Piece of (Cup)cake

Has the state of the economy got you down? Is your house worth less than your furniture? Are you so tired of politicians that you don’t care who approves the message? Try smearing a bit of buttercream on your troubles, Bunky, and you’ll be skipping down the sunny side of the street.

Judging from the number of cupcake shops popping up across the valley, a lot of us seem to be doing just that: seeking solace in strawberry — and chocolate and vanilla and nearly any other flavor you can imagine. In fact, Pamela Jenkins, owner of The Cupcakery at 9680 S. Eastern Ave. and 7155 W. Lake Mead Blvd., figures it’s one business that may be pretty close to recession-proof.

"I think people are going to eat sweets if they’re happy or if they’re depressed," said Jenkins, who opened her Eastern Avenue flagship in January 2006 and since has expanded outside Las Vegas to Texas. "They can drown their sorrows a little bit. They come in and have a cupcake and feel better about themselves."

Laura Qualls, owner/manager of Cupcake Lane Bakery, 9809 W. Flamingo Road, said the genius of cupcakes hit her one night while dining out. All of the dessert selections, she recalled, "had to do with these huge pieces of cake." And then it struck her: "Cupcakes would be perfect here." With the legal details just about completed, she plans to begin selling franchises.

Brian and Kari Haskell decided to open Retro Bakery, at 7785 N. Durango Drive, because, as a stay-at-home mother, she was looking for a business the whole family could do together. Like the others, she had heard about the popularity of cupcakes in other parts of the country — those from the Magnolia Bakery in New York even figured prominently in episodes of "Sex and the City" — and decided that the business would be perfect.

But while they all sell cupcakes, each shop has a different niche, something besides geography — most are in different parts of the valley — that sets them apart. Mad Hatter Cupcakes, which is close to Cupcake Lane at 4195 S. Grand Canyon Parkway, offers design-your-own options, in which the customers can choose the cupcake flavor, the filling, frosting and an edible or nonedible decoration.

There also is a list of signature flavors, such as mocha latte, which is a coffee cupcake with chocolate ganache filling and java bean frosting. The cupcakes sell for $3.25 each, or $36 a dozen.

Kari Haskell said Retro Bakery is "flavor-based"; its goal is to have "totally different flavors." One unusual feature is a Dairy-Queen-style dip, in which the swirl of icing atop the cupcake is dipped into butterscotch dip or chocolate ganache. Her most popular flavor, she said, is Hopscotch, which is a vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing dipped into butterscotch.

Haskell also does flavors of the month. The September feature — apple cider — proved to be so popular that she plans to keep it on the schedule through the winter.

October’s flavor of the month is red rum, which is red chocolate cake with a mini-Snickers baked inside, topped with rum-flavored buttercream and French burnt peanuts. Retro’s cupcakes sell for $2.50 each, or $27 for a dozen.

Qualls said Cupcake Lane’s niche is that it will accommodate last-minute orders — "Things happen," she said — and also that the shop tries to inject a little educational element. Cupcake Lane’s cupcakes are named after streets or other locations. When adding new flavors, staffers do research and share it in a newsletter. When customers clamored for German chocolate they named it South Fork, representing Texas, which Qualls said has the highest German population in the United States. The shop also does pull-apart cakes — cupcakes that are grouped together with a unifying design across the tops of all. (They’ve done a Stratocaster guitar, for example.) She also sells special dog-friendly cupcakes.

Cupcake Lane’s most popular flavor, she said, is Savannah Street, which is red velvet, followed by Lombard Street, chocolate cake with whipped-cream filling and a chocolate fudge top with a curlicue. The cupcakes sell for $2.50 each, $27.50 for a dozen.

Jenkins said her most popular flavor has always been Southern Belle, which is a red-velvet cupcake. The Cupcakery also does flavors of the month and lavishly decorated collections for holidays. Regular cupcakes are $2.75 each, $30 for a dozen.

They all said their customers are a broad mix. Haskell said she gets a lot of weddings from out-of-town brides who find Retro’s Web site; Jenkins said she sells a lot to businesses who want to market their own businesses because "everybody loves a cupcake, so it really works for everybody." Her favorite customers are a busload of seniors from a local nursing home who come in on weekends for cupcakes and coffee.

And lest you wonder if they’re feeling the effects of the recession, they said that so far, they really aren’t.

"There is a joy level with cupcakes that always makes people smile," Qualls said.

Haskell said she’s not worried.

"It does make you feel better," she said, "to eat a cupcake."

Contact reporter Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like