Let’s talk about Red Velvet.


(YELP photo taken by Tonya Russ Price, owner of PopRock Photography, Charlotte)

Someone posted on YELP that our red velvet was the worst cupcake she’d ever had, and that it wasn’t red enough for her liking. Another customer came in a few weeks ago and screamed (yes, screamed) that red velvet was “disgusting” because you have to use ungodly amounts of food dye. SHE knew, as she was a baker.

We just nod. Alright, I can’t please everyone. But red velvet IS our best seller, 3 to 1, hands down, the best selling cupcake we have. We use a recipe, and if you don’t like the recipe we use, you can take it up with Martha Stewart. That’s right, ladies and gents. We use Good old Martha’s recipe, every day. Martha doesn’t lie. When I was opening the shop, I had never eaten red velvet. I went to every bakery and cupcake shop in Charlotte and OD’ed on red velvet. I wasn’t impressed, and needed to figure out what I was missing. I grabbed 5 recipes out of 5 different reliable food sources, and one was Martha. Two recipes went into the trash, completely gross. The other 3 recipes seemed great but I still wasn’t sure what “great” meant as I was no red velvet connoisseur, so I took them to my book club one night and we did a red velvet taste off. Hands down, Martha won.

No, my hollering baker friend, we do not use 3 gallons of red dye. No, unhappy cupcake eater, we will not ADD 3 gallons of red dye. We use less than a teaspoon per batch. And we use gel, because that liquid stuff does taste disgusting. We actually use Americolor, because I found it is the least funky tasting. I tried to all natural coloring route, and that was a fail not to mention crazy expensive.

So here is the recipe, via the MS website. Oh, and as we all know, baking is science. I was given a bunch of baking cookbooks that are oooooold. Older than Martha’s. Guess what? Many of the recipes are the exact same, it’s all recipe recycling when you’re dealing with baking basics. So here you are, the same recipe we use in the shop. I think Martha would approve of our cupcake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

(yep, we use her frosting recipe, too!!)



  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
  5. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting.

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!!!


It takes us 2 lbs of bacon to make 40 of our bacon cupcakes.

Our 2 most popular bacon cupcakes are Maple Bacon or Caramel Bacon, and the recipe is wonderfully basic and easy! You need to start with the most important ingredient- thick center cut bacon. Don’t use that paper thin stuff, it’s a waste of time and doesn’t taste as good. We bake ours in the oven on 350 until it’s done. We constantly babysit the bacon because it has to be crispy, but not burnt. Rubbery bacon just won’t cut it, and microwaving bacon makes it dry and weird, bake your bacon! It takes our oven about 30 minutes to get it perfect.

Bacon Cupcake

We start with our basic buttermilk vanilla recipe:

1 lb unsalted butter room temperature

4 cups granular sugar

8 eggs

1 hefty tbsp of vanilla

3 cups self rising flour

3 cups all purpose flour

2 cups buttermilk

*2 lbs crispy cooked bacon

Beat butter in the bowl until creamy. Add sugar and beat together for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl. Add the eggs and whip together until fluffy and scrape the bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla, 3 cups of self rising and 1 cup warm buttermilk. Once combined scrape the bottom of the bowl again. Add the all purpose flour and remaining cup of milk. Mix until the lumps are gone. Now you have a basic buttermilk batter.

Next, get your bacon and chop it up to the consistency you like. You decide at that point how much you want to use, we put in 1 package worth into the cake, and we save the rest for frosting and to top it. Resist eating it. Trust us, we have had to make extra pounds because someone has lost control. If chunky bacon in the cake grosses you out, throw the bacon into a food processor. Add it to the batter. Bake the cupcakes at 350 for 15 minutes. Turn the cupcakes in the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.

Now this is our secret, we only let them cool for a few minutes before we fill them with either the caramel or the maple syrup. You want to cake to absorb the “filling.” Cool completely.

Chop the bacon you want to use for the topping and set to the side, you want to make sure you have as many “toppers” as you do cupcakes. Resist stealing pieces to stuff in your face. Save remaining bacon to chop up for frosting.


