Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

Interview with Kimi of Megan Hearts Baking

By on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I recently did my first ATC interview with Kimi of “Megan Hearts Baking”.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself? (Name, location, occupation etc):

I live in Long Beach, CA with my husband, Steve (recently married….one month ago exactly!)
 – How exciting! Congrats on your one month anniversary!

2. How popular are cupcakes in California?

They are found everywhere: birthday parties, holiday functions, work potlucks, cooking shows, block parties, etc.  They are enjoyed by people of all ages! I even had cupcakes as the dessert at my wedding last month :) Red Velvet are the best!

So true! Nothing beats a great Red Velvet Cupcake!
3. When did you start working on the Megan Hearts Baking book?

We have been working on this book for over a year.
4. How did you come up with the idea for the book? 

Megan Fate (the real MEGAN who the book is writen about) is someone I admire and cherish! She is someone who models selflessness, acts with humility, pursues joy, and bleeds passion. She lives life to its fullest, loving adventure, learning from mistakes, and empowering others to pursue their dreams and goals. One night, during a high school youth event, I looked at my sister and said, “Wow! Megan lives a compelling life! She walks in confidence, never afraid to be herself! If more girls were like Megan, we’d have a different type of community here in Long  Beach.” At that moment, I ran up to Megan and told her “I’m writing a book and you’re the main character.” Within an hour, I had the entire book series figured out….with a list of adventures I couldn’t wait for Megan to share with readers!

*********Also, Baking is an important activity for young girls to learn because it creates community, allows for creativity, and builds a sense of accomplishment. Baking is something girls can tangible do at any age….an activity they can participate in with the help of their family and friends. We serve one another (look beyond just our personal needs) with baking….birthday and wedding cakes, Christmas cookies, get-well banana bread, heart shaped Valentine candies, etc. With baking comes mathematics, detail orientation, patience, endurance….which results in a sense of accomplishment. Everytime we try something new, we get to know ourselves better. We figure out what we like and don’t like, what we are scared of and what is comfortable, and what we want to pursue. Megan Hearts addresses mistakes and the fact that they WILL happen (they are inevitable). There is personal growth and development through mistakes…that is if, as my dad puts it, “we always get up everytime we fall.” 
5. What advice would you give a writer who wanted to start writing their own book?

First of all, dream big! If you want to write a book….write a book! Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Secondly, make sure you study up and research the subject or theme you want to talk about. Third, enjoy the subject you want to write about!
6. How often do you eat cupcakes?

I usually eat about two a month.
7. What is your earliest cupcake memory?

For my sixth birthday, my mom made fun-fetti cupcakes with pink frosting:) DELICIOUS:)
8. What does the future hold for Megan Hearts Baking?

Megan Hearts Baking is the first book in the Megan Hearts Series:) Each book will introduce/educate young girls on different hobbies, sports, etc. The second book is Megan Hearts Guitar.

I can not wait to read the next book in the series! Thank you Kimi for the sneak peak of “Megan Hearts Baking”, and letting me do this interview with you.

Kimi was kind enough to give me a sneak peak at her new book “Megan Hearts Baking”.

It will be the first in a series of Megan Hearts books which is aimed at girls 5 – 9 years of age to encourage them the explore new hobbies (obviously one is baking) and making goals.

This first Megan Hearts book introduces us to Megan and her , I guess you could call it – dilemma – Megan has a birthday party to go to and wants to bring her favorite treat – cupcakes! (She’s not alone there with the cupcakes). But her last go at baking adventure didn’t go so well…leaving her fearful to step foot in the kitchen again.

Megan and her mom learn how to bake cupcakes together – from finding a recipe, making a shopping list, learning kitchen safety, understanding measuring utensils, decorating the cupcakes, and sharing the tasty treats with friends and family. Megan gains confidence by learning from her mistakes…experiences joy as she discovers her own strengths and abilities…and develops a love for the sweetest treat of all – learning!

At the end of the book are biographies of real people that have used their passion for baking to open cupcake shops around the United States. The following cupcake shops: Magnolia Bakery (New York City), Sprinkles (Texas), Sugarbliss (Chicago), Cake and Art (West Hollywood), Stef from Cupcake Project (she has her fingers in everything these days!), and Frosted Cupcakery (Long Beach, CA) are the business that were interviewed and given a full page biography. The reason for these bios are to empower and inspire young girls to dream big!

