A King Cake is a Mardi Gras custom thought to date back to 12th century France. Traditionally, small cakes were baked to celebrate the coming of the three wise kings bearing gifts for the Christ child twelve days after Christmas, calling it the Twelfth Night, Epiphany feast, or King’s Day. Nowadays, the popular brioche-style King Cake is prepared in New Orleans bakeries for the festive period between the Twelfth Night (Jan. 6) and Ash Wednesday (Mar. 4). Sometimes a bean, pea or small figurine symbolizing the baby Jesus are hidden inside a cake – finding such a treasure is considered great luck!
To bring a touch of Cajun cleverness to West Michigan, Cupcake by Design in Grand Rapids is celebrating Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday” (the last day of the post-Christmas-pre-Lenten season) with a limited supply of King Cakes available next Monday, 3/3 and Tuesday 3/4. These divinely decadent cupcakes feature a Cinnamon Spice cake with added Pecans, a vanilla buttercream frosting. Our King Cakes are wisely decorated in the three colors of royalty: purple (justice), green (faith), and yellow (power). And in keeping with noble tradition – plus, it’s just plain fun! – we’ll hide a plastic baby inside a few select ‘cakes. . Be careful when biting into it, 6 lucky cupcakes will have a small non-edible plastic baby inside. Whoever receives a cupcake with a baby in it will win a dozen cupcakes ($31.20 value).
You don’t need to be from Orient-are, or even really traverse so far. To get your King Cake just climb in your car … and journey over to Cupcake by Design, 3080 44th St SW, Grandville, MI (in front of Cabela’s and Target). This promotion is only available at the Grandville location. Other flavors are available in West Bloomfield and Rocherster Hills locations.
March is “National Peanut Month” and it launches with Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day (March 1). The peanut is a little legume that’s big on nutrients … but let’s be honest, it’s the flavor we savor. And what butter way to spread the love than with a cupcake like Chunky Monkey (banana chocolate chip cupcake topped with peanut butter frosting dipped in chocolate ganache, finished off with a delightful drizzle of still more peanut butter). Not nutty enough for you? Then how about a Peanut Butter Bacon cupcake (maple bacon cake made with luscious syrup, peanut butter frosting topped with real bacon.) Glorious! But it doesn’t get any more heavenly than Peanut Butter Paradise (chocolate peanut butter cupcake with a surprise peanut butter cup center, chocolate peanut butter frosting, garnished with a peanut buttercup candy.)
Looking for a cookie? How about a Peanut Butter Gourmet Cookie Cookies by Design recipe! Delicious and gooey, just like Mom makes. The Candy Emporium features a large selection of candies from yesterday and today. Remember the Look Bar, Clark Bar, Sky Bark or the Whatchamacallit? What? Whatchamacallit? Fun candy bars from yesterday filled with Peanut Butter!
We’re in a seriously sticky situation here because we have so many ways to celebrate the humble yet proud peanut . So bring it on, Charlie Brown and Lucy. Cupcake by Design/Cookies by Design/Candy Emporium honors all things peanut in March!
(The following Valentine’s Day preview is rated PG-14 for romantic language and sweet innuendo.)
Of course he meant well. The lengths to which he went to provide a romantic Valentine’s Day were unexpectedly sweet. He arranged for relatives to take our two small boys for the night, bought a luscious bouquet of roses, filled the bathtub with softly scented bubbles and lined the room with candles. The sultry voice of Luther Vandross in the background, an uncorked bottle of red wine, a gossamer pink teddy spread provocatively across the bed … all the details to guarantee success, right?
Poor guy. He was not prepared for the sleep-deprived-diaper-changing-laundry-lugging-toddler-chasing-stressed-out- mama-meltdown about to happen.
Whoever thought it was a good idea to schedule a romantic holiday on February 14? It’s too close to the holidays to allow for sufficient weight loss, it’s the dead of dry-skin winter. And who ever thought lingerie was a welcome valentine gift? There’s a reason romance prefers the dark. There’s nothing sexy about straining seams, I thought as I stared at myself in the full length mirror. I looked like one of those sausages stuffed in natural casing. But the dear man had put effort into this evening, so I knew I needed to smile and take a deep breath and … rrrrrip. The sound of screaming synthetic fibers was too much. I’ll spare you the details but suffice it to say, Luther was silenced, the tub was drained, the candles snuffed, the remains of the teddy packed away. But the wine was consumed, the roses sniffed (once the sniffling stopped) and two tired young parents, in their favorite sweats, fell contentedly asleep in front of the TV in each other’s arms.
