Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meet the Bakers: Mix Bakery

A little over a year ago when planning the first CupcakeCamp, I discovered a Boston-based business called Mix Bakery. The creator of Mix Bakery, Kelly, enthusiastically replied that she'd be happy to come, and showed up at the event with the most amazing vanilla cupcakes and s'mores cupcakes. Throughout the year, I've been able to sample more Mix Bakery creations at birthday celebrations and events and each time I try them serves to reaffirm that these are some of the best cupcakes in Boston.

For Kelly's Meet the Baker profile, I thought it would be fun to take a peek behind the scenes and see what goes into making these much-loved cupcakes. I was thrilled when Kelly agreed to have me spend a morning baking up some cupcakes in her kitchen.

Kelly's classic varieties are delicious, but one my favorites that she makes is the s'mores cupcake, and she set about making that one first. One of the primary reasons I am so obsessed with the s'mores cupcake is because it has a graham cracker crumb crust. Graham cracker crust are one of the best dessert components ever created, and adding one to a cupcake is sheer genius.

Kelly whipped up a chocolate cake batter to go on top of the graham cracker crust and put these cupcakes in to bake. While the cupcakes baked, we moved on to more fun projects...

Frosting. In addition the s'mores, Kelly had on her agenda the peanut butter cup cupcake and a chocolate cupcake with salted caramel buttercream. Kelly and I share an intense love for caramel, especially salted caramel. Kelly had prepared a salted caramel sauce earlier in the morning so that it had time to cool. She added the caramel to a traditional buttercream mixture to make the caramel frosting. I probably could have eaten a bowl full of this frosting. I may or may not have.

Throughout the morning, I learned several things about Kelly's recipes, techniques and ingredients. One particularly fun fact: Kelly purchases whole vanilla beans in bulk and makes her own vanilla extract. Any baker will know that vanilla is an essential ingredient, and not just in vanilla-flavored desserts. It is small touches like these that make a significant difference in the final product.


After the cupcakes had cooled, we got to work assembling the three different kinds, but not before having a little fun with experimentation. I was curious about filling the cupcakes with caramel.

This was a beautiful sight to behold. We filled two cupcakes with the caramel sauce and topped one with the caramel buttercream and one with the fluff frosting that tops the s'mores cupcakes. Verdict? The one topped with caramel buttercream was, dare I say, caramel overload. The one topped with fluff frosting though was delightful.

Don't think that this experimentation is exclusive to those who visit her kitchen. Kelly will make pretty much any confection you request, though I would say it is wise to stick with the prescribed varieties. Kelly has worked to perfect them and it shows. The cake itself is wonderful--chocolatey but not intense. It is incredibly moist and is one of the few chocolate cakes that was moist and flavorful enough that I would happily eat it on its own.

We did indulge in one more curiosity. When you have fluff frosting and peanut butter frosting, what logically follows but... a Fluffernutter! This one did not disappoint.

The final product: s'mores, peanut butter cup, and salted caramel topped chocolate cupcakes.

If you live in Boston and are in need of cupcakes, or are just struck with a craving, I cannot recommend Mix Bakery highly enough. I have loved every cake and frosting combination I have tried. What's more, Kelly is happy to deliver any order placed. I dream of the day when Mix Bakery has its own shop and I can pop in for a cupcake any time I like. Until then, I will wait patiently (or not so patiently) and order from Kelly at every possible opportunity. Whether you already know the fabulousness that is Mix Bakery or you have yet to have the pleasure, you will get to enjoy them in less than a month at CupcakeCamp.

Mix Bakery

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