Thursday, May 17, 2012

cupcake sundaes!

Did you hear the news!? my little cupcake now has a creemee machine at our Essex bakery! Could anything be better than cupcakes AND ice cream??
ashley and a delicious creemee!
We offer creemees Thursdays through Sundays to our loyal customers. We have two flavors: vanilla and chocolate (and of course the twist!) and you can choose sprinkles to top them on either a cone or in a cup. We even offer cupcake sundaes! Choose your favorite flavor cupcake and top it with your choice of ice cream and toppings! Yum!
Creemees are specific to Vermont and parts of upstate New York. Other states know creemees as soft-serve ice cream. While they may look the same on the outside, there are subtle differences between creemees and soft-serve ice cream: a creemee has a higher butterfat content than regular soft-serve. But that’s fine by us-they are just so delicious!
So bring the family, bring your friends, and start your summer off right with cupcakes and a creemee!
4 carmichael street, suite 101, essex junction, vt (open mon-tues 11-6; wed-thurs 10-6; fri-sat 10-8; and sun 11-4)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

time really does fly when you are having fun.

As the saying goes, "time flies when you are having fun," and I do believe this is true. Back in January, I started as a marketing intern for my little cupcake, and now it is April, marking the end of my journey here. It truly has been quite the journey. I came into the store knowing one thing, I love food, and I love cupcakes. Ever since I was eleven, I have known I wanted to go into the food industry; I wanted to be a part of making people happy through food. Working as a marketing intern for a bakery just brought me one step closer to that goal.

Image taken by yours truly

I will admit, at first it wasn't easy, walking in every day and seeing an array of cupcakes in front me (pictured above). I was very tempted to eat every tray of cupcakes I saw. And man oh man, it wasn't easy not to. Even as I write this, I am happily munching on a red velvet cupcake! Check out the picture below of me and the lucky mini. I can promise all of you hungry cupcake lovers, it was quite delicious.

That's me!

Once I got past the initial desire to consume every cupcake in sight, I was able to get down to work. My main responsibility was working on this blog. Creating the content and having fun posts for you dedicated cupcake followers to read. It might have been my favorite part of the internship. I love to write, especially about anything food related, and this allowed me to do it weekly! I loved this so much, I am determined to find a way to continue writing a weekly blog this summer. You never know, I might pop up where you least expect me.

Besides the blog, I was able to help out with a variety of things. I worked with my supervisor, Meghan, who is the manager of the Burlington store, on a few different projects. Some days I would get to doodle and try and figure out a fun coupon design. Other times I would work on market research, like when I worked on the survey we did recently. I also found myself cutting lots of frequent buyer cards, almost weekly actually. While I received a funny dent in my thumb from the scissors, I quite enjoyed cutting the cards at times. I am a perfectionist and cutting the cards allowed me to focus intently on getting as close to perfectly straight lines as I could. I will admit, after a while, cutting those cards became somewhat therapeutic. I was forced to concentrate, and ended up relaxing while I was concentrating. It was my mini break during the day.

In late February, I was told that I would get to start working on the monthly newsletter. To me this felt like a mini-blog. Instead of one feature story, I got to write four shorter stories. One of my favorite things to write about was the featured cupcake. I got to try the flavor- quality control, enhance my knowledge, something of the sort- so I could write about it. I had to learn the ins and outs of the flavor I was featuring, and eating it was the only way I could think of to do that. Trust me, I wasn't complaining. :) 

That being said, today is my last day at my little cupcake. It is an interesting feeling; somewhat sad because I will miss the wonderful people I have met here. It truly has been a blast getting to know everyone, and being constantly exposed to delicious cupcakes. On the other hand, it has been an amazing experience here, and the end of my internship does not mean I am never coming back for cupcakes. It only means that I will continue on to new things and keep learning from them all. So, in the end, it is bittersweet. I will miss the bakery, but I am curious to see where life takes me next. It definitely has been quite the journey, and I am thankful that my little cupcake was part of that journey, bringing me one step closer to my goal.

stay sweet,

my little intern

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We love coffee.

It is no secret that here at my little cupcake we love sweets. We clearly love cupcakes, but we also love pairing our cupcakes with delicious drinks. We remember the times when we were younger and a glass of milk was the perfect choice. But as we have grown, our tastes have changed and our choice of beverage has changed. Now, we love coffee with our cupcakes! (but we still have milk for those who still prefer it!)

