15 October 2010

Whatever You Like

It was two years ago this month that I had my very first paying customer. An order for a kids' Halloween party. I made these spooky sider cupcakes:

I was a bit crushed when the client told me that her French guests didn't know what to make of my cupcakes -- the kids were somewhat scared to eat them, the moms incredulous that they were being offered food that looked like spiders! Then she added however that the American moms ate them up and of course, her kids loved them. And so began my life as a humble cupcake baker in Paris!

I still have the 20 euro bill I was paid with for that order which marked an important turning point in my life. And to celebrate my 2 years in business, I wanted to share something special with the people who have made it all possible.

I have a few prizes to give away as I head into my 3rd year in business. The first comes from Sassy Apron in Arizona. These are definitely not your mom's aprons!

I discovered Sassy Apron this past summer when I was trying to figure out how to outfit my sales staff at Printemps Nation. Lana, the owner and seamstress, is a delight to work with and she is amazingly talented! Not only are her sassy aprons beautiful but they are hand-crafted with the utmost attention to detail and I just love her original designs. I wouldn't think of baking without mine (pictured above) and neither should you! I will be giving away this 100% cotton Sassy Apron half-apron with cute cupcake print from Robert Kaufman's Confections Collection, trimmed with Michael Miller's Clover Dot in Lime to 1 lucky winer:

The next gift comes from a gal who like me, has a thing for cupcakes!

Gaëlle from Ma Peste Adorée here in France makes the most adorable mini food jewelry I have ever seen, including some seriously cute cupcake earrings. Her jewelry is all hand-crafted from Fimo; each piece is unique. 1 lucky winner is getting a pair of cupcake earrings of their choice from Ma Peste Adorée!

I met Ludivine who runs Made in Cupcake, during this past summer's Cupcake Camp. On her site you'll find lots of cupcake recipes, tips, news and other fun goodies. And fabulous news for cupcakes bakers, the Made in Cupcake online boutique, which offers a select assortment of high-end baking supplies with a retro feel, has just opened!

I discovered these cupcake kits while in New York 2 summers ago and am delighted to see them now on this side of the pond! 1 lucky winner is going to get a cupcake kit with the theme of their choice from Made in Cupcake. They are all so adorable -- I'll take one of each please!

Last but not least, this contest would not be complete without real cupcakes....authentic, American-style cupcakes to be exact! I am giving away 1 dozen cupcakes with the theme of your choice to 1 lucky winner. Just let me know about 1 week in advance of when you want them and I'll bake them fresh for you the day of your order.

The contest is open to participants WORLDWIDE. The first 3 prizes will be shipped to the winners; as for the Sugar Daze cupcakes -- sorry, but you'll have to come pick those up yourself in the 17th.

So whaddya gotta do to win? Leave me a comment below telling me about the best cupcake you have ever eaten and what it is that made it so great. Please be sure to mention which prize you'd be interested in winning. Contest is open til 31 October. I'll be picking 4 winners at random and announcing them on 4 November. For an extra entry, Tweet about this giveaway, including the link and my Twitter name (@sugar_daze), and leave a separate comment with a link to the tweet.

Good luck to you all and many thanks for 2 great years of cupcakes!

xxx Cat

PS the name of this post refers to the #1 song on the Billboard charts on the day of my first order -- Whatever You Like by T.I. ( a rather fitting title if you ask me!).


  1. This post made me smile :)

    Congratulations!!! Awesome 1st order story...lol

    You've achived so much in only two years...I just can predict more and more good things to come.

    I'm not able to participate on the giveaway, but the first cupcake I ate was a simple one: vanilla with chocolate frosting...But it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen and it was love at first bite ;)

    Happy anniversary!!!


  2. Not to toot your horn but until I had yours, I found American cupcakes to be nauseatingly sweet and too large. Yours are just the right size with the perfect ratio of cake to icing and decorations that always make me smile! My favorite has to be your peanut butter cupcakes or your carrot cake cupcake!

  3. Congrats Cat !! Bravo and well done you've had your fair share of challenges this last year and you came out a star !
    My all time favorite cupcake :) the one my mom made for my birthday parties - vanilla cupcake with milk chocolate frosting, simple but oh so perfect!

  4. SUH-weet. Gratulere Med Dagen (the benefits of having int'l friends is learning multiple ways to say the same thing!) & wishing you many, many, many more! ...and lest I forget & miss out on a chance for Sugar Daze Deliciousness! The 2nd best cupcake I ever had (one must always leave room for better!) was a simple yellow cake with vanilla icing, but what made it memorable was the perfect ratio of moist, tasty cake to perfectly piled on & right consistency icing. I am an icing whore--the more the better! Too little & one is griping for more & the cupcake experience is lost--too much & your mouth cramps at the sugar shock...but just right & bam! :)

  5. Congrats on your 2 year Anniversary, despite a few ups and downs you've come out on top!

    My fave cupcake ever was Baileys and chocolate cupcakes, with baileys buttercream. Moist chocolate sponge with a hint of baileys, topped with a genorous swirl of baileys buttercream and finished off with chocolate sprinkles. Feels a little bit naughty because of the Baileys, but very very nice!! ;o)

  6. Congrats on 2 years!! That's amazing and inspiring!!!

    My favourite cupcake has to a be rich chocolate cupcake filled with salted caramel, topped with a dark chocolate ganache frosting and drizzles of caramel, topped with a sprinkle of sea salt! MMMM!