I read the book with my 6 year old daughter Kinley and we both loved it! It was beautifully illustrated. Kinley related herself to Megan throughout the book. I think that this is a must read for every school age girl. The message Kinley got from “Megan Hearts Baking” was to never give up.

The book will be available from Thanksgiving on the Megan Hearts site as well as Amazon.

Cupcakes In The News

By on Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Kathi Hardin of Leawood likes to decorate cupcakes as spider webs and mummies.

Spooky little cupcakes make Halloween sweet

Mary G. Pepitone; Wednesday Oct 29, 2008

At Halloween, Kathi Hardin scares up bewitchingly sweet treats. She also has plenty of tricks to help manage a busy household.

Finding the fun factor helps Hardin maintain balance between an active family — with husband Mike and their two sons, Maguire, 6, and Cooper, 2 — and her budding home-based business, Tray Bella. While preparing healthy food choices for her family is a priority, that doesn’t preclude the enjoyment of an occasional coolly decorated confection.

Residence: Leawood

Occupation: Homemaker and head of home-based, tray-decorating business

Special cooking interest: Baked desserts

Does Martha Stewart live here? No (laughing). You should see my kitchen after the boys have helped me cook. I think it’s good for kids to help make food, it’s good for their math and for them to go through the process of making something and tasting the end product. You need to let go of not making a mess. The kitchen needs to be cleaned anyway, and ideally, your kids help with that process, too. As far as my decorating goes, I focus on keeping things simple. I draw inspiration from home and gardening television shows, magazines and shops, then I file it away. When I’m ready to decorate, it just comes to me. I decorate on a budget, mix-and-match items and, luckily, received the gift to be able to pull it all together. When I get bored with how things look, I move all my furniture around, and it’s like I have a brand new house. My mother, Susan Kelly, is very creative and I think I get it from her.

Why start a business designing trays? Trays are so practical, so utilitarian. No matter what is being served, serving it on a tray just makes it so special. Although trays come in a variety of materials, from metal to wicker, I work with wood trays. I paint them and decorate them with beautiful or fun paper. It’s easy to build a tablescape on a tray, and then when it’s time to eat, you can easily remove the tray from the table for more room. It’s a special treat to serve lunch to yourself on a beautiful tray, you can sit anywhere, and cleanup is easy. Using a tray can be both functional and beautiful.

Have you always liked Halloween? I love the fall season, the cool weather, the colors. Nature provides so many things for decorating your home, too. Go out into your yard and collect a bowl of acorns or fill a basket with hedge apples with your kids. I decorate my house with these findings. When it comes to seasonal decorating, keep it simple and use what you already have. For Halloween this year, my fireplace mantel looks like a laboratory just by using glass containers I already owned. The boys and I like to make special treats for Halloween to give away, too. I save the paper towel tubes, decorate and fill them to resemble special English crackers. We also fill glycine bags with treats and I seal them with cute labels.

What is your fall food repertoire? During the fall I love to make soups, including white chicken chili, cheddar and pumpkin. But, to me, there is something old-fashioned about cupcakes. They are simple, beautiful, fun-to-make and a great way to control portions. White cake is the favorite flavor choice in my house. Decorate them using a pastry bag or simply add some sprinkles.

Please visit for more information and a recipe.

Shanna Moakler talks to All Things Cupcake.

By on Saturday, September 13th, 2008

I asked Shanna the other day if she’d be interested in talking with me about cupcakes. Her response, "yes i love cupcakes, red velvet!". I didn’t want to do any ol’ interview. I wanted something quick, fun, and sassy.

So here we go:

Shanna: Red velvet with cream cheese frosting is my FAVORITE!
Me: Red velvet w/ cream cheese is the best. yum.

Me: If you had to choose, would you pick the frosting or the cake?
Shanna: If I had to choose, I would choose to eat the frosting!
Who wouldn’t?

Me: In your opinion, what is the sexiest way to eat a cupcake?
Shanna: The sexiest way to eat a cupcake to me is having equal parts of cake and frosting, so i like using my fingers and getting messy!
Getting messy while eating a cupcake is a must.

Me: If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one cupcake, what flavor would it be?
Shanna: I would pick red velvet.