Image courtesy of my little cupcake

In both of our bakeries we sell local, artisan-roasted coffee from Black River Roasters. Black River Roasters specializes in "organic and Fair Trade certified coffees, as well as ultra-premium coffees sourced from small-yield cooperatives and estates." It is a socially responsible company that wants to provide a delicious cup of coffee in environmentally friendly ways. Black River Roasters is located in Burlington, Vermont and New Jersey. Here at the bakery, we have our own special "bakery blend" that we french press for customers. It's strong with some fruity undertones- and perfect with that mini cupcake.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Not many of our customers know that we have espresso drinks in our Burlington store too! We can make you a straight shot of espresso for that afternoon pick-me-up, a latte, or a foamy cappucino.  You should try one of our flavor shots next time you come in to get a latte-we have vanilla, hazelnut, or caramel for that extra oomph in your drink. We even have chai lattes! We'll try to draw you a fun picture in the foam, like this yin-yang that one of our girls drew for the manager's morning latte:

So come in and try our hot beverages- but remember to enjoy it with your favorite cupcake (or cupcakes!).

stay sweet,

my little cupcake

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A very happy unbirthday to you!

Here at my little cupcake, we just love celebrating birthdays. In fact, we even have a cupcake called birthday cake (pictured below)! It is a vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream and rainbow sprinkles.

Courtesy of my little cupcake

This week we were lucky enough to celebrate two birthdays in house. Michelle and Stephanie, the co-owners of my little cupcake, celebrated both of their birthdays two days apart! This past Tuesday was Michelle's birthday, and today is Stephanie's birthday! That makes the next 360-some-odd-days their unbirthday! So if you come in today, wish Stephanie a very happy birthday. If you come in tomorrow....wish our entire staff a happy UNbirthday. 

Don't forget, if it is your birthday, then come in for a free mini cupcake (with proof on your ID!). If it isn't your birthday, then a very happy unbirthday to you!

Courtesy of google images

Stay sweet,

my little cupcake

Thursday, March 22, 2012

spreading some love

my little cupcake is proud to be a part of the chittenden county community with locations in both essex junction and burlington. since we’ve opened in january of 2011, we have been able to donate to so many terrific charities and local events and continue to do so into 2012. each month, several donation requests come in to our email inbox, each appealing for donations of cupcakes or gift certificates.  so far, we’ve been able to donate thousands of dollars worth of cupcakes to help our community and its organizations thrive to achieve their missions and give back to the community we all love.
many of our customers ask what we do with the leftover cupcakes at the end of the day if they don’t sell. we know that you’d love to buy discounted cupcakes but we’re giving those cupcakes to people in need! in 2011 alone, my little cupcake was able to donate over $3,000 worth of cupcakes to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. we continue to donate to the food shelf when we have leftover cupcakes at the end of the day.

Image courtesy of my little cupcake

last fall we were also proud to give back to those who were hurt by the irene catastrophe. 10% of our sales for the first weekend in september were donated to the Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund.  since opening our new store in downtown burlington, we’ve also been able to donate cupcakes to the Burlington Housing Authority and the families of the Vermont National Guard. gift certificates have also been donated for silent auctions to support C.U.F.F Cancer (partnering with Camp Ta-Kum-Ta) and the Stella Thomas Fund, a fund created to help a local family whose newborn was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer.
we take pride in our community and while we cannot fulfill every request that comes in for donations, we do what we can to help!
to learn more about the organizations my little cupcake has donated to, please click on the links above and feel free to help!  if you’d like my little cupcake to donate to your organization, please visit our website to find our donation request form and send it on over!

stay sweet,
my little cupcake

Friday, March 16, 2012

Luck be a cupcake.

This Saturday, March 17, is the greenest day of the year. That's right, it's St. Patrick's Day. And like every year, people will be celebrating with Irish themes and explosions of green. Burlington will be celebrating all weekend with Irish music, dance, and other heritage events. S.D. Ireland Concrete will be showing off their spirit with a cement truck parade down Main Street! Here at my little cupcake, we are getting in the spirit too! Just check out Edward. He is definitely enjoying being a leprechaun this week:

Image courtesy of my little cupcake

The holiday spirit doesn't stop there. It is so contagious that our display case has little shamrocks all over it. Even our glitter deer are starting to turn into spirited leprechauns...

