Cupcakes truly are taking over the world. The trend of cupcakeries that started in cities is continuing to spread in the suburbs and smaller towns, with continued success; one such establishment is Stanwood Cupcakes in Washington. I recently caught up with owner Cyndy for some sweet talk about her business:
To break the ice: tell me. What is the last amazing dessert or baked good you ate? It was a crème brulee that had been made just perfectly with the top torched and just a dollop of whipped cream on top. I'm a sucker for the creamy desserts!
Stanwood Cupcakes. Tell me baby, what's your story? About 2 years ago I became aware of the growing interest in a couple of cupcake shops in Seattle. I began to follow their growth and I started to have cupcakes delivered to my Seattle friends for celebrations. A year ago, my husband and I took a car trip to Ashland Oregon and decided to stop at every cupcake store on the way back to Stanwood that showed up on our GPS. We tried a cupcake at over 15 different cupcake shops on that trip. Last summer, all the right things happened for us to get into the business ourselves. I started to overwhelm my neighbors with cupcake samples and got great feedback on the good and bad of my cupcakes. After loads of paperwork, lots of equipment orders and hundreds of cupcake bakings, my husband and I opened our shop in October of 2010. We believed that Stanwood needed a happy place to drop in for a cupcake, cookie or hand-dipped ice cream and we're glad that we created just that place.
(CakeSpy Note: P.S. here are a few shots of Cyndy and her husband David...one from 1968 and one from since opening the cupcake shop! Which one is sweeter?!? I can't say!)
What is your most popular flavor right now? Our most frequently purchased cupcake right now is the S'mores. Graham cracker crust, chocolate cake filled with marshmallow frosting, topped with a swirl of ganache, a pile of marshmallow frosting, a sprinkle of graham craker crust and finally a square of chocolate.
What made you decide to take the jump to opening a retail storefront? My husband and I were both available to put all our time into our shop and the timing was right!
Are you professionally trained or self taught as a baker? I am a self taught baker pulling lots of guidance and tips from being a food network junkie. When I watch the food network, I pretty much go into a zombie mode, shutting out the world around me, taking in all the techniques and recipes.
Describe a "perfect" cupcake to me. A perfect cupcake is moist, flavorful, well balanced with frosting to cake ratio and appealing to the eye.
I've never sampled Cascade Glacier ice cream, but it's your house brand of ice cream. What makes it cream of the crop? We sampled several local brands to ice cream looking for creaminess, incredible flavor and that refreshing uplift that should come with ice cream. Cascade Glacier, from the Oregon Ice Cream Company, got our highest marks all around. It never lets you down.
Some people like to say that cupcakes are "so over". What is your response? Cupcakes are "new" to Stanwood and our goal is to help Stanwood and Camano Island residents learn the delightful joys of cupcakes.
In your opinion, what is the ideal cake-to-frosting ratio for a cupcake? For most cupcakes, the best ration for cake-to-frosting is 2/3rds to 1/3rd.
I didn't fail to notice that there is a "Cyndy's Famous" chocolate chip cookie on the menu. What makes these cookies so special? As a kid, I started making these same chocolate chip cookies and have raised 3 kids on them. At every church and school function, they were always a hit and neighbors and visiting children always asked for more. My son was amazed and delighted to see these cookies featured at our shop.
For more information, visit stanwoodcupcakes.com