This week, Washington, DC-based vegan bakery Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats will launch After-School Virtual Baking Classes, a digital cooking program designed for children. Sticky Fingers was founded by acclaimed baker Doron Petersan—a two-time champion of Food Network’s baking competition show Cupcake Wars—who created the after-school baking program to help children learn fun skills during these difficult times. “Kids are home, parents are home, everyone is figuring out what to do and how to do it,” Petersan told VegNews. “What better way to spend your afternoon then learning to make your favorite treats that are better for you, the animals, and the environment?” The hour-long classes—a virtual adaptation of events Petersan hosted prior to the pandemic—will feature both savory and sweet recipes such as blueberry muffins, pizza, pancakes, chocolate chip cookies, funfetti cupcakes, and more. 

Petersan developed the kid-friendly recipes with young cooks, frustrated home-schooling parents, and animals, in mind. “I started baking with my son around age two. Back then it was just pouring and mixing and I did all of the work,” Petersan said. “But as he’s grown he’s stepped it up, and is now doing everything on his own, though he has a healthy fear of the hot oven. Now that he’s nine, we talk about the ingredients,  the math involved, and the science working as we bake. This is how we bake. It’s normal.  He doesn’t ask, ‘What do you use in place of eggs?’ or ‘How does soy milk compare to cow’s milk?’ The more we can normalize vegan cooking and baking, the better it is for the animals, the environment, and ourselves.”

Each class airs live at 4pm EST on Sticky Fingers’ website every Tuesday from September 15 until November 10 and all classes are recorded to allow users to access them on their own schedule. Classes can be purchased individually ($10); as a kit ($35 for class, ingredients for local pick-up at Sticky Fingers, and a signature bag); or as a full semester ($250 for all classes, ingredients, signature bag, and professional apron). Sticky Fingers is not able to ship ingredients but Petersan assures that they will be easy to find at grocery stores and recipes will be sent out prior to each class to provide ample time for shopping. 

In 2016, Petersan opened vegan diner Fare Well in Washington, DC where she serves comfort food favorites such as Southern Fried Wings, hot pastrami sandwiches, mac and cheese, and a selection of her famous baked goods. Both Sticky Fingers and Fare Well are currently open for take out and delivery.