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add food coloring and beat for thirty seconds until smooth or until desired color is reached. Adjust the milk or sugar to make it thicker or thinner for piping.


Rich Chocolate Trees Spritz Cookies
Rich Chocolate Trees Spritz Cookies

2 cups sifted cake flour (Softasilk)
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (melted/cool)
½ tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk

Step 1: Mix flour and salt.
Cream butter, add sugar gradually and cream until fluffy.
Add well beaten egg and chocolate mix.
And extract to milk.
Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to chocolate mixture, mixing just enough after each addition to combine ingredients.
Using a cookie press, form into desired shapes on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 minutes at 400 degrees.

Pumpkin Rolls
Pumpkin Rolls

2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
6 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or see below for substitution)
¾ teaspoon salt
9 large eggs
3 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cup granulated sugar
2 cup pumpkin puree
optional: powdered sugar (to sprinkle on at the end!)

3 (8 ounce) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
18 tablespoons butter, softened
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 15 by 10 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper, leaving an extra 1-inch of parchment sticking up on both 15-inch sides of the pan so that you can easily lift the cake out after baking. (If you’d like the parchment to stick to the bottom of the pan more easily, sprinkle a little bit of water on the pan and then press the parchment paper on top of it. You can also lightly mist the top of the parchment paper with cooking spray for easier cake release afterwards, although it’s not required.)
Step 2:Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large mixing bowl until combined.
Step 3:In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and granulated sugar for one minute until thick. Add in the vanilla and pumpkin, and whisk until just combined. Fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula, and stir together until just combined.
Step 4:Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when touched. Carefully lift the parchment paper and cake out onto a flat (and heat-safe) surface. Then slowly, use your hands to roll the cake – rolling from the short end to the short end – until it is completely rolled up. Transfer the cake roll to a wire rack, and cool until it reaches room temperature.
Step 5:While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese filling.
Step 6:Once the cake has reached room temperature, transfer the cake roll to a flat surface, and carefully roll it until it is flat again (or mostly flat, it’s ok if the ends curl up a bit). Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cake, leaving a 3/4-inch border on all sides. Then carefully re-roll the cake, gently peeling away the parchment paper as you roll until you can completely remove and discard it.

Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour (can be subbed with all-purpose)
¾ tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
⅓ tsp cloves
1½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 sticks salted butter, softened (8 ounces)
⅔ cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup molasses (not blackstrap!)
1 cup buttermilk

For Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary Trees:
½ cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
7 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries


Step 1: Mix water and sugar in a medium pot on the stove.

Step 2: Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for a bit before dipping the rosemary in the mixture. Set aside on parchment paper for 15 minutes. Next, add cranberries into the mixture. Cover with a dish towel for 10 minutes

Step 3: Remove cranberries and set on parchment paper let dry at least 15 min before sugaring. After sufficient dry time, roll the rosemary and cranberries in sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes.


Step 1: Grease and flour three 9-inch pans and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. (Flour through nutmeg)

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, cream softened butter. Add brown sugar and white sugar and mix until well combined and creamy. Add the eggs, 2 at a time, and mix until just combined. 

Step 4: Add molasses and vanilla and mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated.

Step 5: Add ⅓ of the flour mixture, the mix. Add ⅓ of the buttermilk, then mix. Repeat until everything is well incorporated.

Step 6: Evenly distribute the batter between three pans. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until cake layers look just done and a toothpick comes out clean.

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