This Amazing Teen Donates One Treat for Each One Sold at His Bakery

artisteer, iStock/Getty Images Plus
artisteer, iStock/Getty Images Plus

When 13-year-old Michael Platt was diagnosed with epilepsy in the sixth grade, he had to quit a few of his favorite things—diving, climbing trees, and doing gymnastics. But it wasn't enough to stop him from baking, a hobby born from many an afternoon spent watching bakers work their culinary magic across YouTube, The Washington Post reports.

So the then-11-year-old decided to open a bakery of his own, run from his kitchen in Bowie, Maryland, with the help of his mother. Inspired by the TOMS one-for-one model, Michael founded Michaels Desserts with a mission to donate one baked good for each one bought. He sells about 100 items each month (75 cupcakes, plus a couple dozen shortbread cookies and other "chef's choice" items), and distributes the free batches to domestic violence shelters, transitional housing, or in McPherson Square in Washington, D.C.


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Michael calls his cupcakes "freedom fighter cupcakes," and themes each month's flavor around a figure with a strong impact on the landscape of civil rights and social activism. Harriet Tubman's October cupcake is mint chocolate chip, because her family often shortened her birth name Araminta to "Minty." This month's cupcake is banana pudding, a flavor that Maya Angelou loved. January and February belong to Michael's personal hero Martin Luther King Jr., whose flavor is sweet potato pie.

The young do-gooder is particularly fond of passing out his treats to kids, because he feels that cupcakes are a quintessential childhood experience. He even taught a baking class at an Williams-Sonoma in Annapolis, Maryland, for a suggested price of $30 per person, and gave the proceeds to No Kid Hungry.


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For Michael, the driving force behind his dessert business transcends his passion for baking. "It's all about helping people," he told The Washington Post, "Not just having a purpose for yourself, but thinking about, 'How does this touch other things?'"

[h/t The Washington Post]

This Smart Accessory Converts Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer

Amazon
Amazon

If you can make a recipe in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or rice cooker, you can likely adapt it for an Instant Pot. Now, this all-in-one cooker can be converted into an air fryer with one handy accessory.

This Instant Pot air fryer lid—currently available on Amazon for $80—adds six new cooking functions to your 6-quart Instant Pot. You can select the air fry setting to get food hot and crispy fast, using as little as 2 tablespoons of oil. Other options include roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and reheat.

Many dishes you would prepare in the oven or on the stovetop can be made in your Instant Pot when you switch out the lids. Chicken wings, French fries, and onion rings are just a few of the possibilities mentioned in the product description. And if you're used to frying being a hot, arduous process, this lid works without consuming a ton of energy or heating up your kitchen.

The lid comes with a multi-level air fry basket, a broiling and dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover. Check it out on Amazon.

For more clever ways to use your Instant Pot, take a look at these recipes.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

This Smart Accessory Converts Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer

Amazon
Amazon

If you can make a recipe in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or rice cooker, you can likely adapt it for an Instant Pot. Now, this all-in-one cooker can be converted into an air fryer with one handy accessory.

This Instant Pot air fryer lid—currently available on Amazon for $80—adds six new cooking functions to your 6-quart Instant Pot. You can select the air fry setting to get food hot and crispy fast, using as little as 2 tablespoons of oil. Other options include roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and reheat.

Many dishes you would prepare in the oven or on the stovetop can be made in your Instant Pot when you switch out the lids. Chicken wings, French fries, and onion rings are just a few of the possibilities mentioned in the product description. And if you're used to frying being a hot, arduous process, this lid works without consuming a ton of energy or heating up your kitchen.

The lid comes with a multi-level air fry basket, a broiling and dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover. Check it out on Amazon.

For more clever ways to use your Instant Pot, take a look at these recipes.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.