Heavenly Yet Beautiful Cupcakes

Starting my own cupcake company was a thrill and I learn so much. But I yearned for the calm of taking my time to create perfect little decorations and unique flavor combinations. After selling my business, I decided to focus on teaching my craft. I hope this site will inspire you to create and indulge in one of the best and most satisfying desserts...the cupcake.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How Do You Do That?

I have been working on the How To videos and here is the first ones:

Making & Working with Buttercream
Rosettes & Piping Petals
Potted Cupcakes
Decorating Cupcakes & Cupcake Towers


Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh Bob

As my little venture has been moving along, I have been connecting with other people that are in the same position as I am. One of those people is my new friend Bob. Bob contacted me while I was still working for my old job. We exchanged emails a bit but I was too busy to really see how we could work together. 
Bob creates amazing cupcake and cake stands. I have been frustrated by the lack of design and color in cake and cupcake stands offered in stores, so Bob's work was very much appreciated. I wanted to incorporate his products with my cupcakes but I just didn't know how to go about it. It took a layoff, a week in Mexico and several conversations with Bob to figure it out. And with my new eShop on our website, Bob's stand have a new home and will be accessible to anyone who wants to buy them. During my first week as a full time Cupcake Goddess, Bob and I exchanged design ideas. He has the talent and I know what clients want. So get ready because Bob and I will be launching an exciting line of cupcake stands and cake stands on my website. 
Above is one of his original creations. Fun right? Much more interesting than plastic discs stacked on plastic rods right? Wait until we release the others!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What To Do On A Cold Day

Baking for the day is done, delivery was made early today and I can't be bothered to make myself presentable and go out. So what to do. After watching mindless TV for an hour, I caught my craft bag peeking out of my closet. I pulled it out and started looking through it. I had a burst of creative juice and it was bubbling inside of me. I took my fancy scrapbook scissors out, my funky paper and my hole punchers. Off I went. I made a mess of my floor. Which reminds me that I must allocate some time to clean my home. 
I was so in the arts and craft zone and nothing, not even the phone distracted me. Three hours went by and I was spent. I looked up and noticed that the sun was going down. I wanted to capture my masterpieces and rushed downstairs, grabbed a piece of white paper, my nifty camera, my box of dummy cupcakes and my new treasures. I open the door and ran outside to set up my little photoshoot. OMG it was cold. I dropped everything and ran back in to put on some shoes. Yes, I ran out in socks...shows you that I was still in my zone and hadn't made it back to realty yet. I put on my stylish Crocs and a scarf and ran back out. I quickly placed my cupcake dummies in my new cup wrappers I made, snapped some pictures as I shivered. I made it to 10 minutes and then my fingers went numb and I just couldn't stay outside any longer.
 Burrrrrrrrr...it's really nippy and bloody windy. There's nothing worse in my opinion. Anyhoo, here are some quick shots, maybe a bit blurry as my hand was shaking from the cold, of my new wrappers that will be on the eShop of my site soon. Thoughts? Too much? 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baby Steps

There are certain things that happen when one decides to become a full time baker. For one,  your level of fabulousity goes down...big time. My daily uniform includes sweatpants, some old white tube socks, green Crocs, my boyfriend's old t-shirts and a bright orange bandanna with frogs on it from when I was 12. My designer garments and shoes I use to strut down Connecticut Ave in have started to collect dust which depresses me so much. Especially my red Gucci stilettos I got for a steal at DSW. My hair, well, it permanently resides in a bun. Make-up, ha ha...none. The oven and mixer don't care if I have dark circles or a blemish here or there. So why bother. I wear what I wear because I learned the hard way that buttercream gets everywhere and red velvet batter stains.  I bought a cute apron in hope of keeping my self proclaimed fabulous style intact while I go through this transition. But the apron lasted a week and anything that it didn't cover was ruined. 
The transition has been a complete transition both lifestyle wise and mentally. Just yesterday I participated in a local event for brides. It was a great event. I met some wonderful people and everyone that tasted my cupcakes came back for seconds, thirds and fourths. The funny thing was that just a month ago I was the one attending events and sampling vendors' products. Now I am a vendor. I found myself joking around with Pam the bartender who had a booth next to mine. We gabbed all night about the attendees, the event and life itself. It was fun to be on the other side. I actually enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. 
My entry into the world of entrepreneurship is going well. I have had to make sacrifices like my wardrobe. But overall, so  far so good. Now I have to figure out health care and all the other details I used to take for granted when I was employed. Baby steps...I keep reminding myself....baby steps.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I am going through all my archives and found these. I made the footballs using a mold and peanut butter chocolate. The client was thrilled, and it was so easy to make.

Monday, February 9, 2009

One More

This is one we put together for Valentine's Day, it's a mock  up that is on display at ACKC.

Things To Share

Here are some orders I did before leaving and one or two from today.

This white bouquet was one of 9 for a bridal shower. I thought they came out wonderfully well.

This arrangement was one that I whipped up today for a get-well order. I wish I had added some more colors to the surrounding flowers. But lovely never the less.