1 lb butter, 6 or 7 cups of confectioner sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and either 1/4 cup of maple syrup or caramel, and remaining bacon.

Add 1/2 the sugar to the pound of butter, Whip together. Add bacon and the caramel or maple syrup, whip. Add 3 cups of sugar and check the consistency. If it’s too runny, add more confectioner sugar, if it’s too thick we add a little whole milk.

Frost your cakes, top it with your piece of bacon, and drizzle in either maple syrup or caramel.

And that’s it! You are now a bacon cupcake wizard and those magical cakes will make every bacon lover you know swoon.

Hot Chocolate Cupcake



What does our hot chocolate cupcake consist of?

Deliciousness, of course! 

We start with our basic chocolate cupcake recipe.

Once the cupcakes are cool, we fill a hole in the center with marshmallow cream. Whip a few packets of hot cocoa mix into the buttercream with a splash of milk, and wa-la, hot chocolate. My favorite thing to add to hot cocoa frosting is chocolate Ovaltine because the malt kicks the cocoa flavor up a notch making it seem more “hot chocolate-like.”

Drizzle the cupcake in marshmallow cream and some chocolate syrup.

Target sells containers of Kraft Jet-Puffed Mallow bits in a jar (in the baking aisle next to marshmallows). Those are the best decorations, in our opinion!

Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 lb unsalted butter, 7 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 packets hot cocoa mix, and a tablespoon of warm milk. Whip together the butter, half of the sugar, and 1 packet. Add remaining sugar, hot cocoa packet, vanilla and milk. If it still isn’t chocolate-y enough for your liking (depends on which mix we use) toss in a tablespoon of Hershey’s baking cocoa or Ovaltine.

If you want the cake to taste more like “hot cocoa” and less like chocolate, use Martha Stewart’s “chocolate malted cupcake” recipe. 


So…why don’t you make cakes?

IMG_1982The answer is easy, we don’t like to.

Cakes are a lot of pressure. They have to look beautiful and taste good. I have often found, the cake might be beautiful but it tastes like “BLAH.” Cakes are a HUGE commitment. I have quite a few caking friends, and they are awesome at what they do, so cake seekers need to call them for the big and fancies.

But we are a cupcake shop. Sure, we make small, simple cakes for weddings to go on a cupcake tower, but that’s it. I’m going to break it down for you. We are bakers. We love to come up with new, awesome flavors. We let our customers make suggestions and we try them out. We joke that we are “chemists in the kitchen,” but it’s actually true. We like things to be fresh, natural, simple and pretty. When we take fondant orders, we actually lose money on them. Being a “fondant artist” is incredibly time consuming. As much as I love pinterest, it’s a pain in the butt. People see these fabulous trademark character cakepops, cookies with loads of details, fondant toppers that swivel and assume “that looks easy enough.”

racingcupcakeNo. Most of the time, they are made by craft lovers with time on their hands, blogs that they get paid to be creative on (bakerella- one of the best) with book deals, or they just love it and don’t mind spending 10 hours on a dozen fondant handmade cars and racetracks…. (see that picture? Took me ALL DAY to make those, obviously I lost money but man were they cute!) We have a storefront to focus on first. We love a CUP of cake. We enjoy changing the menu every day! It keeps customers guessing, and us from getting bored.

I would venture to guess we have over 50 baking books in the kitchen, and we have tried hundreds and hundreds of recipes. Not all of them are great, as a matter of a fact? We have ripped pages out of the books and thrown them in the trash because the recipe sucked so bad. I took a sharpie to Martha Stewart’s cupcake book and scratched things out. Who else would desecrate MARTHA?! When you bake every day, all day, you know what works and what doesn’t for the most part. We are all good at making a cupcake not only taste amazing, but look delicious. When you are dealing with a large cake, it just doesn’t bake or taste the same, either. Not all recipes can be made bigger, or smaller for that matter.

Don’t like our cupcakes? Well, that’s okay. Some people love cake mix, vegetable shortening, and chemicals or don’t just know the difference…we bake from scratch everyday. We don’t store and freeze our stuff. We would rather give cake way at the end of the day, than sell it later.

