5 Ways to Make Your Bakery’s Cupcakes Rise Above the Rest

In the bakery industry there is no more popular an item than cupcakes. Cupcakes have been a bakery staple for generations, but with the market loaded with specialty cupcake shops bakers are struggling to make their cupcakes stand out from the rest. Here’s 5 ways to make your bakery’s cupcakes rise above the rest.

Cupcakes

Source: kimberlysnyder.net

 

  1. Never Over-bake

If you over-bake a cupcake, even slightly, there’s no way to save it and it definitely will not be moist on the inside. So bakers should always err towards under-baking cupcakes as a result. Ideally your cupcakes will look slightly sunken when they’re done rather than peaked.

 

  1. Experiment with flavors and colors

Once you have mastered a particular recipe you can begin experimenting with colors and flavors to add a personal signature to your cupcakes. Whether your favorite flavors are pineapple or cheery try incorporating them into both the cupcake and icing. You could also combine flavors to make something truly unique, a pina colada cupcake perhaps. You could even try filling your cupcakes with a unique flavor combination.

 

  1. Flavor Fillings

Fillings aren’t just for donuts anymore. In fact jams, custards, creams, or even an extra helping of icing can be exactly what your cupcake has been lacking. You can use a cupcake corer or a decorating bag and tip to inject even more of the scrumptious stuff into your cupcake.

 

  1. Top Them Off

After all it is not the decoration that makes the cupcake. In spite of looking prettier no one really wants to eat a cupcake that looks like an overdone gingerbread house. Keeping it simple with colorful sprinkles, flowers, bows, chocolate balls, or even a piece of fresh fruit like a strawberry, will fulfill all your cupcakes needs.

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Source: yourcupofcake.com

 

  1. Display Matters

To ensure your cupcakes rise above the rest find creative and unique ways to arrange and display them in your bakery. You may want to stack your cupcakes on a tiered plate or fit them perfectly into a cupcake tree. Here decorations like bows, ribbon, and confetti can be exactly what you need to compliment your edible works of art.

 

Best Bakery POS System

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How to Create a Sweet Business with your Bakery

 
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             Creating a Sweet Business with your …

Bakery

 

 

Provide the Right Atmosphere in your Bakery

Determine what demographic you are catering to:

 

  • If you are in a location with older generation groups then you want to place emphasis on having several tables with very friendly customer service. Also think about design and sounds. For this group you would perhaps to keep a dimlit place with soft music. Retirees will want to come in and stay for some time to read the newspaper, a book or just enjoy their mornings.

 

  • Now if you are working in a busy area then you want to aim your shop to be more of a stop-and-go kind of place. Customers can stop by to grab a pastry and coffee and leave to continue on with their day. With this atmosphere, you can keep the lighting bright and use light colors in your shop. Music and extra decor is not as important because these customers are coming for the product not the experience.

 

  • Another option is being by a younger, perhaps college, crowd.  Here you would want to create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. People can come in to use the venue as a studying place, or friends will come to hang out or you may even find couples on casual dates. This will require a relaxing setting, wifi and you may want to add some couches or booths.

 

Whichever atmosphere you create, just remember to adjust it to the primary customers that you are serving. The atmosphere is mainly determined from the location of your bakery or shop.

 

 

Keeping your Business on Track

 

A bakery requires several key elements that will help run smooth operations;

 

  • inventory control

  • adaptability

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  • employee management

  • sales reports

 

Acquire a POS software to handle all of these responsibilities for your bakery.  Save costs on efficiently using your inventory and knowing when to re-order. Introduce a new item or create a custom order through your point of sale system whenever you need to. Have employees clock in and out to easily track their times and pays. Lastly, analyze your financial reports to improve your business. You can see what items are doing well, at what time are you making the most sales at and what needs change.

 

 

Holiday Cupcake Flavors

Jazz up your cupcake shop with these festive desserts this winter.

Chocolate Eggnog

Eggnog is a classic holiday drink that brings warmness to any cupcake case. Frost it with a nutmeg-infused vanilla cream cheese. This recipe does it with bourbon and coffee… YUM!

Cranberry Spice

Cranberries are a beautiful winter fruit and they contrast the sweetness, beautifully. Try it with a Chai cake!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

If you travel across the pond you’ll find Christmas cakes everywhere except they call them pudding. I’m on board if they taste like this!

