Nicole Conklin knows better than to show up in her Whipped Cupcakes truck without maple bacon cupcakes.
The cupcakes, she said, are the perfect balance of sweet and savory -- a French toast cake with made-from-scratch maple buttercream – paired with caramelized slow cooked thick bacon mixed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
And yes, they sell out quickly at the various Dutchess events they're parked at. "It's often the first question we get asked," she said, with many folks ordering a dozen to go.
It's just one of a myriad of cupcake flavors she's created with her daughter, Aliya. The two -- she's a self-taught cook, while Aliya has her pastry chef accreditation from Rhode Island's Johnson & Wales University --are the wizards behind the Newburgh-based mobile gourmet cupcakery and cake company.
The company specializes in small-batch gourmet cupcakes in flavors like red velvet, toasted coconut, luscious lemon, strawberry lemonade, Andes chocolate mint and chubby hubby, the latter of which ranks second in popularity next to maple bacon. (Chubby hubby, for the record, is chocolate cake with a salted caramel filling topped with a homemade peanut butter buttercream and chocolate-covered pretzels.)
In operation since 2009, Nicole said the business is basically a dream come true. A longtime manager for Williams-Sonoma, she always baked on the side, a passion instilled in her by her always-baking grandmother.
Eventually, after trying the business part-time on the side to build up a clientele, she branched out and made the leap.
The fact that her daughter wanted to join in the enterprise was -- pardon the pun -- icing on the cake.
"Aliya's been baking with me since she was 13," said Nicole, "So I was thrilled she took an interest in being a partner in the business."
Now the two labor away in their home's commercial kitchen, churning out 2,000 to 2,500 cupcakes a week thanks to three ovens going at full speed 10 to 12 hours a day.
They also do custom orders, not just for cupcakes, but for cakes.
A lot of their business comes from their secure spot at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, but a bulk also comes from local farmers markets such as Poughkeepsie's Arlington market (Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.).
Look for them, also, on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Hudson River Craft Beer Festival at Beacon River Park from noon to 5 p.m.
Go to www.whippedgourmetcupcakes.com/ for more information.
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