Hilary Duff (blog/Twitter) is a quirky 21-year-old who loves multimedia journalism, cycling, food blogging, and churning massive amounts of baked goods out of her cramped student kitchen. She is currently writing an LTOttawa series on her hunt for Ottawa’s perfect cupcake.
Last Sunday the sun was shining and birds were chirping as I made my way down to the Bridgehead for my next cupcake sampling. As an aside, I’m mildly concerned that the baristas at Bridgehead hate me. I’m the girl who goes in, gets an enormous box of cupcakes, and talks about nothing but baked goods before promptly leaving. I’m going to become notorious for my shady baking-related Bridgehead dealings, and apologize for my frequent visitation. Please don’t kick me out, I like your tea, I swear!
Now, if there is one thing I’ve learned from this cupcake challenge, it’s that the bakers’ stories are as good as the cupcakes themselves.
Such was the case with Daphney Deroneth or, as she likes to be called, the Cupcake Fairy (not to be confused with the tooth fairy who would be less than happy with all the sugary treats I’ve been eating).
As with all the bakeries I try, I’m always curious to the origin of their name. “The Cupcake Fairy” seemed like a particularly strange choice, and when trying to imagine where it was conceived, I came up only with a mental picture of Tinker Bell delivering cupcakes around to the Lost Boys.
Daphney’s start-up story was the most heart warming I’ve heard on my search so far.
The Cupcake Fairy began in July 2010. Prior to this Daphney had been baking only for friends and family, ignoring their suggestion that she should open her own bakery. She preferred to perform cupcake ambushes.
Let me explain: whenever Daphney logged onto Facebook and saw that her friends were having a bad day, she would whip up a batch of cupcakes and deposit them on their doorstep. Accompanying the cupcakes would be a tiny note, jokingly signed “The Cupcake Fairy.” One day, Daphney says her husband answered the door, only to find a KitchenAid stand mixer sitting on the doorstep. There was a note attached to the box that said, “follow your dreams” and was signed The KitchenAid Fairy. Daphney launched her website and has been baking for the public ever since. Her glossy red KitchenAid mixer is named Scarlett and serves as her partner in crime.
Is this not one of the happiest stories you’ve ever heard? Daphney says she still doesn’t know who the KitchenAid Fairy is, and has delivered cupcakes to too many friends to narrow down her search. Whoever you are, if you are reading this, just know that she is grateful. PS: KitchenAid Fairy, want to know where I live…?
But on to the cupcakes.
Daphney brought me three different kinds to try: strawberry, coconut and chocolate Guinness cupcakes.
As per usual, I was aided in my cupcake tasting by a few of my roommates.
We tried the strawberry one first, which had chunks of fresh strawberries scattered throughout. The strawberry mousse on top was light and lush.
Next was the coconut cupcake. The cake had the consistency of shredded coconut (you know the one that I mean, that satisfying soft chew), but not necessarily the flavour. The lemon meringue on top was awesome though, and exploded in my mouth like a fragrant lemon gumdrop.
Last, was the Guinness cupcake with a Bailey’s liquor filling and frosting. This was the cupcake that I was arguably most looking forward to trying and, being half Irish, expected the most from. I’ve never tried Guinness before, so perhaps I wasn’t the best one to diagnose the flavour. I have, however, tried Bailey’s on numerous occasions, and found this to be the flavour that won out. Regardless, the cupcake was extremely original. Even though there could have been a tad more of a Guinness flavour, this cupcake was still a stellar post-St. Patty’s day treat.
Overall, all three were really good, and each had a particularly nice cupcake topper. The chocolate fondant rose on top of the Guinness cupcake was adorned with edible gold dust and made my first fondant tasting experience a memorable one.
Another neat thing that the Cupcake Fairy started in October was a Cupcake of the Month Club. Club members get a dozen cupcakes each month, all in a specialty flavour that Daphney has specially developed. Past flavours have included champagne, eggnog rum, and the Guinness cupcake that I tried. For cupcake lovers looking to expand their tasting palate, this is the club for you.
Daphney herself is not only a cupcake baker, but a cupcake lover as well. She mentioned that she’d love to have her cupcake club expand to include other bakers in the city. For a change of pace, she’d like to try cupcakes she didn’t have to make.
In the meantime, try out the Cupcake Fairy for yourself, and let Daphney cast a sugary spell over you.
Cupcake personality: ***½
Cupcake overall: ***½
Thanks for sharing your story with us Daphney!