Image courtesy of my little cupcake

Everyone is getting excited. The Irish tunes have been picked out, and the cupcake flavors have been chosen. Those lucky flavors include chocolate mint, lucky charm, Bailey's irish cream, and green velvet. Of course, what would St. Patrick's Day be without a stout cupcake made with Guinness beer? And if that doesn't make your day complete, the manager of our Burlington store, Meghan, might just do a jig for you (she's a folk dancer on her days off). Imagine cupcakes, music, and spirited employees to get your St. Patty's Day fun started!  If you are having trouble picturing it, maybe an image of our stout cupcakes from last year will help:

Image courtesy of our Facebook

Stop by on Saturday for the full my little cupcake St. Patrick's Day experience. Maybe you will get lucky and see Meghan doing a jig. Hope to see you there showing off your green!

Stay sweet,

my little cupcake

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Purple and green and gold, oh my!

Every year, for the past 17 years, Burlington hosts its annual Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade, which is taking place this Saturday, March 3rd. It is a day of music, comedy, costumes, and fun. It is a spectacle to top all spectacles. The parade brings people from all walks of life together to celebrate this colorful day. Purple, green, and gold are spread across the streets of Burlington in the forms of beads, masks, and spirit. The story goes, that "Rex, the King of Carnival, assigned meaning to the colors in 1892. Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power," as told by the official New Orleans Mardi Gras page. Purple, green, and gold are still the theme in modern Mardi Gras celebrations. Across all of Burlington, everything is smattered with those colors. Local shops have already started getting in the spirit. We at my little cupcake have even caught the Mardi Gras bug.

Image courtesy of a my little cupcake employee

Pictured above is just one of the Mardi Gras themed treats that we will be offering this weekend. The tie-dye cakepop picture above is a gold, purple, and green vanilla cake dipped in white chocolate! We will also have mini cupcakes (with the same color theme), and a mini beignet donut on top of some others.  To round out the Mardi Gras traditions, we will have king cake cupcakes. King cake is a traditional Mardi Gras dessert. The tradition goes that a plastic trinket, usually a baby, is stuffed inside the cake, which is then covered in icing. We will be making our cupcakes minus the plastic trinket, but with plenty of festive spirit. And these days, everyone is getting in the spirit, including our loyal employee Edward Cullen:

Image courtesy of our twitter

So if you are around this Saturday, come check out the Mardi Gras festivities. Snow or shine, we will be here with cupcakes and smiles.

Stay sweet,

my little cupcake

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our little newsletter

Today marks the creation of our first newsletter*. In it you will find information on upcoming events and recent announcements. It will be released once a month towards the end of the month. A sample of something you might see is a post about our upcoming music night.

We are calling it our little coffeehouse. One of our talented employees, Danielle Judson, will be performing live acoustic music next Thursday, March 1, from 6:00-7:30pm. It will be a lot of fun, and a great way to relax with some good music, and yummy cupcakes. It will be the first of many music nights to come. So come on down. We can't wait to see you!

Stay sweet,

my little cupcake

*If you would like to sign-up for our newsletter please comment below with your email address.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The History of the Cupcake

Most of the time when you think of cupcakes, you probably think of a fun alternative to a birthday cake. But where do these cupcakes come from? Where did it all begin? Most devoted cupcake-eaters would be surprised to learn that cupcakes did not originate as individually portioned cakes. Their name has two derivatives, as the Food Timeline states: (1) "the first recipes used measurements by the cup to create these cakes," and (2) "These cakes were originally baked in cups that could withstand oven temperatures, to save time,". Cupcakes were sometimes referred to as 1234 cakes to help bakers remember the recipes. The numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 corresponded with ingredient measurements. The original ingredients were similar to that of pound cakes, making these cakes quite decadent. Small pound cakes were quite popular in England during the 18th century, but they were referred to as Queen cakes. They were both individually portioned cakes, but ingredients and uses varied.

