Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blue Velvet Cupcakes From Sugar Daze

I love, love, love all things red velvet. In fact, just the other day, I read about red velvet corn dogs. Anyway, Cat Beurnier of Sugar Daze Bakery in Paris is doing Blue Velvet cupcakes as part of the promotion with famous Parisian department store, Printemps Hausmann.

From Sugar Daze:

From 30 September-18 October, find us in the Atrium (level -1) at Printemps Haussmann. We're part of the Kenzo pop-up shop that features an exclusive collection of pret-a-porter clothes and accessories, and a universe that comes straight out of the mind of David Lynch. We've created the BlueVelvet cupcake especially for this occasion; you'll find it on sale with a variety of our best-selling flavors from the shop and other goodies like whoopie pies, cookies, brownies, etc.

Blue Velvet

Monday, September 22, 2014

Five Questions With A Food Founder: Hot Sugar Atlanta

This is our second of our new interview series Five Questions With a Food Founder. In case you missed it, read last week's with Michael Horn of Craft Coffee.This week we talk to Kim and Tony Wentzel of Hot Sugar Atlanta. If you are attending TECHmunch Atlanta this Friday, you will get an opportunity to sample their desserts as they are one of the food sponsors.

What was your inspiration for starting Hot Sugar Atlanta?
We moved from San Francisco last year where we had witnessed the birth of the street food scene in 2009.  It was inspiring to see people take their financial destinies into their own hands after the great economic collapse and start food carts all over the city.  We watched small carts grow into legitimate brick and mortar businesses and tiny entrepreneurs help change antiquated laws to allow for street food to thrive.  We wanted to start our business in a city with a lower cost of living and an emerging street food scene.  Atlanta seemed like a perfect fit for us.  We chose to do creme brûlée because normally you only see it in fancy restaurants. We wanted to bring it to the masses.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive .

How did you come up with the name and logo of your business?
We spent a few weeks brainstorming and narrowing down until we settled on Hot Sugar. Since we were just developing our concept, we had to decide what type of image and style we were going for.  We made a list of key words like, classic, fun, elegant, modern etc and went from there. We also did searches to rule out names that already existed.  We had a lot of great suggestions from creative friends but ultimately we like the literal and playful sound of Hot Sugar.

For the logo, we used a similar brainstorming technique and worked with a really talented graphic designer. It was important for us to find a designer that had distinct style but was good at listening and interpreting our needs.  Working with a good designer to create the perfect logo helped us further define our image and identity as a company.

What websites or apps that you are use that essential for your business?We use Square for all of our transactions and Point of Sale. It's a great option for a small company like us.  We love all the graphs and reports and it helps us make projections and set goals.  We also like using Twitter to announce where we'll be on any given day. Since we're mobile it helps our customers find us and interact with us in real time.

What's the best thing about having your own food business?
The best thing about having our own food business is that all the time and energy we put into it is an investment into our future and the future of our company.  It's hard work and we don't always see results right away, but we have to look at the bigger picture and know that every effort exposes us to more and more customers.  We love that it's challenging and creative.

What food trend do you think will be big in 2015?
Anything that pushes the envelope like the cronut or putting bacon on everything trend.  Combining exotic ingredients with everyday food items seems to be where these trends spur from.  Throw in a little gluten free, vegan and kale for good measure and you've got your next deep fried Twinkie.  Let's hope the food trend for 2015 will be Hot Sugar creme brûlée!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes From Sweetopia

When autumn leaves start to fall.. Sweetopia makes beautiful gum paste leaves on top of chocolate caramel cupcakes. Check it out on her blog.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Five Questions With A Food Founder: Michael Horn of Craft Coffee

This is the inaugural interview of our Five Questions With A Food Founder Interview Series.  We talked to Michael Horn of Craft Coffee, a coffee subscription start-up based in Brooklyn. Craft Coffee is offering Cupcakes Take The Cake readers a special discount code. Use "CUPCAKES10" when you buy your coffee online.

