Keto Chocolate Cake & Buttercream Frosting


Planning, Directing, Cinematography, Styling, Editing




Recipe, On-screen Talent


This chocolate cake was legit tasty.  Kelsey’s recipes area always impressive and I was incredibly surprised to taste something that had the texture and flavor of chocolate cake that actually fit the Keto Diet.

This recipe, and the others we shot that day, are part of a book that Kelsey produced with Paleohacks, called “Keto Sweets”.  We produced these recipe videos to serve a dual purpose of fitting into our regularly scheduled recipe video content for YouTube and Facebook and also as a source of B-Roll to pull from for ads and marketing videos promoting the book.

Quick and dirty Google Sheet I created to streamline grocery buying for multiple recipes

At this point, recipe shoots had become streamlined.  Normally I would be scouring our stats for popular recipes from Facebook, Instagram, and going through Google Analytics data tracking site traffic but, in cases like this, it just requires scanning through the cookbook we’re featuring.  The goal is to find a range of recipes that all compliment one another in a number of ways.  First, and perhaps most obvious, is that they need to be visually appealing and delicious looking.  Next most important on the list comes down to how practical they are to cook in the confines of a recipe shoot.  We shoot four recipes in a day and film the actual cooking process from start to finish, so bake, freeze, rest, cool, and cook times all have to fit reasonably within the day.  The last major consideration is balance.  Long and involved recipes need to be split with simple and quick recipes.  Decadent chocolate recipes need to be countered with light fruity ones.

Even though it looks lie it must have been “Plaid Day” at the shoot, I can guarantee I wasn’t participating.  Eddie shoots final beauty shots of the cake while Kelsey stands by to fork a slice. 

Once recipes are chosen, they’re broken down into a custom shopping list I created in Google Sheets that totals all of the similar ingredients and sorts things into an easily shoppable list by grocery store department. I place online orders for special items or anything hard to find locally then, the day before the shoot, hit the grocery store for the rest.  I drop things off at the shoot location and set up the lights and cameras for the next day’s shoot.

On the day of the shoot, we start by talking through the recipes and deciding the best order in which to shoot them.  We usually start with the harder ones to end the day easier and give ourselves more buffer if things go wrong and we need time to fix them.  Recipes with long hold times for baking, cooling, and such will be planned to span lunch or split up with other recipes in the middle.

This chocolate cake and icing recipe went pretty smoothly it being one of the more complicated recipes that we tackled that day.  The recipe format that I created for Paleohacks shows much more of the actual recipe creation than the popular Buzzfeed “Tasty” styled videos that are most often copied. Much of our demographic was cooking, or at least cooking Paleo, for the first time and needed content that offered more than just tempting images to ‘like’ and keep scrolling.

Editing for recipe videos was often passed off to freelancers and used to test their skills for more involved projects, but I opted to tackle this recipe myself, since it was technically two in one and more involved.  A project like this usually takes between 6-8 hours from start to finish and my method involves breaking it down into passes.  A full breakdown of the editing process (and I mean FULL at over 4 1/2 hours) can be found here, for the curious.