Image courtesy Google Images

But no one knows the true origin of cupcakes, leaving us with a lot of speculation. What we do know is the earliest recorded cupcake recipe dates back to 1796 and is as follows:

"A light Cake to bake in small cups.
Half a pound sugar, half a pound butter, rubbed into two pounds flour, one glass wine, one do. [glass] Rosewater, two do.[glass] Emptins, a nutmeg, cinnamon and currants."
---American Cookery, Amelia Simmons, 2nd edition (p. 48), 
Courtesy of The Food Timeline

This recipe seem somewhat straight forward, but slightly different from the cupcake recipes we are used to today. It is very rare to see a glass of wine in cupcake batter and the rosewater* was most likely used as a flavoring agent, but emptins-what is that? After some careful digging it was determined the emptins was a leavening agent. It's purpose was to give the cakes an lighter quality.

So how does this all sound to you? Here at my little cupcake we are very curious what those first cupcakes tasted like! Would you be willing to help out? Bake up a batch of these cakes and let us know how they come out. Exact measurements might take some tweaking, but the force will be with you. Good luck!

Stay sweet,

my little cupcake

*my little cupcake recently made rose cupcakes for Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

You can have your cupcake, and wear it too.

Did you know you can wear my little cupcake? You can wear us anytime and anywhere you want! Maybe you like wearing us at the beach, or to go bowling. You might even like wearing my little cupcake in our store. That's right devoted cupcake-eater, you can own your very own my little cupcake t-shirt! Below is a picture of one of our employees, Gabby, wearing a pink version of our signature shirt.

Image taken by my little cupcake

Our shirts also come in blue and white and men's and children's sizes. We always have a variety of sizes in stock. We even make onesies for that special little baby in your life. Now you really can call that special someone "cupcake". Along with a gift card to our bakery, it's the perfect Valentine's Day gift!

Don't have time to run to another store to get a card for your lucky valentine? Well you're in luck. Right at the end of the counter is a rack of various cards and after a few moments you find a card that is so adorably cute, you know your sweetie will smile. We even have a HUGE selection of unique pens and pencil cases! Pictured below are just some of your choices.

Image taken by my little cupcake

You have everything you could possibly need, plus a few cupcakes for yourself! All in all, a successful trip to my little cupcake.

In the future, you will remember my little cupcake for your adorable needs. There is plenty more you can get: like a coffee mug, or novelty toppers for sprucing up your cupcakes, or stickers and bags and trays, oh my! If you are daring enough, you could even grab a picture with Edward, our lovely t-shirt model and employee of the year(s).

Image taken by my little cupcake

Whatever your need,  my little cupcake will do our best to help you find the perfect gift for your little cupcake!

Stay sweet,

my little cupcake

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Once in every life

It has been said that every little girl dreams of her wedding day. She imagines the jaw-dropping gown, prince charming standing in front of her, and a reception to top all other receptions. Everything is perfect in her mind; every little detail is just so, nothing is out of place.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Okay, not everyone can have the wedding that Prince William and Kate Middleton had. But little girls still like to dream. And like every little kid, centered at the fantasy is the delicious wedding cake; what kid doesn't dream of cake? But maybe that little girl dreamt of an unusual wedding cake, something different, something unique, something special. If this girl sounds like you, then my little cupcake is the place for you. Cupcakes as wedding cakes is an up-and-coming trend, as many brides learned at the WOKO Bridal, Health & Beauty Expo this past Sunday, January 29. Cupcakes are in; they allow for more variety in cake flavors, they add a bit of whimsy to any occasion, and you can do so much with them.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Image of my little cupcake at the expo

All of this helped attract the eager brides to our table. Well that, and the three tier display of cupcakes. Our motto for the day became: "Try our cupcakes, they're not fake," which immediately earned us some laughs. But once the reviews came in, everyone was happy. Some brides already had my little cupcake in mind for their wedding, others were mighty curious. Brides, and their entourage, were excited to learn of the different applications cupcakes could have at a wedding. They can act as the main wedding cake/cake display, they can be a supporting act to the main show, or our cupcakes could be a fun twist on a dessert bar. But thats not all, one bride said that she loved the idea of cupcakes because you could have a bite, without feeling a commitment to an entire cake. We did run into a few brides who wanted to have the tradition of cutting the cake in their reception. The good news is, we offer a 6-inch cutting cake for those such brides. **

Image taken by Sarah Cutler, my little cupcake

And with that, those little girls that had dreamt of their fantasy wedding, finally got to plan it. They exchanged their traditional wedding cake for whimsical, yet elegant cupcakes, and rode off into the sunset with their prince charming. At least that is how I was told the story goes.