What was your inspiration for starting Craft Coffee?
Every coffee has a story. That was the original idea behind Craft Coffee. But as we built the business, we realized that we had missed something really important: Every coffee drinker has a story too! We call this your Coffee DNA. In August, we rebuilt our entire service, which is now powered by our Coffee DNA ProjectTM.  Our goal is to make it really easy for you to find new coffees you’ll love.

To get started, you just tell us what coffee you drink today. Then we match you to coffees we think you’ll love based on our scientific analysis of hundreds of coffee beans, and big dollop of technology. We help you find the right roast, at the right price, on the right delivery schedule. And as you rate your coffees, we learn more about you and keep improving your experience. Of course, all of our coffee is fresh roasted to order by independent roasters around the country.

Craft Coffee pioneered a new kind of coffee subscription. And now with our Coffee DNA ProjectTM, we’ve raised the bar again. We’re really excited about the great response we’ve been getting from our customers!

How did you come up with the name and logo of your business?
We’ve always loved the idea of coffee as a craft. From sourcing to roasting to brewing. Back in 2010 when we picked our name, nobody was using that term to describe what independent coffee roasters were doing. Hey, the domain was available! So it was a no-brainer for us.

What websites or apps that you are use that essential for your business?

We think of ourselves as the first true internet start-up in the coffee space. So our toolkit is more internet start-up than coffee company.

  • HipChat- A great tool for team and individual communication. Everybody on the team is logged-in all day.
  • Google Drive-All of our company’s documentation is in Google Drive. It’s essential for us every day.
  • Google Analytics- The easiest way to get a basic overview of what's happening with your online business.
  • Github- A very popular management tool for code, but it also has some other great features. We use a feature called Github Issues with a free plugin called ZenHub ( to do most of our product management.
  • We also like Trello, Mixpanel, Heroku and Geckoboard.   

What's the best thing about having your own food business? 
The absolute best thing is that coffee is something that is really special to so many people. When a new customer loves their first delivery and tweets or Instagrams it, that’s just amazing. When you see a customer in Japan, for example, Instagram his latest delivery. It’s like, hey, we packed this coffee by hand in our little Brooklyn office and 6 days later it’s in Tokyo and somebody there is so excited to receive it and try something new. That gets me every time.

What's your favorite thing to eat with your coffee?

I’m a purist. My absolute favorite part of my day is that morning cup of coffee. All by itself. Just a black cup of coffee in my favorite mug. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cupcake Wars in Germany!

This past weekend, an organization in my community held a Cupcake Wars to raise money to support the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment here at USAG Bavaria: Grafenwoehr/Vilseck, Germany.

Five local bakers participated with three prizes to win for Best Overall, Best Presentation and Most Delicious!

Of course, I participated!

I made Oreo cupcakes and topped them with Oreo balloon pops and themed my table with more balloons and in red and white!  The entire event was lot of fun and raised a good amount of money for a great cause! 

For all the details... check out my post over at JavaCupcake

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cupcake Stand DIY By Renee Adler

Yes, you too can DIY a cupcake stand. Renee Adler of Cute Simple Stuff shows you how.
Hi everyone! Wanted to let you know a new #baking type #diy is waiting for you (link in bio). Enjoy!
Check out the video below.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rice Krispie Treat Cakes by Smashbakes

Ashley Khawsy, contributor to Cupcakes Take The Cake, is also the founder of Smashbakes Bakery based in Chino, California. She made these beautifully colorful Rice Krispie Treat and sprinkle-generous cakes. These are the perfect personal sized sweet for any celebration and can be customized to your specific needs.

The best part? It's three layers of that childhood treat we all know and love, Rice Krispie Treats!
You can find Smashbakes on Facebook,too.

 Rice Krispie Treat Cake
Sprinkle-Generous Cake

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Huffington Post Uses Cupcakes Politically

In a Facebook post today, The Huffington Post says it with cupcakes:

"Westboro Baptist Church is coming to protest us here at HuffPost.
Our message for them? Cupcakes. Lots of rainbow Baked by Melissa cupcakes. ‪#‎GodLovesCupcakes"

I couldn't have said it better myself.