Hi there! I'm Erin Clarkson - I trained as a geologist but later found myself in the world of food. I currently live in New Zealand after having spent the last seven years in New York.
I have been developing recipes for my blog for six years and am passionate about highly accurate and repeatable recipes. I am a big advocate for baking by weight and I love to break down complicated recipes into detailed and manageable steps that everyone can achieve.
On Cloudy Kitchen you'll find New Zealand baking classics mixed with inspirations from my time in the USA. Each recipe has been put through a rigorous testing process to ensure you get dependable results and I have listed out as many tips & tricks as I can think of in each post to help you along the way. I'm so happy you are here and I am excited to bake with you!
I grew up in Nelson, a sunny part of New Zealand at the top of the South Island. I can remember baking with my grandma and parents as most do - though my most vivid 'baking' memory is of making 'mixtures' in the dirt with my sister.
At university I studied geology and geography, where I developed an understanding and appreciation for the scientific process - much of which has heavily influences the way in which I develop recipes today. After graduating I spent some time working on an oil rig then moved to New York with my then boyfriend/now husband Rich.
After telling my Mum that I was only going to New York for a year, I ended up staying for seven! That first year was exciting and amazing but at the same time I was quite homesick and missing my family & friends. I started baking a few of my favourite New Zealand recipes to bring a bit of home closer to me. I started sharing photos of my baking on instagram and began adapting and creating recipes. As my homesickness gradually faded my baking and recipes bagan to take on more and more inspiration from my experiences in America. I fell in love with pies, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate chip cookies.
In 2016 I started Cloudy Kitchen - my own little corner of the internet. I focus on recipes that are accurate, repeatable & thoroughly tested. I specialise in Base recipes, Small batch recipes and breaking down complicated processes into achievable steps. Something that started out as a wee project for me to help with my homesickness has somehow turned into something that I am so lucky to get to do for my job. I have so many incredible readers and love nothing more than seeing my recipes made in your kitchens.
Not Sure Where To Start?
A great place to start is my base recipes & quickstart guide - these are a selection of foundation recipes that many of my other recipes build upon. Once you nail these you'll be able to hit the ground running on almost every recipe on this blog.
For those looking for a bit of a challenge why not try my French Macarons or my Vanilla Bean Cream Puffs. There's no specific sections here for beginner bakers or expert bakers but rather a focus on solid, dependable recipes that work whether you are baking them with your grandma or for a special occasion.
I also have an FAQ section below where you can find more info on common issues & troubleshooting - you can also read more about my baking philosophy and why I believe it is so important to bake by weight rather than by cups.
Stay in touch!
The best way for you to stay in touch and keep up to date with my new recipes is to join my email list. You'll get an email whenever a new recipe goes up, and a highlighted favourite recipe once a week.
I am also over on Instagram, Pinterest, or on TikTok if you would like to follow me there too. Thanks so much for being here - I still can't believe that I get to do this as my job, and I can't wait to share all my new recipes with you!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I repost / republish your recipe or photo?
If you would like to republish a recipe of mine, please feel free to do so by using one photo and a link back to the recipe. If you would like to republish the recipe on your site, please link back to the original recipe at the top of the post, and rewrite the recipe in your own words to put your own spin on it. The method of a recipe is my intellectual property so unless you have asked me specifically if you can republish this, you need to write it in your own words.
Why do you post in grams?
Lots of my recipes are posted in grams - the reasoning behind this is that it is the most accurate way to bake. I don't post my recipes in cups because cups are not an accurate way of baking. You won’t go into a commercial kitchen and see them making a cake measured in cups. If I have recipe tested in grams, the recipe will be posted that way too, because I want you to get the most accurate outcome possible! I don’t see the point in adding conversions that weren’t recipe tested - all that would be doing would be increasing the chances of the recipe failing. I already test each recipe multiple times before it goes anywhere near the internet and it is a waste of my time and ingredients to then also have to re-test a recipe using a less accurate method when I already have one which works perfectly.
A main issue that I see on blogs is that a recipe will come out differently to how it was intended due to differences in measuring technique. Using a scale eliminates this completely and by posting in grams I can ensure that the way you are measuring your ingredients is the same way that I am too. You can purchase a scale very cheaply (mine was $22 on amazon and I use it multiple times daily and it has lasted incredibly well), and it totally removes the margin of error caused by baking by volume. Scales are great - they are super accurate, and you have way less dishes! Please don't ask me to provide conversions, as I would just be googling the result to provide you a less accurate version of my recipe. You are welcome to do the google conversions yourself though!
I made your recipe but it didn't work can you help?
I'll always do my best to help but please know that my ability to help will be limited if you have made substitutions to my original recipe e.g. if my recipe calls for brown sugar and you use white sugar instead or if you use 1 egg instead of 2 - these seemingly small changes can have a big effect on the end result. I am happy to help wherever I can though!
Why are there two measures of butter in Brown butter recipes?
In recipes that use Brown Butter you will notice that there are two different quantities of butter in the recipe - the initial quantity in the ingredients list, then a smaller measure of brown butter within the body of the recipe.
Different butters have different moisture levels, which affects the yield of brown butter. American style butter has a higher water content, so will produce less brown butter when the water is cooked off. European or New Zealand-style butter, which is higher in fat than American butter, will have less water that needs cooking off, so you will end up with a higher yield of brown butter.
The quantity of the butter in my recipes is important to get right, so the best way to measure it is by using a scale. You start with an initial quantity of butter - e.g. 150g, and then cook it down. You then re-measure the weight of the brown butter to use 110g of that, discarding any that is left over. It may seem like an extra step but it's actually really important for the accuracy and repeatability of the recipe.
I want to make a substitution, can you tell me if it will work?
(see above question) The short answer unfortunately is probably going to be "I don't know sorry". I create and test recipes to be reliable with the ingredients and method listed in the final recipe, anything beyond that I could make a guess about but it is really just a guess.
What is your Instagram handle?
I really love your stuff, how can I support you?
The best way is to stay in touch! Sign up for my email list here. Pin the recipes if you like them. Check-in from time to time to see new recipes - share your favorites with your friends and family, leave me a rating and a comment if you make it (these help so much), and if you make a recipe tag me on Instagram, one of my very favorite things is seeing people make and enjoy a recipe of mine!