Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 44
 
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

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It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton



CREATIVE CUPCAKES: “We have 50 to 75 flavors of cupcakes, which we rotate. There are 20 different flavors on hand every day.” Ruth Bzdewka (left), owner and Terry Fischer, business manager of House of Cupcakes, are shown with Rage Bzdewka (Ruth’s son) in their new store at 30 Witherspoon Street.

Delicious Update of Old Favorite Is Offered at House of Cupcakes

Customers are lining up on Witherspoon Street for the newest tasty treat in town. House of Cupcakes offers a wonderfully updated variety of this old favorite dessert, loved by schoolchildren, parents, and grandparents alike.

“Our specialty is that all our cupcakes are made from quality ingredients, such as real butter, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, rich milk chocolate, pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla, and fresh fruit,” says owner Ruth Bzdewka.

“A lot of the recipes I developed myself, some are from friends who went to culinary school, and some are from my mom, including Mum Mum’s Black Velvet — dark chocolate cake, smothered with cream cheese frosting and Belgian curls.”

The aroma of such delicious confections, which are baked on the premises every day, is an immediate enticement to customers as they step inside. “All the cupcakes are baked fresh in small batches throughout the day, so they are always fresh,” explains Ms. Bzdewka. “With our special recipes, we offer gourmet cupcakes but with homemade goodness to them. They are very moist and fluffy.”

Immediate Hit

The shop opened in August, and was an immediate hit, says Ms. Bzdewka, who with her sister Terry Fischer (now House of Cupcakes business manager), had formerly owned a Party City franchise in Manalapan and Linden.

It was time for a change, however, and she had always enjoyed baking. With the advice of friends in the bakery business, she decided to concentrate on cupcakes.

“We thought Princeton was a good location for cupcakes,” points out Ms. Bzdewka. “Cupcakes are very big in Manhattan, and the Princeton clientele is similar. Also, we’re right across the street from the library, and lots of stores and business are here. People come in all day long for our cupcakes. And they really started going right from the beginning. There’s a lot of word-of-mouth, and we have many regulars already. Some people just come in for one as a special treat (sometimes every day!); others order 200 for a party.

“Also, customers are all ages — lots of kids, business people, and also Princeton University students taking a study break. We have had a very welcoming reception. It has been even better than we expected. People really seem to like us!”

Cupcakes are popular for many occasions, report Ms. Bzdewka and Ms. Fischer. Birthday parties, school events, thank you gifts, baby showers, office parties, holiday, hostess and housewarming gifts, among others.

In addition, cupcakes have become a favorite alternative to the traditional wedding cake. A cake, fashioned with tiers of individual and decorated cupcakes, is unique and memorable — as well as easy to eat!

Every Flavor

“Cupcakes are also popular now as favors for wedding guests and other occasions,” says Ms. Bzdewka. “When they are used for favors, we put them in a gift box with ribbon and decorate the cupcake with a flower or butterfly (or pumpkin for Halloween).”

Just about every flavor and combination cupcake is available to please the palate, she adds. Just a sampling includes: Red Velvet Royale, a Southern favorite with sumptuous cocoa cake and cream cheese frosting; Vanilla Riot, including Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake with rich vanilla butter cream frosting; Chocolate Rage (named for Ms. Bzdewka’s son), rich chocolate cake topped with milk chocolate frosting; Peanut Butter Delight, signature moist peanut butter cake with rich creamy peanut butter frosting, topped with crushed peanuts; Orange Burst, moist orange cake overflowing with creamy orange frosting; and … Creme Brulee, Carrot Spectacular, Coconut Snowball, Chocolate Oreo — the list goes on!

Customers may also order personalized cupcakes if they wish. For example, a little girl, after patiently waiting in line ordered “a pink one”, and her brother asked for “green.” They were quickly accommodated.

In addition to cupcakes, gourmet muffins are available, including such choices as pumpkin/wholewheat and banana/ chocolate chip, which are very popular.

Another Option

Gourmet candy apples (with apples from Terhune Orchards and chocolate (from Lindt) are another option, and there is also a selection of smoothies, sodas, coffee, cappuccino, and tea.

Customers with pets will be pleased to find unique offerings for their canine companions. “Pupcakes”, made of corn meal, honey, peanut butter, and cream cheese or yogurt, and decorated with a “bone” from Pawtisserie Princeton, are a big hit with the four-legged set.

In addition to wedding receptions and an array of other special parties, House of Cupcakes does a big corporate event business, including breakfast and lunch meetings.

Prices range from 99 for a bite-sized mini cupcake to $2.25 for a regular. “We have very good pricing for gourmet cupcakes,” notes Ms. Bzdewka. “Also, if you buy six, you get one free; buy 12, get two free. We also offer gift cards.”

House of Cupcakes is open Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 11 to 7. (609) 924-0085. Website: www.thehouseofcupcakes.com.

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