My husband and I have enjoyed many Valentines together and have discovered over the years that the simplest celebrations are often the sweetest. Like Cupcake by Design’s gourmet Valentine Collection, a duo of cakes kissed with heart-y, hand-decorated buttercream frosting. And the amore doesn’t stop there — for the entire month of February, Cupcake by Design in Grand Rapids is offering uniquely romantic cakes in sexy flavors like Dark Chocolate Merlot (dark chocolate cake with Merlot wine, chocolate merlot frosting with chocolate shavings), Red Hot Mama (vanilla cupcake with cinnamon candies and cinnamon cream cheese frosting), Pink Champagne (vanilla cake infused with Pink Champagne and Pink Champagne Frosting), and Chocolate Covered Strawberry (chocolate cake with strawberry filling and strawberry frosting with chocolate drizzle).
Come feel the love this Valentines day at our Cupcake by Design/Cookies by Design/Candy Emporium store, 3080 44th St SW, Grandville, MI (in front of Cabela’s and Target).
Ask anyone on the street about Superbowl party food, and you will likely get a menu that reads like the local sports bar: appetizers, chili, wings, sliders, pretzels, chips, brats, dips … outdoor-grilled or batter-fried, cheesy-greasy- goodness.
TIME OUT! What about dessert?
Surprisingly, many Super Bowl party hosts neglect this important counter-balance. Really, you can’t have a championship game where only one team takes the field! All-savory-no-sweet is like an incomplete pass! Rather than fumble around trying to do it all yourself, let Cupcake by Design in Grand Rapids tackle your Super Bowl dessert dilemma with scrumptious team-themed cupcakes, decorate a vanilla bean or Chocolate Supreme. Super sweet and all suited up for Superbowl in Denver Bronco blue & orange and Seattle Seahawks bright green & blue (& silver, too.) They’re so delish, your party guests might just jump teams to take a bite of the competition.
Score a touchdown with your guests – be sure to pick up some Super Bowl cupcakes from Cupcake by Design AND check out the fun football cookie bouquets from Cookies by Design. All the fun and fan-fare is located together at 3080 44th St SW, Grandville, MI (in front of Cabela’s and Target).
January in Michigan is notoriously “Jekyll and Hyde.” One day your vehicle is buffeted by bone-chilling winds, the next day it’s getting pulled sideways by rivers of melting slush. You can wake up to sun glistening off gentle white snowflakes, and by the time you commence your morning commute a full-on dark gray blizzard is underway. January in Michigan means white knuckles, blue lips … and potholes. Lots and lots of chasms in the asphalt that appear without warning and threaten to swallow your car whole. Potholes are as much a part of the season as the frozen precipitation that creates them. Potholes are the pits. But since they are largely unavoidable, it doesn’t make sense to waste energy fretting over them (you need that energy to keep you warm). Rather than sink into depression, Cupcake by Design in Grand Rapids has decided to celebrate these craters with cake.
In honor of West Michigan’s plethora of potholes, we’re offering great cupcakes in Grand Rapids like Rocky Road – a chocolate cupcake filled with pecans, caramel and chocolate chips, Mocha Surprise – a chocolate coffee cupcake with added chocolate chips and surprise chocolate chip cream cheese filling, and Boston Crème Pie (because January in Michigan is “More Than a Feeling”, it’s a teeth chattering reality!) With over 30 flavors of gourmet cupcakes, 300 available cookie bouquets and gift baskets, and jar after jar of old-fashioned and current candies, Cupcake by Design/Cookies by Design at 3080 44th Street SW, Grandville (in front of Cabela’s and Target) is the ONE predictably warm and yummy place worth braving the perils of potholes.
The tree is trimmed, the lights are hung and Santa’s elves are busy baking here at Cupcake by Design. To share in the spirit of giving, we are giving away 25 cupcakes everyday starting Monday, December 9 for Twelve Days! Each day we will share a different flavor and all you have to do is be the first of 25 customers to come in to the Shoppe located at the corner of 44th and Ivanrest in Grandville (in front of the new Cabela’s) and say to us:
“On the (insert day here) of Christmas my true love gave to me (insert the crazy item that we would hope our true loves would not give us here) and you receive a FREE Cupcake of the Flavor of the Day. See complete schedule below. Now if you really want to get into the spirit, if you come in and actually sing the song of the day then you receive a bonus Gourmet Cookie to go with your cupcake!
Come on in and share in the spirit of giving this Holiday Season!
