Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Proper Way to Eat a Cupcake

Take Note: I am not taking "credit" for the information that I am about to share with you all. Shout out to Wes at the Farmer's Market for showing me the proper way to consume a cupcake...this skill has proved invaluable.

 There are more ways than one to "skin a cat" (eat a cupcake).I
have been privy to some pretty excellent cupcake eating advice. The dilemma with a cupcake is that it's top heavy. Cupcakes are petite cakes topped with mounds of buttercream (should be anyways) and the issue's really difficult to get that perfect cake to buttercream ratio when you eat it (by taking a gigantic bite)...I will now show you the proper way to eat a cupcake...

choose said cupcake to enjoy
     feast upon the cupcake with your eyes first (the right cupcake will appeal to your visual senses first...or should)
once you make your must disrobe your cupcake...peel it's little wrapper off very's delicate

this will sound brutal...tear the bottom portion of your cupcake off (your cupcake should be in 2 pieces at this point)

smell the freshly broken should smell sweet and it should be moist (dry cupcakes are one wants a sad cupcake)


place the bottom half of the cupcake atop the upper half

you should now be gazing at a "cupcake sandwich"

embrace your "cupcake sandwich" with both hands


you've worked hard for raise those "cupcake sandwich" filled hands to your mouth

open your mouth and insert your "cupcake sandwich"'ve earned it

Desserts in general should be consumed with etiquette and poise. Proper desserts should envelope each of the 5 (sometimes 6) senses. You should be visually attracted to your chosen dessert and you should be pleased by it's aroma. The events unfolding around you should be audible to you as you eat your appealing dessert (music, the whir of the mixer, conversations unfolding around you), you should feel the texture of your treat with both fingers and mouth, and it should taste like angel kisses...The process of eating dessert should be eventful...a moment in time where something as simple as a cupcake (torte, candy, ice cream...anything sugary sweet) has the ability to take you from the mundane of every day life...and turn it into sheer pleasure...Life is sweet

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gooey Love

Signature Salted Caramel muse
 Cupcakes these days are a dime a dozen...everyone knows someone who makes how does someone (such as myself) get ahead in the competetive world of cupcakes?


How do you become the best?


I am a from scratch cupcakery and I have created each of my 70 (and counting) flavors with my own two hands...I do not take shortcuts...I make my own compotes, preserves, crusts, curds, candies and caramels, however, I am not above "Googling" recipes or "YouTubing" how to pipe the world of baking...practice makes perfect...and no one is perfect (especially me ;)...

I've been hawking my tiny cakes at the market for a year now...each Saturday I come armed with anywhere from 6 to 15 dozen (depending on the time of  year) to sell...sometimes I sell out and sometimes I come home with a few dozen...(awesome thing about cupcakes...they aren't just real hard to give away ;) that year I've been asked a few times about my caramel sauce...people want to know if I make it and how they can get recently jarred my caramel sauce "Gooey Love"...and my customers near and far can take a sustainable piece of The Wild Cupcake home with them...and put it on ice cream, popcorn, cookies, chicken or even in their coffee...I will now walk you through the process of caramel making...

Let me say this...caramel is a beautiful thing...and it's made with very few ingredients, however, it is difficult to master...there's this moment when the sugar turns this beautiful amber color and it smells slightly burnt...very caramel sauce is made with:


light corn syrup (to prevent crystalization)
heavy cream
unsalted butter

I combine my sugar, water & a dash of light corn syrup in a pot (I have a specific pot that I use on a specific burner...when I alter the pots or the burners...I end up with a hot mess...not caramel). Caramel is literally the carmelization of sugar and adding water helps me to keep an eye on the process...but it's not absolutely necessary per-say. I do not own a candy thermometer I "eye ball" the magic moment that the sugar carmelizes. Once it's carmelized (check out the picture above) I add my butter, turn off the burner and remove the pot, and then I pour my cream in. The cream should be added in one steady stream and mixed gingerly simultaneously with a wooden will foam...but the foam will settle and the ingredients will incorporate...and then you will have caramel...if it cracks you did it wrong, if the ingredients do not did it wrong, if it's did it wrong...keep trying until you get it right...

Jarring the caramel was a bit of a challenge (seeing as how I'd never jarred anything before). I can't really describe the canning process in great's pretty simple...I used a canning system, boiled a lot of water, added my sealed jars and boiled them for 10 minutes...when I pulled my jars out...the tops's a beautiful sound really (the sound of success)...POP!!! The jars are super hot and need to be left untouched for like 12 hours...the caramel separates (because of all the delicious dairy fats) when left unjiggled...the jar just needs a quick shake to distribute the ingredients evenly...

