Oprah loves them. So do the “Sex and the City” ladies, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Katie Holmes. Now, Coloradans are taking the cake. The cupcake, that is.
“I think cupcakes bring everybody back to their childhood,” said Gateaux Pastries co-owner Kathleen Davia. “It’s very familiar. Simple, but familiar.”
Gateaux is one of a baker’s dozen shops serving up sweets to feed the cupcake craze. The chic bakery has been in Denver for nine years and considers full-sized cakes its specialty. However, the owners said they had to meet incredible cupcake demand from customers. They’re not alone; cupcakes are cropping up all over the state.
“I think what’s different about our cupcakes is, we can design them specifically for people,” said co-owner Brad High. “It’s not just, here’s a cake with icing and there you go. We’ve had customers ask for business logos on cakes … any kind of specialty. It’s something that’s been around for a long time, but I think recently, even for weddings, it’s something a little different.”
Davia and High point out, cupcakes are an affordable luxury in uncertain economic times.
“It’s something that people want to wow their family with … their friends, their girlfriends. And, it’s a fad that’s affordable, too,” said Davia, “as Americans, we all kind of want to get on that trend and this is definitely a bakery trend right now.”
Gateaux makes its award-winning cupcake treats unique by adding exotic fillings and colorful decorations, including the bakery’s signature big flower.
“It kind of adds a little bit of umph to it,” Davia said.
High agreed, the confections that are wildly popular now are not necessarily the cakes we remember from childhood. The new ingredient is a dash of sophistication.
“We actually fill our cupcakes with icing or soak it with liqueur,” said High, “I think the flavors have gotten fancier.”
Gateaux offers varieties such as red velvet with cream cheese filling, chocolate with mousse filling, and raspberry with almond. All are made by hand, from scratch. The bakery creates cupcakes for business gatherings, weddings, baby showers, and more.
“We recently had a couple who adopted a baby from China. We told the story about the baby by using cupcakes,” said Davia.
Hollywood magazines report cupcakes are the latest trend at glitzy wrap parties. They’ve become a tasteful way to impress in Colorado, too.
“That’s kind of what we get from being a pastry chef … we get the wow factor,” Davia said.