Monday, December 9:
On the twelfth day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 12 Drummers Drumming
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: Snickerdoodle Toffee
Tuesday, December 10:
On the eleventh day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 11 Pipers Piping
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: White Velvet
Wednesday, December 11:
On the tenth day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 10 Lords a Leaping
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: Vanilla Bean
Thursday, December 12:
On the ninth day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 9 Ladies Dancing
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: Chocolate Supreme
Friday, December 13:
On the eighth day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 8 Maids of Milking
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: Cookies ~n~ Cream
Saturday, December 14:
On the seventh day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 7 Swans a Swimming
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: French Vanilla Latte
Sunday, December 15:
On the sixth day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 6 Geese a Laying
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: Carrot Cake
Monday, December 16:
On the fifth day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 5 GOLDEN RINGS
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: Give me Smore
Tuesday, December 17:
On the fourth day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 4 Calling Birds
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: The Gingerbread Man
Wednesday, December 18:
On the third day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 3 French Hens
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: Red Velvet
Thursday, December 19:
On the second day of Christmas by true love gave to me: 2 Turtle Doves
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: Peanut Butter Paradise
Friday, December 20:
On the first day of Christmas by true love gave to me: A Partridge in a Pear Tree
FREE Cupcake of the Day is: Peppermint Swirl
‘Tis the season. You dust off the Christmas ornaments, decorate the Christmas tree, hang the Christmas stockings and mail the Christmas cards. You preset every radio channel to Christmas music, download a Christmas screensaver to your computer, and hide every coffee mug that doesn’t feature a Christmas scene. It’s definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Then you remember …
The office Christmas party. That dreaded day of gifting blunders. Whether your office throws a black-tie cocktail gala or tacky-seasonal-sweater potluck affair, chances are you will give and get some sort of gift. One of my most memorable office Secret Santa gifts was a shaving kilt. No, not a shaving KIT, but a terry-cloth skirt printed in blue sailboats, wrapped around a can of shaving foam with a tag on it that read, “Smooth Sailing!” One year when I worked at an auto parts store, I had a ridiculous time trying to win back the hubcaps from my own car in a vicious White Elephant exchange. But it’s not confined to co-workers …
Families can gift even more inexplicably. Every Christmas my Grandma bestows woolen stockings upon all her progeny. Regardless of the fact that the family at-large is allergic to wool. And live down South. My father is fond of giving everyone auto parts (see above reference). One year he proudly presented me with a tire gauge and a distress flare. Apparently checking your tire pressure is cause for angst and announcement. Last Christmas, my dear husband put an ice cube tray in my stocking. I’m trying very, very hard not to over think that one.
We’ve all given our share of last-minute and thoughtless gifts. Which brings this around to the really important question … WHAT IS A TRUE GIFT? A real gift is something that makes you happy to give to someone else. It is something that costs you – either in time or money, inconvenience or effort – that you gladly give without hesitation. It is something that is so special yet so simple and so sweet as to be …
A White Velvet Cupcake. We know how to do great cupcakes here at Cupcake by Design in Grand Rapids. And we know that when you take a vanilla cupcake, add buttermilk, sour cream and white chocolate, frost it with Almond Cream Cheese and white chocolate shavings … white elephants around the world tremble with gift-giving anticipation! Finally – the gift you want to give AND the gift you want to get. ‘Tis the season, indeed!!
Stop in our new Location. Cupcake by Design, 3080 44th St. SW, Grandville, MI 49418. Corner of 44th Street and Ivanrest in front of Cabela’s!
Here at Cupcake by Design, we are interested in more than just making great Grand Rapids cupcakes. We are invested in our community and appreciative of the large number of organizations that reach out to meet the needs of our neighbors. We wanted to find a way to bless the hardworking, selfless people who do so much to make West Michigan a great place to live. So we’re launching a unique initiative, Sweet Charity, to highlight local non-profits and give them a financial boost.
Beginning in November, Cupcake by Design/Cookies by Design will focus on one Sweet Charity each month (from all non-profits suggested by customers) to be the recipient of a portion of one day’s worth of store proceeds. The idea is to have you share the causes you feel passionate about, then inform and inspire others to support the organizations on the frontlines of those causes. Whether your favorite charity is a school, church, social, humane or other agency that makes a positive difference in this community, we want to hear about it. To nominate your favorite non-profit as an upcoming Sweet Charity, contact Jennifer Kok at JKok@cupcakebydesign.com
Then come see us on Sweet Charity day. Help yourself to your favorite Cupcake by Design ‘cake like Butter Pecan or White Chocolate Raspberry, grab a sweetly decorated Cookies by Design sugar cookie , or pick up a Chocolate Lovers Delight package from Candy Emporium – and know your treat will benefit a worthy cause.