Here it is...the finished product...caramel made by The Wild Cupcake...this business has taken me in so many directions...I'm passionate about my cupcakes and my reputation. I make a phenomenol product (and yes...I'm ok saying that out loud). But it hasn't come easy or without heartache...I work anywhere from 40 to 80 hours per week depending on the order load...but it is so liberating being able to create such a wonderful piece of handcrafted's worth every single stressful moment, caramel scald, sleepless night and tear shed...I absolutely love what I do and can't wait to spend a life time doing it

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cowboy Chic

A few months ago I was approached at my table at the farmer's market about doing a be honest...this happens quite often...yes...I do weddings, showers (baby and bridal), special deliveries, special orders, sell on a daily basis..etc. However, this inquiry was unique in that the to-be bride actually did contact me about doing cupcakes for her wedding.

She explained to me that her reception was to be at the farmer's market (love this) and that her colors were a rich red and a maize yellow...lots of burlap and fresh flowers...she had an awesome idea of having 3 different sizes of cupcakes (teeny, standard & jumbo) displayed and she wanted the giant cupcake as their "cutting" cake...needless to say...this swanky cowboy chic wedding was right up my cupcake alley...

Ferrell Wedding

She decided on the flavors and wanted to incorporate cowboy boots and horse shoes in her table setting...Don't tell the bride...but it made me a bit nervous...I didn't really know how I was going to create teeny fondant cowboy boots and horse shoes...and have them not look tacky...The Wild Cupcake does not do tacky...seriously. And then it dawned on me...why fight what you do best...incorporate natural elements and work with what you have...

In order to achieve the proper table setting I contracted my dear friend Liz (you now her to build and create a 3 tier shabby chic cupcake stand...after an hour long trip to Lowe's...and a few days...Liz presented me with this lovely display...there are few people in this world that I rely on...I have standards and a reputation to uphold...if I contract any part of a job to better believe that my butt's on the line...and I wouldn't put my butt in just anyone's hands...

As most of you know...The Wild Cupcake currently resides at Rebecca's Gourmet Cafe and Bakery at 303 Metcalf st. in down town New Bern, NC. I figured that the giant cupcake would be somewhat of a challenge...I can bake my brains out...but my piping skills are minimal at best...I asked Rebecca to create a giant cupcake worthy enough for a bride and groom to cut on their wedding day...and she certainly did          
The wedding preparation (baking, decorating, displaying and creating) took approx. 18 hours to fulfill...weddings are stressful...regardless of how grand or quaint the reception is...each bride and groom has their own set of specifications and their own ideas of perfection...the cake table is a huge deal...i want to express my sincerest thanks for entrusting this moment of your lives to The Wild Cupcake.

Overall...I learned a valuable's imperative to contract out any job that you can't or do not have time to complete...I'm forming a Wild Cupcake posse complete with DIY mavens, Rebecca Clanton (freakin' big deal) and good friends to share late nights with...mad love Jenny...thanks for sticking it out...

 <-----The final set up...complete with horse shoes and cowboy boots...boom...

Congrats again to Mr. & Mrs. Ferrell...

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I felt the necessity to share my last experience (the Farmer's Market Cupcake Wars) in order to share my newest experience...On March 13th I joined an amazing group of local restaurants for the Taste of Coastal Carolina
which is an annual event that benefits the Neuse River Keeper's Foundation. The NRF is a foundation that helps keep the Neuse River clean and functioning...pretty big deal.

The participating restaurants were to bring samples and tastes of what their menu has to offer for the 550 attendees to try (imagine a vast smorgasbord of every type of dish your favorite local restaurants serve). Each attendee was also given a ballot upon entering the event to vote for their favorite restaurants...with categories that included; favorite overall restaurant, best new restaurant, best soup, best appetizer, best dessert, best entree and best a la carte.

After the Farmer's Market "Pride Squashing" cupcake war...the thought of being entered into any type of competition or judging...made my heart beat real fast...
Instead of stressing the judging and voting portion of the evening I chose to concentrate on making 2,000 teeny cupcakes in a variety of flavors...I don't know what was going through my mind thinking that the goal I had set for myself would even be obtainable...but then I realized...I wasn't alone in all of this...

