Young and Hungry

The Art of Decorating Cupcakes

Remember in December when we at Y&H Central launched into a debate over the profitability of cupcake shops? After those posts were published, I got into another debate with a local restaurateur (who preferred to stay off the record).

He suggested the overhead at cupcake shops is higher than I might think; he pointed out that the owners would have to hire "two skilled bakers, at least an additional skilled decorator, a manager plus a host of counter people/stockers/boxers for two shifts a day." Anyone who'd tries to compensate this level of talent at 18 percent labor costs, he added, is practically running a sweatshop. (That's another story, for another day.)

I countered with the idea that most cupcakeries don't need that much talent behind the scenes. "A skilled baker and decorator to make cupcake batter and place a pink heart on...a simple buttercream frosting?" I shot back, somewhat insultingly. (We have this kind of relationship.)

After watching this video yesterday, however, I have to eat a little crow (preferably with some buttercream frosting). This shop obviously has a skilled decorator at the helm.

  • winenegress

    In response to your chili question, I now make a fabulous chili at home and have not found better going out since I moved to DC. That's all I can offer is for you and the Poet to come over and try it some night.

  • Jenna

    They look beautiful, and they do take skill, but those delicate little fondant flowers actually aren't that hard. They were demonstrating how to do them at a Hello Cupcake "preview" of their decorating classes - all you do is press a stamp into rolled out fondant. The stamp even creates the slightly curled edges of the flowers. So, like I said, lovely, but not too tricky to replicate with the right tools.