Cupcakes have been the golden child of the baking scene for years. They're cute, they're miniature, and they're easy to love.
Enter Lisa Even and Katie True of Our Lady of Cupcakes. They're shaking up the typical cupcake facade with wicked awesome recipes such as the salted-caramel-frosted and pretzel-crusted "Pirate's Booty" and the bacon-topped "Breakfast Club."
They ooze creative energy and pride themselves on the ability to create one-of-a-kind recipes for nearly any flavor a client requests. Lisa also provides baked goods for both Royal Coffee locations.
This week, KT and Lisa sit down with New Times to talk about their take on the cupcake and on being a small business owner in an increasingly challenging economy.
"Give us this day our daily cupcake."
The funky, alternative aesthetic of the business comes directly from the owners. With an Ed Hardy-esque logo and Lisa's hot pink hair, nothing about Our Lady of Cupcakes conforms to the idea of the cupcake as a dainty bakery treat.
Lisa: Part of the reason I wanted to start my own business is because I wanted to do things my way. I was like: I am tired of being told how I'm supposed to look, how I'm supposed to dress, what's appropriate, and what's not appropriate. I knew there must be other people out there who like the things that I like and want something different.
They always shared "a mutual love of all things you can eat," so when Sprinkles cupcakes opened up shop in Scottsdale, they made the pilgrimage. Much to their dismay, they didn't find the cupcake of their dreams, only overly sweet and dried-out disappointment.
Neither KT nor Lisa had any culinary training before they decided to start their own baking company. But the business savvy best friends knew from the start that they wanted to take things one day at a time. The original idea was to start a food truck, but after catering their first wedding, the duo realized the many upsides of baking for special events.
Keeping it real
Without having ever worked in a commercial bakery, neither KT nor Lisa knew any of the tricks of the trade. The result? They make their cupcakes home-baker style with 100% real ingredients and absolutely no preservatives. They learned the chemistry behind baking first-hand by making mistakes and sometimes looking to the Internet for answers.
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KT: We didn't know anything when we started...and a lot of it was a total failure. It took us a long time to learn that with cream cheese frosting -- as opposed to buttercream frosting -- you can't keep beating it.
Lisa: We tried to make strawberry cream cheese frosting when we started, and it was a disaster. The more powdered sugar we put in it, the soupier it got. We didn't know that, essentially, the acid in strawberries killed what made the cream cheese stay that consistency.
This is part one of our talk with KT and Lisa. Check back tomorrow for the second half, and on Wednesday, we'll share their recipe for peanut butter frosting.