Me: Mrs Beasley’s or Sprinkles ?
Shanna: I choose mrs beasleys all the way, i like their mini muffins and cupcakes..
Me: I agree!
Shanna: I send their mini muffin baskets to people for holidays and stuff! hehe I personal don’t like sprinkles at all.. too much going on… I like a classic simple cupcake..

And there ya have it folks. Thanks Shanna <3

Bake & Destroy Interview w/ Cakespy!

By on Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Wooo! Check out this awesome interview with Natalie of Bake & Destroy (One of our kick ass contributors). Cakespy’s interviews are always so fun and entertaining!

Interview with Matt Armendariz of

By on Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

This is one of my favorite things about All Things Cupcake, featuring wonderful people who love cupcakes just as much as we do. I couldn’t think of a more perfect person to interview than Matt Armendariz, Photographer: &  food blogger: .

I remember finding Matt on Martha Stewart’s website and thinking, wow.. what have I been missing! The photography was amazing and the food.. well.. mouth was definitely watering. The first post I read was The Tattooed Latke Maker Gives In and have been going back ever since. How could you not with photos like this:

At one time, Matt mentioned his love for cupcakes to me in an e-mail and I just had to do an interview. So let’s begin, shall we?

Hi Matt! First, I feel that I should start this interview by saying…… I have a confession, I have never had a sprinkles cupcake. What am I missing?
Oh no, I’m afraid I’ll open the Sprinkles-Vs-Other Cupcake argument here. What I can tell you is this: Sprinkles’ packaging, presentation and retail space is impeccable. As a designer and art director I appreciate that. Plus their seasonal Cherry Cupcake cannot be beat. I’ve had better Red Velvet, though.

When you mentioned red velvet & vanilla to me, I just knew you were a fan.

Seriously, who doesn’t like cupcakes? I know there are detractors and haters, but I know they secretly love them. They have to.

A world without cupcakes is __________.

Angry and confused.

You started your food blog a little over two years ago, have you ever written about cupcakes?

I’ve written about them in passing but have never focused on them exclusively. I was a very early Sprinkles adopter and felt that was good enough for me. Besides, it’d be very easy for me to obsess over cupcakes and ignore everything else. If that ever happens please watch out. Expandable waistlines will ensue.

Moving from Texas to California, was it a big culture shock? I am originally from California and had moved to Tennessee 5 years ago. I honestly felt like I had gone through a time machine back to 1995.

I think I know exactly how you feel. For some reason I never felt completely at home in Texas, even though I’m still super proud to be a Texan. California has been my home long before I ever got here. Even as a child I’ve had ties to California, whether they were from relatives or family vacation. Plus both my parents had spent time in California growing up and I’ve always known I would end up here. I never thought California would be so good to me, though!

Do you think that there is a huge cupcake craze going on right now in Los Angeles?

It’s actually been going on for years; right when I think it’s hit a point of mega oversaturation another shop opens up. I love my cupcakes but it is frustrating.
Still, I eat them regularly!

It seems like celebrities love their cupcakes more now, than ever before. Why is that?

Because you can indulge in small quantities and also because with cupcakes presentation is everything. It’s absolutely everything. Just like celebrity.

How does your blog relate to your everyday life?

It’s certainly an extension of me. At first it was a place to fit in the stories and tidbits that didn’t have a home, now it’s what keeps me sane and connected to so many people.

As a self proclaimed "man obsessed with food and drink…" where do cupcakes fit in?

I have two very distinct food loves: salty and sweet. It’s the sweet part that must be controlled with the greatest amount of restraint. I’m chubby already, I could easily add an extra dozen pounds if I didn’t watch what I ate. So because of this cupcakes are always special treats for me. I treat them with the greatest amount of respect.

OK, lets get real here. What’s the best part? Frosting or cake?

I knew you would ask this! It’s really tough. I want to say it’s the frosting but even marginally acceptable frosting is ok if the cake is worth it. So yea, it’s the cake. Cake all the way, baby.

Do you have any food related tattoos, or any tattoos that specifically relate to your career?

I have no food related tattoos other than the vine of grapes and grape leaves that run down my left arm. My tattoos they don’t necessarily relate to my career.

Would you ever get a cupcake tattoo?

Sure, but it’d have to be the perfect illustration.