Rudolph Red Velvet

You can’t beat the crowd appeal of a moist rich red velvet cupcake. Decorating it with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer  is a great class holiday party platter waiting to happen. These from the brown-eyed baker are sure to please.

White Chocolate Peppermint

A candy cane cake with easy decoration. This easy holiday recipe is sure to make your spirits bright!

Christmas Cookie

If your bakery doesn’t specialize in cupcakes these pretty, white sugar cookie inspired cupcakes are simple enough and the perfect treat to leave out for Santa.

Butterbeer

As a Potterhead the holiday season also means Harry Potter marathons. This cupcake is essentially a brown sugar cupcake with cream soda and butter flavors filled with a butterscotch ganache. This is sure to satisfy any bookworm, witch or wizard.


Champagne (New Years)

These pretty little cupcakes are both delicious and toast worthy. Release them as your New Year’s 2014 signature flavor. Use a simple decoration atop the elegant italian buttercream.

Coconut Macaroon

My mom makes a version of these indulgent buttery cakes every Christmas morning. For my family it wouldn’t be Christmas without coconut.

Mini Pies

These little beauties are sure to brighten up any buffet table this holiday season. So pretty and a great opportunity to diversify your bakery.

Best Social Media Platform For Your Cupcake Shop

It’s hard to ignore the buzz about social media for small businesses. Small business owners are constantly told how they should Tweet, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, Foursquare,Yelp, Pin, start bakery blogs and Facebook to increase business for their bakery. The problem with this is that no one really tells you where to start. In order to grow your business with social media while still focusing on your bakery takes some business time management and choosing which social media platforms will work best for your business.

Choosing the Best Social Media Site for Your Bakery

There is no perfect social media site for your bakery that will magically generate more leads as soon as you sign-up (despite what some of them might promise.) This means you’ll have to try and see what works best for you. Don’t be overwhelmed! This social media marketing strategy will make finding your social media site manageable while still giving you enough time to run your business.

1.) Choose 2 to 3 social media sites to begin with. Many small business owners start with Facebook because they already have a personal profile so they are well versed with the site. This is a good move. Some other sites that are good for starting your bakery’s social media presence and easy to use are Yelp, Foursquare, Twitter and Instagram.

2.) Set up your business profiles on each of these sites. Make sure to include as much information about your bakery as possible; including: address, phone number, logo, pictures, mission statement, prices, and how you got started.

3.) Set up 30 minutes to an hour of social media time into your work days. This will make sure you stay focused on your business while still growing your online marketing campaigns.

4.) Post or update your social media profiles about once a day. Go ahead and cross-promote your content through your profiles. Instagram and Facebook let you post to Twitter all at once.

5.) Gage what kind of audience you’re building and how these sites are increasing your bakery’s visibility. You can measure your social media growth through the amount of engagement you get as time grows. Give yourself at least 6 months with a platform. Social media takes some time to show direct results to your bottom line. 6 months is a good amount of time to gage progress and see returns coming back for your social media ROI or return on investment.

6.) If one platform doesn’t work, drop it for a while and try another. Have fun with it and try some new sites or strategies. You never know where there might be a hidden niche for your bakery.

Source: blogtyrant.com

What Does the FDA’s Gluten Free Label Mean for Bakeries

Earlier this year the FDA passed food legislation that began regulating the foods that manufacturers label as gluten-free. This is a big change to health food stores and gluten-free bakeries across the country but first let’s define what gluten and what gluten-free actually means.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein largely found in wheats and grains. Gluten has been getting some attention lately due to a rise in celiac disease, a disease that prevents you from being able to process gluten, and recent diet and health trends.

 

So what does “gluten-free” mean?

The U.S Food and Drug Administration now defines gluten free as the following:

  • A food that naturally does not have gluten such as a bag of raw vegetables or bottled water
  • Does not contain an ingredient that is a whole gluten-containing grain such as wheat, barley, rye, or crossbred hybrids of any of the grains.
  • Does not contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain and has not been processed to remove gluten (wheat flour)
  • May contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten ingredient but has been processed to remove gluten as long as the food product contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
  • And unavoidable gluten in the food due to cross-contact or cross-contamination is less than 20 ppm of gluten. This is widely considered a small enough amount to not be harmful to those with celiac disease.
  • All manufacturers must comply to these standards by August 5th, 2014

This means that you will no longer be able to label food products with the FDA’s gluten-free label unless your product follows these rules.

This is an unverified image of the FDA’s gluten-free label. The official label design has not yet been released.

