‘You’re Gonna Wanna Try a Cupcake’

Posted on June 10, 2014

It was 8 p.m. and my ‘shift’ at the ‘Daddy Daughter Dance’ was over. All the giggling, swirling girlies on the dance floor gave evidence that the night had been a smashing success.

As I turned to say goodbye to another mom, she said, “But before you go, did you get a cupcake?”

I gave her the, ‘Get-behind-me,-Satan’ glare and said, “No way! I’m trying to be good. I don’t want to waste calories on a store-bought cupcake.”

She said, “Have you ever had one of those cupcakes? They were donated by ‘Cupcake by Design’.”

I shook my head and said, “‘Cupcake by Design’? What’s that?”

“Ohhh…,” my friend chuckled. “You’re gonna wanna try a cupcake.”

Intrigued, I went and selected a vanilla cupcake from the beautiful display. She watched as I took my first bite. My expression turned from pure skepticism to pure enchantment. It was quite literally the best cupcake I had ever tasted in my entire life.

Sweet, but not too sweet. Moist, but not too moist. Flavorful, but not too flavorful. Humongous, but not too humongous!

And this cupcake was only vanilla!

I was talking about it for days. My husband said, “I’ve heard you talk more about that cupcake than you talked about our first born child.”

“Ohhh….,” I chuckled. “Obviously you’ve never tried one. You’re gonna wanna try one of those cupcakes.”

Of course he was a skeptic. (He doesn’t get nearly as excited as I do about treats.)

But the next week, he was standing in line behind two women, and one of them was going on and on to the other about these amazing cupcakes from ‘Cupcake by Design’. She was saying, “They’re sweet, but not too sweet. Moist, but not too moist…”

He couldn’t believe it. He was on the completely opposite side of town, and he was hearing the same thing as at home: “You’re gonna wanna try a cupcake.”

How about you? Have you tried one? Ohhh…. You’re gonna wanna try a cupcake.


Shannon Popkin is a Christian writer and speaker. She and her family live in Grandville, MI—where they are delighted to welcome ‘Cupcake by Design’ as their new neighbor. Check out her blog, Tiny Paragraphs, where she tells stories from everyday life, and then reinserts them into the bigger Story being written by God.


Posted on May 2, 2014

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

Educators put themselves on the line every day for the benefit of our children.  Unfortunately, their efforts are often taken for granted.  Cupcake by Design in Grand Rapids and Detroit reminds you that a little gratitude goes a long way, so in the spirit of appreciation we offer this salute to some of our most memorable teachers.

“Dear Miss Jo:  Thank you for always affirming my efforts in the art corner of your kindergarten classroom, and for not making a big deal of the time I brought my mom’s girdle in for show and tell.”

“Dear Mrs. Mumaw:  You opened the world to me when you showed me how to express my thoughts and dreams on paper, and inspired my lifelong passion for learning big words like coulrophobia and feugiat lectis.” (look it up!)

“Dear Mrs. DeHaan:  Thanks for being so cool. Nobody wore the gypsy haircut, white vinyl boots and blue tinted aviators quite like you.  You helped me understand that having your own style and staying true to who you are is … well, cool.”

“Dear Mr. Ubels:  You were unsmiling, unsympathetic, unnerving. And against all odds you taught me to appreciate the practical applications of algebra. Thanks for pushing me to work harder, aim higher and reap greater rewards.”

“Dear Ms. G:  Despite my shyness, you saw the potential in me. Thanks for the ‘eyebrow signal’ during the school spelling bee that helped me snatch victory from the class overachiever. You instilled a sense of confidence, respect and camaraderie.”