The perfect cupcake would be not too sweet, a touch of zest, creamy, dense, with the perfect crumb.

Food is love, cupcakes are the kisses on your eyelids and forehead before you fall asleep from someone you love.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, if you’d like.

Oh, I’m just a goofball who can’t seem to relax. But I’m a goofball who loves you and thanks you for this interview!

Interview with James Gray of Dozen Cupcakes

By on Saturday, January 19th, 2008

I took my first field trip to the local cupcake shop earlier this week. I did not expect to find one of the best cupcakes I have ever had at Dozen Cupcakes. The Raspberry Zinger is killer. I mean seriously good. I LOVED it! Nor did I expect one of the owners, James Gray, of Dozen to comment on my review. I got up the courage to ask him to give me an interview on all things cupcake. He was ever so nice and said yes.

About Dozen…

Dozen is a joint effort between James Gray and Andrew Twigg. James and Andrew both live in Pittsburgh’s Regent Square neighborhood. James attended culinary school in Chicago and worked as a baker and cook in several Chicago restaurants. His best work went down in his Lincoln Square apartment, throwing dinner parties that would make the folks at Gourmet take a second look.
Where were you when you came up with the idea for Dozen?I was in the car driving and thinking about what I was going to do with my life. I had just moved to Pittsburgh from Chicago and the opportunities were much fewer. It became clear that I would have to do my own thing if I was going to be employed doing something that I liked.We opened it very quickly. We started talking about it in late October and opened on December 29th! I still can’t believe we did it so fast.The fame and fortune! Just kidding. The best thing is seeing all the people’s faces light up when they come in here. Especially the kids. It is very rewarding.

What is your earliest cupcake memory?
Hmmmm. I guess the box cupcakes that you always saw at the church picnics.

Where do your recipes come from, and what is your inspiration for new flavors?
Most of our recipes are adaptations of old fashion recipes. We love to look through old women’s magazines and old cookbooks. We usually have to change a few things around to suite our tastes and the volume we bake. And our inspiration comes from anywhere really. Mostly we like the classic flavor combos but occasionally we spice it up a bit. Literally!We usually have to test something a few times to get it just right for Dozen. We have very particular standards for our yummy cupcakes.

Have you had any flavors that were a complete disaster?
Honestly, we just haven’t had any disasters. We are very careful to make cupcakes that people will like!Cosmo and Elvis. The cosmo is a vanilla cake with vodka soaked cranberries and pink lime butterccream. The Elvis is a banana cake with a Nutella center and our famous peanut butter buttercream!

How many cupcakes do you make per day?
Depends on the day. We bake about 3000-3500 a week with catering orders.

What do you do with the tasty leftovers at the end of the day?
Some go to Meals on Wheels and the others get distributed out into the community one way or another.I love our Vanilla Vanilla cupcakes. Classic and Yummy!

How often do you eat cupcakes?
Not very often now. I prefer to make them for others to enjoy. I like potato chips!

What do you do on your day off?
What day off?Never!Why not. Some people don’t like frosting. We sell them without it if that is the way they want it.

What is next for Dozen Cupcakes?
We are opening Dozen Bake Shop on Saturday January 26th. This is a bakery/cafe concept that is new in Pittsburgh. We will serve real homestyle desserts in a cute country-chic environment. We think it will be a hit.Thank you so much for asking me to do the interview! It was very nice of you.

Dozen is Pittsburgh’s urban cupcake experience. Bring the kids or a special someone or just bring yourself. Grab a unique cupcake for your co-worker’s birthday, or grab a dozen for the office; get a high quality coffee or tea. Forget a wedding cake, order 200 White Wedding cupcakes. Son or Daughter turning 5 years old? She or he will be the talk of the town when you dish up each guest their own unique cupcake. No forks, no knives! Dozen is bringing a little piece of the big city to this big little city of Pittsburgh.



How long did it take you to open Dozen, concept to fruition?


What is the best thing about owning a cupcake shop?




How many times do you test a recipe before it becomes a regular on the menu?



What is your most popular flavor?




What is your favorite cupcake?




Do you dream about cupcakes?


Is a cupcake, without frosting, a cupcake?



Is there anything you would like to add?


Back at ya James! Good luck with Dozen Bake Shop! I cant wait to stop in and see it.