  7. Congrats on your success, Cat. You deserve it. Some great prizes there!

    The best cupcake I've had so far is a maple and bacon one. It was so great because the cake's texture was actually similar to a proper fluffy American pancake with a subtle spice to it. The sweet maple buttercream was very creamy and not gritty, and topped with bacon (the yummy crispy kind). And nothing beats a sweet and salty combo!

  8. Tweet link: http://twitter.com/#!/LifeIsSweetNI

  9. I have to say the best cupcake I've had in a while was your raspberry one, purchased at Printemps Nation. I've been on the hunt for a good cupcake ever since moving to Paris, and I have to say it was the first "real" cupcake I've had in a long time.

  10. The BEST cupcake I had - other than yours-- Well, MINE, of course! Heheheh! Now, I won't toot OUR horns, though true, I have to say that I was SOOOO EXCITED to taste the 4 cupcakes given to me by Sam, at the Love Bakery, in Chelsea, London--- They were soooo great because they were MOIST, not to sweet, and her buttercream frosting was TOO die for- and you know I don't like buttercream frosting-- You could taste the flavours in her cupcake and they weren't over powering- they were 'just right!' You know what I mean, right? I had Lemon, chocolate... uhmmm--- lavendar and something else. Not ONLY were her cupcakes DELISH-ously SCRUMPTIOUS, but they were beautiful... just beautiful-- in fact, almost too beautiful to eat, but I did...
    I know that you will get to meet her at the cupcake camp in London in just a few weeks... so you can tell her I raved about her cupcakes..
    The lemon meringue that she made was the best of the four but they were ALLLLL delish... She has a ton of flavours to choose from at her store...
    Also, every cupcake I've bought from a cupcakery has disappointed me - they're either -- too dry, too sweet, or the frosting is awful... Sam's cupcakes were the very first from a 'bakery' that have had that 'homemade' feel/taste for me--- in other words-- like ours!

  11. congratulations on your 2yr anniversary , it's great to see things are on the up for you now!
    The best cupcake ive ever had was a chocolate cupcake filled with a caramel centre and topped with a buttercream which tasted of vanilla caramel with honeycomb pieces sprinkled on top Mmmmmmmmmmm yummy . it was so moist the caramel was divine and perfectly made the buttercream was delicious and the honeycomb on top was the best ive ever tasted so sweet and chewy but crunchy!

  12. My favorite cupcake was from my hometown (Indianapolis, IN) from a bakery called The Flying Cupcake. I got a salted chocolate one and it was DElicious!!!!

    That being said, I'm so glad there's someone here in Paris making cupcakes! Woohoo!! :) Annnd...I love the pink apron!!!

  13. CONGRATULATIONS! I, too, is celebrating my anniversary. You do great stuff! Keep it up!!!!

    As far as cupcakes--I don't recall which place it was but it was a raspberry cupcake with champagne buttercream. It was divine!

  14. Wow, has it only been two years? You've come along way, baby. Just tweeted about the contest, http://twitter.com/JenniferLSchiff/statuses/27477439013. And if I win, I would love the cupcake earrings for my daughter, who got her ears pierced five weeks ago and looooves cupcakes.

    As for the best cupcake I ever ate, I have yet to have it, because it would definitely be one of yours. But I can tell you what my perfect cupcake would taste/feel like: It would have a very moist cake, probably vanilla, maybe infused with ginger or lemon or coconut, and topped with a creamy, not-too-sweet dark chocolate frosting -- not a mountain of frosting, like they do here in the States, but just enough to coat the top of the cupcake and my palette.

    Here's to a great year three!

  15. The best cupcake was at my sisters wedding - she had an afternoon tea party & the cakes were magic & romantic! She's been married now for 14 years & is about to have her fourth child - I think they were truly magic!
    (& I LURVE the half apron!)

  16. Congratulatioooons on ur 2nd anniversary, ugh I can't wait to start my own cupcake business. Reading ur story makes me smile from start to finish.

    The best cupcake I ever eaten was from Starbucks in Swansea, wales. Starbucks, I know, shocking right?! But really it was really good, it was a white chocolate cupcake with raspberry frosting. But, I've never tasted cupcakes from famous bakery like magnolia or hummingbird or crumbs etc. So I'm a humble little cupcake eater. You know, I live in Indonesia and probably I bake the best cupcakes in the country :p but seriously, good cupcakes are very limited here.