 

What it means for your business

This means that gluten free will no longer be loosely regulated and used as simply a way for manufacturers to market their product. Truly gluten-free products will be the only ones that can be certified to protect those that are allergic or intolerant of the ingredient.

This is great information if your health food store carries gluten-free product. You will now be able to confidently sell the FDA certified product to your customers without fear of an allergic reaction.

As a bakery owner if you are looking to be certified as a gluten-free establishment you’ll need to exceed the federal standards. Small business owners that are looking to be certified as gluten-free will look to the Gluten Free Certification Organization for certification and gluten-free listing which goes a step further than federal standards.

GFCO gluten-free label

 

GFCO Requirements for Bakeries and Restaurants

Tu-lu’s Gluten- Free Bakery out of New York with two more locations in Dallas
  • Once gluten-free application is sent and a price quote is received the GFCO sends an auditor to the establishment to evaluate how the facility shares it’s space, uses and stores it’s ingredients, where ingredients are coming from and what the operations are within the business space.
  • Standards for gluten free baking include: dual-use sections of the kitchen (one for gluten, one without,) thoroughly washed stations, machinery, and equipment along with wiped down surfaces.  According to the GFCO gluten particles can stay floating in the air for up to 24 hours after gluten-containing production which means thorough and strict cleaning measures are observed.
  • Gluten-free testing results must be submitted to the GFCO and all of them must be below 10 ppm.

 

 

Sources: celiaccentral.org

tasteguru.com

 

Celebrating Shark Week in Your Cupcake Shop

On the first week of August every year the Discovery Channel rolls out their week long series of television programs and documentaries dedicated to sharks. This week long network event has become a cult phenomenon and is celebrated with shark week inspired viewing parties and events. Have your bakery or cupcake shop join in on the fun by offering some shark week inspired desserts in the case this week.

Decorating ideas:

*Like I said shark week is a cult phenomenon, just searching through the shark week tag on twitter any given night this week you’ll see viewing parties all around the country. Be the premiere bakery in your area offering shark week cupcakes to feed all of the carnivorous fans. Try adding a strawberry jelly center for a shark attack inspired surprise.

 

*Shark week cookies are the BEST after school surprise

 

*Shark cake pops are a fun way to act out the thrashing puppet style. Check out this blog post on why to incorporate cake pops into your bakery http://goo.gl/GJgdG0.

*A fun idea for a summer themed wedding that just so happens to fall on shark week:

*Here are some really amazing ideas to get the ideas flowing on your own shark week cake to add to the portfolio. Swedish Fish make great accents for this theme.

 

 

 

 

Cake Pops: What Are They and How Do I Get in on the Trend?

What are cake pops?

Cake pops began as an internet trend when baking blog “Bakerella” would decorate these sweet treats with a different theme weekly. Her blog quickly became an internet sensation. From there these sweet balls of baked cake mixed with frosting, dipped in icing, and then decorated got this baking blogger her own baking book deal, Cake Pops, that landed on the New York Times bestseller list. In the past couple of years we have seen this sweet treat become a trend in bakeries, cupcake shops and cafes. Even Starbucks sells cake pops in their bakery display case.

Why are cake pops popular?

It’s no wonder that these little balls of sweetness gained popularity, much like the gourmet cupcake boom a couple years back, cake pops fulfilled a need that consumers sought out: versatility. Cake pops can be as diverse as the customer likes. From filling, to flavor, to decorations, to theme, cake pops are customizable to the exact need of the customer. This is especially desirable in event planning.

Birthday parties now can feature character heads on a stick with quick eating and clean up. Weddings now have an option as opposed to cakes that can reflect the colors of the event and the couples favorite flavors. Even corporate events and conferences now can utilize cake pops as a delicious favor with the logo emblazoned on the dessert itself. The possibilities to cake pops are endless and even sweeter are already super popular which gives your bake shop an opportunity to capitalize on the trend.

How can I get in on the cake pop trend?

    Your bakery, cafe, or cupcake shop can incorporate cake pops as much or as little as it wants or as budget permits.

