The cupcake cult. It has spawned everything from reality shows to vinyl toys, a wine label and a LA cupcakery stocked with strictly unedible merch. And despite strong signs of a doughnut takeover, cupcakes has remained the dessert du ’jour.
Just as Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw took her bite of frosting-topped Magnolia confection on a Bleeker Street bench and as healthy-types started exploring a gluten-free existence, one-time waitress and wheat-free eater Erin McKenna whipped up Babycakes NYC, a wheat-free, gluten-free, processed-sugar free bakery that snagged NYMag’s Best Cupcake award and a slew of celebrity fans, from Kiernan Shipka to Natalie Portman.
Like a ton of smartiepants business ladies before her, Erin saw a need in the market–yummy desserts made without gluten, wheat and dairy–and filled it. Now, seven short years later, she’s built a tasty empire with three bakeries (NYC, FLA and LA), two cookbooks BabyCakes and BabyCakes Covers The Classics and a die-hard fanbase–all without any professional cooking instruction.
Read on to learn how she made the magic happen, battled naysayers and how you can get crackin’ on your own baking empire.