    Oh well, I'd like to win whatever you have to giveaway, okay but maybe I want the apron and cupcake kit the most. And actually, I don't mind winning the 1 dozen sugar daze cupcakes either, i' ll just keep the 'voucher' for now and take the cupcakes whenever I visit Paris, could be In years or months heehee! :D


  17. Congratulations Cat!!!! The Hart Family has benefited several times from your decision to become the best darn cupcake-maker in Paris and there's plenty more to come, I'm sure!!

    Best cupcake: The farm animal ones you made for my son's second birthday. They were simply black & whites and although delicious, the best part was seeing how excited junior Hart was to eat it. He could NOT decide between the different animals...it was so cute.

    Keep up the good work. You have earned all the success you have today with a quality product, fabulous marketing and being a simply really nice person to deal with.


  18. There's an American cupcake shop in Paris! Cool! And she's doing a giveaway- check it out. @sugar_daze http://ow.ly/2VoiG - twitter.com/kelly_delp

  19. Happy anniversary!
    I think the best cupcake I ever ate was one I made myself. It was a very vanilla cupcake and I made a cream cheese cherry frosting that was as creamy as it was thick and sweet. Now the thing that made this super good was the fact that I made these cupcakes in large cases so I pretty much had the equivalent of 1.5 cupcakes in one cupcake. How slick is that? How ill was I after eating ALL that frosting?? Never mind, it was still wonderful.
    I love your cupcake aprons! They're too cute.

  20. Many congratulations to you! What I love most about your story is how serendipity came into your life with that first cupcake order, and birthed something new for you. I know your path has not been an easy one, especially this past year, but it's really cool to have observed these past few months, as I found your blog and checked in from time to time, just how things have grown and changed for you with the development of Sugar Daze. I've since met a lot of people who know you and have met you face to face, and so one of these days I hope it happens for me, too. :)

    I've never tried one of your cupcakes as I don't eat most grains, dairy, and (much) sugar (god, it's hard to kick sugar!) as of about 20 months ago. Gluten and casein in foods has wrecked my digestion and immune system for some reason, making these ingredients wreak havoc in my body. But, I've liked reading your blog because I like the story behind each cupcake made, and I am big into stories. :) I like yours a lot.

    Really, anything now remotely resembling a cupcake, made with ingredients like almond flour, applesauce, and sweetened with a little honey or stevia are a joy for me. I miss *real* cupcakes, like the ones you make. I appreciate in retrospect just how good cupcakes are. Maybe that's why I visit here, too: I like to look and remember how good they once were for me.

    (Yikes -- this is sounding so tragic and all, lol!! Seriously, I miss cupcakes, but I feel *so* much better not eating them. It is okay. I am not torturing myself or anything by being here. ;-) I just think your cupcakes are WAY COOL and I see and know there is more *beyond* the cupcakes, too. It's all good, lol.)

    Here's to many more years as a successful cupcake maker in Paris!

  21. Congratulations to you, such an amazing story. Oh it must be good to have kept the first 20 dollar bill you got paid, and now look at you.

    The BEST cupcake I have ever eaten is Leesas.. but of course I have not tried yours :-) next time I am in Paris, must give yours a try !!When Leesa was in London and I went to meet her , we had to try other cupcakes , not too good. Also we did this in Paris .

    Happy 2nd Anniversary, and well done

  22. Who doesn't LOVE cupcakes? I think my favorite flavor would have to be, hands down, red velvet with cream cheese frosting. I have no idea WHY, but it just delights me!!

  23. Of course, theres always the coconut cream cupcake that I make with coconut frosting...Uber Delicious!!!

  24. Well, I guess the only cupcake I've ever eaten was the one Livy gave me at the very end of the Créateliers in Pontoise. I was so exhausted that sadly I didn't pay much attention, but its sweet taste really made me feel better!
    In my kitchen, I've tried various "French" recipes (gâteau au yaourt) baked as cupcakes just for fun, but still haven't tested any customized topping.
    I wish I could try yours Cat, their names and pictures always make me feel soooo hungry :-p
    Happy "daze-licious" anniversary !!!

  25. My fave cupcakes were made by my friend & her husband -- totally delicous chocolate with buttery, whipped frosting mmm. *mouth waters*

    Congrats on 2yrs of making people smile :)
    xx Shan

  26. Congratulations on two years of making lives in Paris a little sweeter!

    From my many years of sweet indulgences in NYC, the red velvet at Magnolia Bakery is my favorite!! From those cupcakes that I've tried more recently my favorite are yours (bien sûr!) LOVE the 16H Gouter with Nutella and hazelnut ganache, delicious! And so many more flavors I hope to try soon...

    Best of luck in year three and the many to follow!

  27. I can't believe I haven't tried YOUR cupcakes yet! Hopefully someday soon...in the meantime, I love all cupcakes really and it would be hard to find something that I wouldn't adore but I have always loved a delicious white frosting with a most chocolate cupcake. Wonderful combination that just melts in your mouth and obligates you to eat just one more...

    If by some crazy random chance I win a prize I would be most interested in some of your cupcakes of course!! The cupcake kits are also really adorable and look like they would provide for a fun afternoon. Thanks, Cat, and congratulations!!