I would like to introduce to you my very good friend, Amy.
The Taste was on a Tuesday and I had to start the cupcake baking process Monday morning...she showed up at my door with a smile on her face and absolutely no fear in her eyes in regards to the challenge that lay ahead...she single handedly cored 1,000 mini cupcakes (the final cupcake count was right at 1,300) and not once did she complain...after 8 hours of grueling back breaking baking ;)...she left for the night and promised me she'd return the next morning...and return she did...I love you, Amy

Up next, April...
Until that fateful day I had handmade each and every card...I printed them off at home, hand cut them, made cupcake stickers and stuck those to each individual card...needless to was a time consuming process (they were adorable, but took forever)...I had nothing to give to potential clients or future customers at the Taste
(I had run out of hand made cards)...April volunteered to make cards for me using the logo that The Courtesy Press (which she co-owns) had created for me months before...she showed up Tuesday afternoon as promised and showed me the finished product...
<------peep's the official logo of The Wild Cupcake
Not only did April create like 250 cards for me...but she walked in my house and began the cleaning can imagine the type of mayhem 1,300 cupcakes generates...I left for the Taste with a sparkling clean kitchen because of April...thank you...for everything.

And then there's amazing sister in law...
She's an RN and she works alot...she rearranged her schedule and her life...just to be present for me during such an event (recap my anxiety in regards to tasting...Bear Harvest Cupcake Wars really bummed me out...poor me)...she showed up in her awesome Honda Element...and we transported 1,300 teeny cupcakes in the back of her vehicle...I mentioned to her that the temperature should remain cool...because I didn't want the cupcakes to melt in transit...ummm...we arrived at the convention center and she gets out of her car...shivering...she kept it cold cold...Thanks Tereza...I love you always..."   ". I call her
She is an inspirational DIY genius and I asked her to set my table for me...I believe that you eat with your eyes first...and if you win a potential client over with a first impression...then you've won 1/2 the battle...she came prepared with a a giant bin of table setting goods...burlap, books, lemons, pete moss, doilies...all things synonymous with had quite a few compliments on my table setting...and I must admit that it looked phenomenol, but I really can't take credit for anything except the edible treats (and even that's shared credit)...thanks Liz...Pinned...

After our scheduled set up time we went home and got all dolled up...
Here we are after the 48 hour one needs to know that I was sweating like a man or that I hadn't slept in days...everyone looks better with a smile...and a shower...the whole event was kind of a blur...there was alot of talking, people, people talking, eating...lots of eating...and voting...

 <-------This is the final set up...this is the set up Liz created, the cupcakes that Amy and I created, the cards that April made and the bricks that are holding up each of my signs (thanks Tereza)...there it entire team's worth of one picture...I love each of you in different ways...thank you for being there for me when I needed you...thank you for allowing me the opportunity to realize my dream...without y'all...that night would not have been as successful as it was...mad love

P.S. I think it should be known that The Wild Cupcake won 3rd in the overall best new restaurant category and 1st in the desserts category...yes...that feels more than amazing to say...but this victory wouldn't feel nearly as good as it does without my friends to bask in the victory with...take it in girls...I love you all...


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I have so much to say...
To begin...I must start on January 21st..."Harvest Bear Cupcake Wars". Scenario: vendors (bakers) from the New Bern Farmer's Market participate to raise awareness and community involvement (to let people know that the market is open year round). The brain child of this whole operation belongs to a young man by the name of John (you can see him at the market every Saturday helping out his mom at Sea Glass Cafe or taking donations for the flag pole). I can honestly say that I am super impressed with this young lad...he had this entire scheme of who, what, when, where and why...ummm...I did not have the mental capacity at his age to organize such an event...With some assistance the criteria for the competition were outlined and it is as follows (I admit that I rage deleted all of the emails in regards to the rules and regulations...immature...I know):
  • a variety of 3 cupcakes (1 a bear would eat, 1 from a vegetable you can find at the market and 1 of the participant's choosing)
  •  Cupcakes were to be decorated with a "bear" theme
  • set up must have been completed by 8:00 (judging was scheduled for 8:15)
  • display must hold 6 dozen cupcakes (or most of them)
  • display was to be no larger than  20 inches wide by 40 inches high?
Judging criteria (let me be clear...there were no categories):
  • taste and texture
  • followed directions
  • decoration
  • display
In total there were 5 participants...and I came in 2nd (that hurts)

