Nostalgia knocks at the door. Hello, mini cakes with
an inventive twist.
By Jody Shee
No matter the time of year, cupcakes fly out
of the kitchen with barely time to cool before
they are reminisced about and inhaled.
Even ice cream can’t keep up. For three
months of the year, ice cream sales from
the frozen-dessert display case were
fabulous at Apple Pie Bakery Café at
The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
in Hyde Park, N. Y. But frozen favorites
went unnoticed from December on, says
Francisco Migoya, CIA assistant professor
in charge of the restaurant. A few years
ago, he solved the lackluster sales problem
by turning off the freezer and filling the
case with cupcakes. “Since the day we did
that, we sell out every day,” he says.
Granted, New York was first into the
cupcake craze. But the fame has
broadened, and one Chicago resident notes
that cigar bars in the Windy City have been
replaced with cupcake boutiques.
Today’s culinary innovators who dive into
dipping, soaking, filling and creative-ingredient-combining have upstaged
Betty Crocker. They explore the realms
of flour types, sweetener options, savory
applications and decorating genius.
Think outside the cookbook to find new
ways to stand out with your cupcake
offerings. Customers are eager to
experiment with you.
Flavor and its nuances
Flavor and fun have to come together in
cupcakes, says John Nicolaides, owner
of Molly’s Cupcakes in Chicago. A few of
the “fun” cupcakes served at Molly’s are
cherry chocolate chip, apple pie, éclair,
strawberry shortcake, chocolate peanut
butter and cookie dough.
“We’re always first on Chicago’s best-cupcakes lists, and we’ve never done any
advertising or search-engine optimization.
It’s all from people reviewing our cakes,” says
Nicolaides, giving credit to his baking team
and executive pastry chef Eileen Kerbel.
Courtesy of MORE
MORE in Chicago
was formed a year ago with an
emphasis on savory cupcakes.
This B.L. T. cupcake has received
a lot of media attention.