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.

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

 

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!