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Happy Fourth of July!
Here’s hoping that you have a fun-filled day packed with delicious treats, lots of warm hugs, and a dazzling fireworks display.
Associate Editor Candice showing off our hard work. The only thing left to do was eat!
I’ve always been a bit of a spaz in the kitchen but I really love baked goods—a true conundrum. When the opportunity to sign up for a cupcake class through Classtivity popped up a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to improve my skills. The course, Cupcakes Unlimited, was taught at The Institute of Culinary Education by a veteran pastry chef; and lucky for me, associate editor Candice came along to help!
As baking newbies, we were a little out of our element amongst the professional-grade kitchen equipment, and I can’t deny there were some cupcake casualties. That’s why next time I tackle the mixer, I’ll be keeping these tips in mind:
1. Do Read the Entire Recipe Before Starting: It seems obvious, but if you’re in a hurry to get baking like we were, you may overlook important details like the order you should be mixing your ingredients. It’s best to gather all your measured ingredients ahead of time and then assess each step before you jump in.
Success has been extra sweet for Sprinkles Cupcakes founder Candace Nelson. Left jobless after the dot com bust of the ’90s, she made her way to pastry school. After graduation, she initially worked out of her kitchen creating special occasion cakes, but Candace had bigger ideas—for a smaller product. With a mission to revamp the common cupcake, she opened the nations first ‘cupcakery’ in Beverly Hills in 2005. Now the proud mastermind behind 10 locations across the country, and the judge of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, Candace’s most recent store just popped up on Friday in NYC—where I was lucky enough to catch both Candace and a cupcake!
What made you choose the cupcake?
The cupcake is of course this beloved American tradition, but really hadn’t been reinvented ever. It was still sort of this thing that you would pick up at the supermarket and who knew what was in the frosting. The bad colored frosting and sprinkles appealed to kids, but not to adults. So I set out to marry the idea of the special occasion cake with the childlike aspect of the cupcake, and that’s where the idea for Sprinkles was born. I felt like, we all have these amazing memories of cupcakes, but why do they have to just be for kids when they can also be elegant enough for adults?
What is your favorite cupcake flavor?
The dark chocolate without sprinkles, that’s my go-to flavor throughout the years. I’ll go for it more often than not, but I do have a slew of other favorite flavors. I love the strawberry and I love the banana. I love the pumpkin and the chocolate marshmallow. The peanut butter is awesome, key lime is coming up and that’s super good, and the German chocolate is incredible. I mean, there are so many to choose from, when I get sick of one, I just kind of rotate on to the others. But dark chocolate is usually the one I’m reaching for.