Stay sweet,

my little cupcake

**For more information about our wedding cupcakes, please visit our website.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

That doesn't look like a cupcake to me.

So you know that here at my little cupcake, we use local ingredients to create our mini cupcakes. Now say you get a craving for one of our delectable creations. Well, you could always venture out to our flagship store in Essex, VT (in the Essex Town Center), or you could wander over to our recently opened Burlington, VT store at 217 College Street. To make things a bit easier on you, our stores are easily recognizable by our smiling cupcake logo on our windows.

Now comes the hard part. You walk into one of the stores, and directly in front of you is a large display case with tons of cupcakes; so what do you get? I am guessing your first thought is "cupcake," but then something catches your eye...

Image courtesy of our Facebook page

Is it a lollipop? No, its a cake pop! "What is a cake pop?" you might ask. Well, think about it like a lollipop version of a cupcake. The cake and butter cream are mixed together and dipped in white or dark chocolate. Then they get covered in a complimentary topping. For instance, our salted caramel cake pop is drizzled with a salted caramel topping (pictured above). Now that sounds like good sweets.
But maybe cake pops don't sound like your thing; you are more interested in finding a more substantial dessert you can sink your teeth into. So you continue to scan the display case when you notice it: the whoopie pie. The whoopie pie is a cake sandwich. Similar to an ice cream sandwich in shape, but instead of cookies on the outside, it's cake, and instead of ice cream in the middle, it's buttercream frosting. Now that really is something you can write home to mom about. Your watch also tells you it is lunch time, so a dessert sandwich makes sense.

Image courtesy of our Facebook page

So you have made your decision, you now are the proud consumer of a delicious whoopie pie. While you are paying, it suddenly dawns on you that this evening is a friend's birthday party and you are in charge of the cake. She happens to be a vegan, and her husband is allergic to gluten. But you need to get something, so you take a risk and ask if my little cupcake has gluten-free cupcakes. The salesperson behind the counter enthusiastically responds with a yes, and directs you over to the gluten-free flavors of the day. Conveniently next to those cupcakes are some clearly labeled vegan cupcakes (like the apple cider flavor pictured below). Oh how perfect could this be? You get 12 mini cupcakes, of assorted gluten-free and vegan varieties, pay, and go on your way.**

Image courtesy of our Facebook page

As you walk away you have your not so lunchtime sandwich, the whoopie pie, in one hand, and the 12 mini cupcakes that your friend and her husband can eat for her birthday dinner later that night. And the best part? You are as happy as can be. I call that success.

Stay sweet,

my little cupcake

** the vegan and gluten-free options appear daily in our Burlington store, and occasionally in Essex- call ahead to find out!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Now that's what I call dedication.

Have you ever wondered what goes into a cupcake? There are the obvious ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, and a little bit of love, but after that, it is up to the bakers. Some might add chocolate and others might add berries, but here at my little cupcake we add a touch of local. That's right, I said local. When possible we use Vermont-made ingredients to create our bite-sized, miniature cupcakes. Our butter (and boy do we use a lot of butter) comes from none other than the Cabot Creamery, made famous by their cheese. Cabot butter comes to us straight from Cabot, VT, only about an hour east of our Burlington bakery. We're proud to support such an honest local creamery. 
Image courtesy of Google Images

Our flour comes from King Arthur himself. 
Image courtesy of Google Images
No, not that King Arthur. Our flour comes from the King Arthur Flour company. Now, I am sure you are wondering how flour can be a local ingredient. Well, devoted cupcake eater, King Arthur Flour is located about an hour and a half away in Norwich, VT. Some of these places might not seem local, but in our case, we are still able to celebrate our Vermont pride. 

We also celebrate it with chocolate! Barry Callebaut Chocolate, our chocolate supplier is located about a half hour north in St. Albans, VT.

But the fun doesn't stop there. my little cupcake tries to buy locally grown ingredients, no matter what we need to use it for. We have milk products delivered from Shadow Cross Farms, in Colchester, VT and coffee and espresso products from Black River Roasters, in Burlington, VT. We even went so far as to have our cupcake stickers created by a local label company and our mural, cupcake decals, and my little cupcake t-shirts created by New Duds, in Colchester, VT. Local is in our brand, through and through. So now it is your turn, stop by either of our shops, and see if you can sense Vermont in our brand.

Stay sweet,

my little cupcake.