Teachers work tirelessly to develop students into productive, caring, talented individuals — and that deserves more than a bruised old piece of fruit! Teachers are largely the key to your success so celebrate your favorite educator on Teacher Appreciation Day May 6 with a Key Lime Pie cupcake from Cupcake by Design (May’s flavor of the month).   Or secure your position as the apple of teacher’s eye with a Teacher Appreciation pail, featuring apple-shaped hand-decorated sugar cookies in a decorative metal pail from Cookies by Design.  And for a little extra credit, why not toss in some nostalgic sweets like salt water taffy, old-fashioned sodas, English toffee chunks, Reese’s pieces and chocolate dipped M&M pretzels from Candy Emporium.  Great Grand Rapids cupcakes, cookies and candy all located together in one convenient place at 3080 44th Street SW, Grandville (in front of Cabela’s and Target).


Posted on April 21, 2014


Wednesday, April 23, is Administrative Assistants Day.  The administrative professional accomplishes many tasks each day:

A – nswers, assists, accumulates, allocates, arranges, authorizes … Achieves

D – etails, defines, discusses, documents, distributes …  Delivers

M – anages, monitors, maintains, maximizes …  Motivates

I – nvestigates, informs, influences …  Inspires

N – egotiates, notifies …  Nurtures

Here at Cupcake by Design in Grand Rapids, we have a charming way to help you remember the important Administrative Assistant in your life. No, not a string on your finger  –  a bracelet around your wrist!

We want to give you an “Alex & Ani Cupcake Charm Bangle” courtesy of Russell & Ballard Jewelers, for picture of charm bracelet visit:  http://www.alexandani.com/cupcake-expandable-wire-bangle.html   PLUS we want to give your favorite Administrative Assistant a six-pack of gourmet cupcakes.  Just comment below with the name of your favorite Administrative Assistant and an example of why you appreciate that person. For extra entries, you can also head to our Facebook page facebook.com/cupcakebydesign and/or comment on Twitter https://twitter.com/Cupcake_Design using hashtag #cupcakebydesign  to enter as many times as you’d like! Deadline to enter is Wednesday, 4/23 (Admin Day!)11:59pm.  We’ll randomly draw a winner from all qualified entries.  (NOTE: employees of Cupcake by Design or its affiliates, as well as contest sponsors are not eligible to participate.)

There’s no better WIN-WIN this Administrative Assistant’s Day — you get a lovely keepsake gold bangle bracelet to forever remind you of your special Admin, and that assistant wins a sweet tribute of great Grand Rapids cupcakes.

Celebrate the special people in your life any day at Cupcake by Design/Cookies by Design/Candy Emporium, 3080 44th Street SW, Grandville (in front of Cabela’s and Target).


Posted on April 7, 2014

Easter 2014The awesome goodness of Easter cupcakes at Cupcake by Design in Grand Rapids, West Bloomfield, and Rochester, Michigan is hatching!  If you are in the mood for a more traditional fare for your dessert, than choose the Carrot Cake.  A spiced cake chockfull of pecans, raisins and fresh carrot bits (you get a veggie in there as well).  Looking for a cute centerpiece that can be eaten for dessert, then choose from our variety of decorated Easter Cupcakes.  Choose from Mr. Bunny (his ears or hers, we are all about equality) are made of Cookies by Design sugar cookies, digging bunny (he may need a little help being pulled from the ground), a sheep with a marshmallow coat, or the chick covered in toasted coconut!  Whatever your mood, we have your Easter decorations and Easter cupcakes covered!  Available daily the week of Easter or always feel free to have somebunny call us to order!

Happy Easter!

Cupcake by Design located in Grandville, Michigan servicing the entire Grand Rapids area.  West Bloomfield and Rochester locations servicing the entire Detroit area.


Cupcake by Design Gets its Mardi Gras on with KING CAKES

Posted on March 3, 2014

King Cake

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.



Posted on February 24, 2014

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!


Posted on February 3, 2014


(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).


Throw a Fan-Tastic Super Bowl Party with Help from Cupcake by Design

Posted on January 29, 2014

Super Bowl 14

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 SupremeSuper 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).

Super Bowl cookies



Cupcake by Design Plugs Potholes with Great Grand Rapids Cupcakes!

Posted on January 21, 2014

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. 

Celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas with FREE Cupcakes….

Posted on December 6, 2013

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