I will now use this fancy blog as my sounding board...b/c it sucked...
There were 3 judges from the community and each participant was given the opportunity to present their product and the judges were given the opportunity to view each participant's display...I proudly displayed all of my hard work and effort to each judge and I presented my cupcakes to the judges for tasting...with a smile, of course. Customers were able to purchase a 1/2 dozen box for $8.00 and fill their box from each participating vendor (pretty sweet deal ;). I want this to be clear...I love The New Bern Farmer's Market...and I adore each vendor...At the end of the day they announced the winner...and I had come in 2nd :(.
Let me explain why this "hurt" so badly...I am The Wild's all I do...I only do cupcakes...if I'm not the best at cupcakes at the market...then what am I doing? I am a perfectionist and I get nervous each time I make a delivery to a client...I want them to love it...and I felt like I wasn't good enough...but then it dawned on me...I am The Wild Cupcake...I'm not going to let a competition stop me from pursuing my dreams.  

<-----In order to explain the events accurately...I must share with you this amazing bestie here in NC...the entire week of the competition I was super busy with orders and what not...I didn't have a spare moment to create a display worthy of competition...she showed up that Saturday at 7:30 in the morning and put together an amazing display (the Friday night before the competition...I shoved a whole bunch of "Stuff" into a box and I was going to "wing" it) and kept me grounded the entire time...You see...she's my friend...regardless of how well I do...or how happy or sad I am...she's there for me with a smile on her face and sweat on her brow...ready to help...I <3 you Amy...thank you for everything.

Overall...I wouldn't change a thing...I feel as if I presented a product true to my standards and display was wedding worthy...and I had amazing company to share my victory only regret...not getting my own $8.00 box to drown my sorrows in ;)...

Friday, January 6, 2012


Baking and decorating is a scary ultimate goal is for my client to be thrilled (not just satisfied or happy...but thrilled). Each order that I receive and fill adds a new element of uncertainty...I always welcome a challenge...but there's always a certain level of anxiety whenever I deliver a product. Not only do I have to complete said project in a timely manner...I have to deliver the product in one piece...or get it. Hours of preparation go into a single order...there's fondant work, buttercream, baking and design...oh yeah...and delivery...Every single time I load my car with an order I take a deep calming breath (each order has it's own challenges...and any number of things could go wrong)...and hold it until I get it to said delivery location in one piece...

And then...the inevitable COULD happen...
The first picture posted was the 1st finished product...I had successfully baked and decorated a dozen cupcakes for a precious little girl named, Annabelle (her mother comes to the market and she's one of many clients I enjoy chatting with...shout out to Beth!!!). I was loading the car and my husband was going with me to make my delivery...I was flustered...the kids were taking their sweet time getting their shoes on, my stupid GPS was being...stupid...and I had the precious dozen rested neatly on my lap...and then disaster struck...I shifted and the box fell...I saw it in slow motion...I saw the beautiful little petite treats slide down my legs and hit the floor...along with my humor, sense of accomplishement, hours of work...and not to mention my deadline...I immediately called my client and let her know what happened (honesty is always the best option). She was so sweet and understanding about it...she told me not to worry that I could bring them later. There was no time to pout (and I realllllyyy wanted to) I put my apron back on, sucked up my pride and got right back to work. Thank goodness I had baked an extra dozen and I was able to salvage some of the flowers...all I had to do was make buttercream and dress the new batch...
The third picture <----- is the product I actually client was very pleased with her order and I was pretty impressed with myself (high five)...baking can be pretty risky gotta have your game face on...annnnd your oven...just in case ;)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hot Wheels...Leadin The Way...

I find cake decorating to be a daunting task. I have issues with perfection and the way things "should" look & when I look at this picture all I see are the imperfections...

Let me list them for you:
  • the little black & white balls aren't perfectly symmetrical
  • the cake was leaning...literally
  • I have water spots you can visibly see (that's how I make my fondant stick to fondant)
  • I free handed nothing is perfectly straight
  • my icing wasn't even my fondant was a bit "wavy"
  • my hot wheels signature blue was a bit off
Some of you may think I'm being a bit hard on myself...seeing as how I've only done 2 cakes...but to me...I'm making myself better...improving each day...cakes aren't my passion (if you're looking for an amazing cake...check out and you can be guaranteed a beautiful and delicious cake). My passion is the marriage of flavors...that's why cupcakes make the most sense...I get to experiment with flavor combinations and make them look beautiful at the same time...I did this Hot Wheels cake as a favor to a friend...she entrusted me with her son's 5th birthday cake...that's why I'm blogging about it...this cake was a fluke...

I'm a bit of a "Wild Card"...get it?