November’s Sweet Charity happens Tuesday, November 5 ; 10% of all sales this day will go to Parent Project MD, the organization on the frontlines of battling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. (DMD is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during early childhood. Find out more at http://www.parentprojectmd.org/site/PageServer?pagename=nws_index)
Join us each month for a new Sweet Charity. We’ll announce upcoming recipients right here and on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cupcakebydesign
Oh, the fond memories of Halloween rituals with your children. Homemade costumes (“Do I hafta wear that? It’s itchy!) … trick-or-treating in Gramma’s neighborhood (“Aw, man. Another popcorn ball”) … arriving home at dusk to see a large moaning boogie man on the roof (“Why is Dad up there? And why is he wearing my Little Mermaid sheet?”) … sorting through your kids’ bags of candy (“You better give that Snickers to me. It might have a razor in it”) … lying in bed on a high-alert sugar buzz, trembling at every rustle of leaves outside the window (um, that would be me. The kids were blissfully asleep.)
My kids are grown now and my Halloween ritual has changed. Nowadays, I head to Cookies by Design/Cupcake by Design where I fearlessly order up my favorite Grand Rapids cupcakes, cookies and candy. Spooktacular goodies like The Great Pumpkin cupcake, Fallen Leaves Cookie Tray, and candies in the Candy Emporium that take me down Halloween’s memory lane (Bit O Honey, Goo Goo Clusters, Chicklets and more!) With over 300 available cookie bouquets and gift baskets, 30 flavors of gourmet cupcakes, and jar after jar of old-fashioned AND current candies, I can easily scare up a few bags full of wickedly delicious Halloween treats to take home and share with my boogie man.
Include Cupcake by Design in your West Michigan Halloween rituals. Come see the un-boo-lievable selection of sweets at our new store, 3080 44th Street SW, Grandville (in front of Cabela’s and Target).
I’ve worked a number of different jobs over the years, in the corporate world, in health care services, at various non-profits and in retail. I can say with much gratitude that most of my bosses have been pretty great. But the best boss ever was probably my very first “boss” … Ruthie Lewis. This goes way back to the summer of my seventh year when I was approached by my neighbor, Ruthie Lewis, to get in on the ground floor of her new venture. A lemonade stand. But not just any lemonade stand. This was to be a cutting edge lemonade stand and she wanted my creativity, my able hands, my front yard. Ruthie was a force to be reckoned with on an average day, but when she got a brilliant idea you got swept away on the tidal wave of her enthusiasm. I quickly agreed to help her open a unique stand. And eclectic it was. We offered fresh-squeezed lemonade – unsweetened, her idea … no-bake cookies sporting little flags with sage advice — our version of fortune cookies … and photo frames made of hand-decorated popsicle sticks — my inspired creations. I “borrowed” my mother’s Polaroid Instamatic and we were in business. The idea was to offer the lemonade at a rock bottom price, then upsell our customers. They would need the sweetness of the cookies to balance the tart beverage (and who can resist a cookie that comes with a life lesson?) Our customers would so enjoy themselves that it would feel like a mini vacation, and no vacation is complete without a picture to capture the experience! For every customer who bought the whole package, we threw in the photo frame for “free.” Pure genius. And rather successful … until the hot summer sun began cooking the no-bakes and my mom came looking for her camera. To her credit, Ruthie took responsibility for the unauthorized use of said camera, showed my mother the profits in our cash box, then directed mom’s attention to the beauty of the popsicle frames so artfully created by “a talented and well-brought up young lady.” Even at such a tender age, Ruthie Lewis had figured out what it takes to be a good leader:
1) Cast a vision that inspires others
2) Be big enough to accept responsibility for the whole team
3) Value the contributions of your people and give them credit for your success
October 16th is Boss’s Day. Even if your boss is no Ruthie Lewis, everybody deserves a day to be recognized and appreciated. To help you show your gratitude, Cupcake by Design has the best Grand Rapids cupcakes for your boss. Treat your leader to a fun fall flavor like Caramel Apple (October’s flavor of the month) Pumpkin, Butter Pecan, or German Chocolate. (Yummmm. Can you say “promotion?” ) You could just make your boss (and office!) the happiest in West Michigan.