This one was for a baby shower. The oversized cupcake was made with chocolate cake and some cookies to create the paper cup effect.
More to come. Keep on checking back.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Me, The Little Sea Turtle

I recently was laid off, as many others have been in the wake of this disastrous economy. Unfortunately this is not my first time. I was laid off when I was 27 years old. I had climbed the marketing ropes very quickly and found myself as the Director of Marketing for a very large global company before the age of 30. Boy was I spoiled. I was young and making more money than I knew what to do with. I lived in Beverly Hills, drove an adorable sporty car large enough to fit my shopping bags and myself. But that all ended in the Fall of 2001.  After the lay off I found myself completely over qualified for any job for a girl my age and yet completely under qualified because I was such a young Marketing Director. The blow came when a head hunter asked me to dumb down my resume so I could get an entry level position. I was horrified and am ashamed to admit that I tried one night after several glasses of wine and in tears to remove all accomplishments from my resume. But I just couldn't do it. I had worked hard to get to where I was. And yes, lucky too. I have always been lucky. But at that moment, I felt like my luck had run out. I lost everything, my apartment, my car and my cute blond haired blue eyed perfect boyfriend.  I didn't ask my parents for help nor did I crawl back to the East Coast. Instead I decided to try and survive this, but more importantly to recover on my own. I collected unemployment and took a job as a make-up artist as that was a job I did very well at when I was in college. And I survived, barely and with bouts of depression, but I survived.  I promised myself that if I ever got laid off again I would re-evaluate my life. Because once is okay, a learning experience,  but twice? Well maybe that's the universe's way to say...Paola, wake up.
So 5 years later I moved back from L.A to the East Coast after surviving a serious car accident that begged the question: What on earth are you doing so far from your family? So I packed my bags and moved back. I was lucky to find a fabulous marketing job and my life didn't skip a beat. And I will brag just a tad here, I am a fabulous creative marketing diva. I love everything about marketing. I did very well at my new company. But, honestly, I never thought I would stay there long because I wanted to create my own legacy. I felt that I needed to do something on my own. I knew I had the creative talent to do it...but I just didn't know what that "it" was. And then it happened and it was the aftermath of an ad I developed for my company. I was asked by my boss to create a bridal ad using a beautiful 9 carat ring. Yes, I did try it on and I left it on while I ate my lunch the day of the photoshoot. It was my moment of fantasy even though I never could imagine myself owning something the size of an ice skating rink. I decided what better way to showcase this ring than to make a little fun of it. Now, a little side note here. I had just moved from Los Angeles where cupcakes had just hit the streets of Beverly Hills and I was one of the many that stood in line for hours to get a Sprinkles cupcake. Two hours to be exact. So back to the ad. I wanted to place the ring on top of a cupcake and add the tag: Just a Little Frosting (cute, right?). But I wanted a beautiful dainty cupcake and no one sold such a thing. So, I called the Four Seasons Hotel and asked to speak the the pastry chef. After several meetings he created a cupcake with a swan on top. Not exactly what I was hoping for. So, in order to show him what I was thinking, I went home that Friday and purchased about $100 worth of books, fondant, tools and edible dyes from Michaels. I spent the whole weekend making cupcakes and decorating them like little wedding cakes, fondant and sugar flowers et al. I took pictures with my cell phone of some and sent it to the chef. The bulb went off and he created a masterpiece. But he also sent me an email suggesting I take up cake decorating as he thought my work was "quite impressive". 
I did. But I wanted to do everything with cupcakes as I find them to be the perfect little dessert, a personal treat not to be shared but to be enjoyed by anyone. I dug out my favorite family recipes and started spending every weekend creating delicious yet pretty cupcakes.
And that brings me to now. While working at my company I had created a fabulous little side business specializing in gourmet couture cupcakes. I had two lives, baker and executive. And I believe it was a little blessing from above. Because as things were moving along in new my cupcake world...I got laid off, again. I was shocked but I also wasn't. And this time I felt like I would be okay. At least so far Mr. Depression hasn't come knocking. And how can he, I make beautiful cupcakes...I make people little cakes of happiness. But I forced myself to take one week to really think things over. I gave myself a mini vacation to Mexico to visit my Grandmother, a woman I greatly admire who oozes wisdom. I wanted to put everything in perspective and what better place than on a beautiful beach with not a soul in site. My only company every day are a bunch of pelicans cruising the surf for brunch and little baby sea turtles making their way to the sea. And yes, I have helped some that lost their way. What can I say...everyone needs a little direction sometimes. However, I can only imagine how mortified they must feel when faced with the crushing and powerful waves that they are forced to go through before entering their new world.
 I, like those little sea turtles, am in transition, leaving the comfort of corporate America bound to the land of entrepreneurs. Scared? Frightened actually. But I've never felt more confident with a decision that will impact my life forever.
From this point on I will document my journey to my new world as an entrepreneur and along the way I hope to inspire others to transition into something that makes them happier and fulfilled. And if not, at least I hope to share some great tricks and ideas on how to make beautiful and delicious cupcakes.