  1. Create your recipe. One of the perks of cake pops in a business perspective is that they give you an opportunity to utilize the ugly/unused batches of cake that would otherwise be wasted. Find a consistency of crumbled baked cake and frosting you like and would like to market in your bake shop. Create your recipes using a sturdier frosting so that the cake balls hold together when they go into the freezer

  2. Practice Decorating. The sometimes tricky part of making cake pops is that decorating them can be more time than you care to invest. Get started and come up with a range of what you can do with a cake pop. Remember the options of decorating are endless. So go crazy buying candies and a decorator’s pen and get to practicing. If you have the time this could be one of the funnest parts. Remember, you can also go really simple and decorate with different colors of sprinkles reflecting the flavor inside. Price point these at around $1.50-$2.50

Decide how intricate you want the cake pop side of your business to be. Some shops might opt to create a couple flavors and have them alongside the cookies and cupcakes in the display case. Incorporating the trend in this way is a great way to utilize the leftover cake while still keeping your bakeshop trendy and providing a quick delicious bite to your customers along with their cappuccinos. Something to consider would be incorporating cake pops into your catering menu. Price point research puts more intricate designs from $2.50-$5.00 a pop (depending on order amount and detailed designs.) Consider a cake pop package plan.

 

Need some cake pop ideas to get started?

  • Back to school time is coming up. Make a good impression with apple cake pops to share on the first day of class. Perfect for teachers!

Halloween is all about the spooky treats!

  • Say it with cake: Be a part of life’s special moments with baby shower cake pops or even pop the question with them. (pun intended)

  • Have a unique item your bakery or cupcake shop is known for? turn it into a pop for an unconventional personal touch.

 

Happy Baking!

 


Pinky’s Cupcakery | Cupcake Wars | Baking Party’s

Pinky’s Cupcakery has been open since December 2011 in Huntington Beach, CA. The family owned business, i.e. the ‘Parker Couple’ has been using our popular Altera 3400S. They are dedicated to creating a unique experience.

 

pinkys, cupcake, cupcakery, store, shop, pos, point of sale, system, best, inventory, scale, cupcake wars

 

www.pinkyscupcakery.com

Not just a bakery, they bring new concepts on a regular basis. They highlight the concept of “Experience Based dessert shops,” their goal and number of hosted activities revolve around “Let’s have FUN!!”

 

pinkys, cupcake, cupcakery, store, shop, pos, point of sale, system, best, inventory, scale, cupcake wars

 


Cupcake Wars

Of course every war has it’s victims, so make sure you follow their rules of engagement, posted on their site. Pinky’s excels in their interactive experience by hosting battles; ages 3 and up.

No, it’s not a food flight. They host competitions among their customers to create the “Cupcake of the Month.” For $9.99 you and any number of people (minimum 2 people) can compete to make the most delicious and creative batch of 6 cupcakes. The best 3 of the month come back in to compete again for the Cupcake of the Month. The best part is they provide all the batter (in the flavor of your choice) and toppings to make an amazing treat.

That’s not the only way you can get your creative juices flowing, Pinky’s will also host parties (in their party room) where everyone in your party can bake and create cupcakes together. They make the place fun and affordable Pinky’s Cupcakery.

Not only do you get delicious treats, but you also get a memory and a unique way to cook with friends and/or family. Pinky’s Cupcakery is also dedicated to supporting the community. This last March they created a deal to give back to the local Girl Scout troop at a fundraiser and they are proud supporters of the OC Roller Girls.

How to Start a Bakery (Continued)

Here you go, the final 5 steps to opening your very own bakery!

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6. Remodeling and purchasing of equipment would be the following step once you have all your ducks in a row. You can either finance or purchase equipment outright depending on your budget. A good option is to look for auctions for restaurants or bakeries that are closing or getting rid of their equipment. Craigslist and eBay are good sources for used equipment as well. Once everything is installed and remodeled you can have your final inspection.

7. Be sure to have everything in order for your inspection by finding out what they will be looking for and at and doing a self inspection prior. Once you have passed you can apply for the proper permits, such as food handlers.

8. After jumping through all the hoops and over the hurdles you start to see the finish line and are ready to start thinking of your marketing strategy. Time to design your promotional material and launch your website for your business. This might be the more fun part where you get to pick out your name and design your logo. A logo is important to your brand and can be placed on all your business materials such as business cards, labels, order forms, brochures, and of course your website.

9. Before your Grand Opening it is a good idea to let your neighbors and local community know. You can send out different materials such as press releases, flyers, signs. These tactics can also be used as you offer different services and specials.

10. It’s a great idea to build relationships with neighboring and local businesses as well. You can do different things to be an active part of your community such as charity events and chamber of commerce meetings. What better way to promote your delicious product that getting people to try it first hand. Bring or donate some of your cakes and pastries to any event you attend or are a part of.