After we were on Cupcake Wars, we tried to do cakes for a few months. It’s SO TIME CONSUMING. I’ve never heard so many complaints in my life. People had unrealistic expectations of what they thought a cake should cost, because grocery store cake was “half the price.” Great, then you will have to go to the grocery store. Prices are non-negotiable. We actually do the baking from scratch and all of the decorating, that time costs money and our ingredients can’t compare to the garbage you get at the grocery store.

We like cake, but our focus is on cupcakes. We are always happy to give customers a cake referral, because some people prefer cake! Like my 7 year old in the picture above. She doesn’t want a cupcake on her birthday. Actually, she doesn’t really like cake at all. She only eats red velvet, and she doesn’t like frosting.  Typical, the kid that doesn’t like cake has a mom with a bakery.

So feel free to call us for a cake referral, we also have other cupcake shops we refer for custom stuff, because our staff is really small and we cannot take every order. But no need to fret, there are other people out there that make and bake great cake too!

Vanilla Cupcake

Our vanilla cupcake is a recipe chosen by our customers. After we opened, we got a ton of feedback. The biggest complaint we received was that our vanilla cupcake was too dry. We held a competition and sold 3 vanilla cupcakes for the price of one. We color coded the recipes and had our customers pick the winner.

It’s the same one we use every single day.


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  • 1 lb butter
  • 4 cups of granular sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tbsps vanilla
  • 2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup canola oil

Whip butter in the bowl. Add all 4 cups of sugar and whip it into the butter for about 2 minutes. Add all 8 eggs and vanilla to butter/sugar and whip until completely combined. Add 3 cups self rising flour and the first cup of milk, combine. Add the 3 cups of all purpose flour and second cup of milk. Combine. Stir in the canola oil. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Makes 36 cupcakes.

Cupcrazed on YELP, via The Charlotte Observer

Here’s the link to our interview with Marty Minchin of The Observer.

We love yelp. We use yelp. But we don’t totally agree with all of the stuff that other guy in the article said. Typically, if someone has something negative to say about a business, it ends up on the internet. Sadly, people have a habit of criticizing small stuff before businesses have a chance to correct an issue.

Lucky for us, we are so small that we can acknowledge issues with our customers on a one on one basis. And even luckier, we don’t have people get upset over things often. Complaints we receive are usually “why didn’t you make anything with peanut butter today???” (for real, #1 complaint.)

So thank you, people who know how to use social media outlets, the people who don’t just complain, but know how to tell us when we do a good job, too. Because we really do try every day to make sure everyone enjoys our desserts. We work too hard for people to think we suck. Thanks for your business, as it’s the customers that make us a success!


Sweet Tooth Festival & Cupcrazed on Wilson’s World

This is Cupcrazed’s 2nd year participating in the Charlotte “Sweet Tooth Festival”.

me & wilson

Each of the vendors participating in this event are aiding to fund raise for the Charlotte RAIN organization. I get asked for donations, participation, hand outs, freebees, and all kinds of shit every day, all day long. But not only do I love the people who put this event on, the cause is always a great one. The best part about being a small business owner? I get to choose who I give our money to. And trust me, cupcakes don’t make me much. But when I do something with my name, product and my time, you can bet it’s for a damn good reason. Everyone at this event had something wonderful for 300 guests- (that’s a LOT y’all) and these guest are not only there for goodies, but to support a wonderful organization.

Below is the link to our FOX News Rising Spot on Wilson’s World. I am amused that his coworkers thought I made him nervous. Which I may have, as I’m typically unpredictably inappropriate…..and thanks to Steve at Black Lion for thinking we were funny and not ridiculous. (I hope.)


Cupcrazed on FOX

5:30 am, like a boss.

And thanks to Rachel, who chose us to be morning entertainment. 😉 I love you as much as I love sushi, and that’s A LOT!

The event was fabulous of course, and I cannot wait to attend again next year. This is what we brought this year. Taste the rainbow!

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