#SCBDExclusive: Interview with Abbey & Lindsay, Owners of Cake Couture NJ!


Cake Couture NJ is a home-based custom cake company founded by two Jersey girls from my hometown of Howell, Lindsay Mauser and Abbey Lanz. Last time I was home I had the opportunity to interview them on the company, their cakes, and more!


SCBD: How long have you been baking and cake decorating?

CCNJ: We’ve been baking as long as we can remember. We started getting into cake decorating by taking classes at Michael’s when they had them locally. Abbey received her degree in pastry from the Culinary Education Center of Monmouth County in 2011 where she performed in pastry competitions too. She’s always been more passionate about cakes rather than general pastry, you can see it in our work.

SCBD: Who came up with idea to start Cake Couture NJ?

CCNJ: We started making cakes for family about 4 years ago and then came up with the name and really started our business three years ago. When we first started it was Abbey and my (Lindsay’s) sister Erin but Erin wasn’t as passionate about it after a while so I stepped in and we’ve been successfully working together since. We feel that our cakes aren’t just any cakes so we felt that Cake Couture was the perfect name for us.

SCBD: What is special about your recipe compared to others?

CCNJ: Well, you can’t really compare us to any other cake or cupcake out there. We’re very creative and are constantly coming up with new recipes to try. We love coming up with new recipes for flavors we like.

SCBD: I’ve seen pictures of your cakes and the artwork looks so professional. How did you learn this?

CCNJ: We learned the most by doing it all the time and through trial and error. It’s all about finding the right temperature, etc.

21st birthday beer cake

21st birthday beer cake

SCBD: What’s a new flavors are you working on?

CCNJ: We are currently working on summer flavors, our latest creation is working on some summer cocktail cupcakes like margarita, and more!

SCBD: What’s the most popular cake flavor order you get?

CCNJ: Our vanilla with vanilla butter cream and red velvet with cream cheese frosting are our most popular.


Cupcakes with faces of Aunt & Grandma

SCBD: What’s the most unique order you’ve had?

CCNJ: Our most unique order so far was for cupcakes with our client’s grandma & aunt’s faces on them. It took a lot of work but it was fun to do and rewarding at the end.

sweet 16

21st birthday cake

SCBD: What was your first order? Who was it for?

CCNJ: Our first order was for a 21st birthday at a big banquet hall, we were pretty nervous but it was a success. The cake had pink quilted zebra print on it.

SCBD: What’s a quote you both live by?

CCNJ: “She who leaves a trail of glitter, is never forgotten.”

SCBD: What’s Cake Couture NJ‘s motto?

CCNJ: “Made with Love” which we always have on all of our orders and “Edible Art For Magical Moments”.

SCBD: Where do you see Cake Couture NJ in five years?

CCNJ: We have high hopes and would love to be doing bigger events and have it turn into our full time job. We are looking forward to having bigger orders and to be in demand in the tri-state area. We are  working with the Ronald McDonald house on their event in May and donating a cupcake tower to their silent auction on May 19.

SCBD: Last, what do you want SCBD readers to know about Cake Couture NJ?

CCNJ: Nothing is impossible for us, we are willing to take any order. We take our time with every order and are very critical of our cakes. We do consultations and tastings for cakes for any event.

Harry Potter cake

Harry Potter cake

Make sure you like Cake Couture NJon Facebook  follow them on Twitter @CakeCoutureNJ! I’m definitely looking forward to working with them more because they have such a great thing going!

Cheers– let’s eat cake!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

Watergate Cupcakes: A Scandalous Green Treat for St. Patty’s Day

Hello SCBD Readers! Antoinette, your South Jersey home cook here. For St. Patrick’s Day I wanted to bring a festive cupcake recipe that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth- Watergate Cupcakes. This Watergate dessert is a classic recipe and actually started off as a sweet salad of pistachio pudding mix, pineapple, walnuts, cool whip and marshmallows. In fact, the recipe for Watergate Salad can still be found on the pistachio Jell-o box today.

Legend has it that Kraft came up with the recipe to market their pistachio pudding mix. It was formerly called Pistachio-Pineapple Delight, but once the Watergate scandal happened, Kraft changed the name to market their recipe. The name has stuck since then!  I am making these cupcakes for a St. Patty’s Day party that I am attending with some political peers and it only makes sense to have these green-tinted, political-themed cupcakes. This recipe yields a lot of batter and can easily be converted to a bundt or layer cake.

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  • 1 Box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Golden Vanilla cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick of  unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of lemon-lime soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup of finely chopped coconut flakes
  • 1 4 oz box of Instant Pistachio Jell-o Pudding Mix
  • 1 jar of Whipped Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 12-cup muffin tins


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. As oven preheats, line your muffin tins with baking cups, chop walnuts and coconut flakes.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, wisk cake mix with Jell-o pudding mix. Add vanilla extract, eggs, and butter. and mix for 30 seconds on low, slowly add the lemon-lime soda to the mixture,  and then 2 minutes on high.  If you don’t have a stand or hand mixer, just wisk until ingredients are well combined. If you desire a greener cupcake, feel free to add a few drops of food coloring.

3. Fold in 3/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts.

4. Fill each baking cup no more than 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to completely cool before frosting.

“Cover-up” Frosting:

What better way to top a scandalous Watergate cupcake than with a cover-up frosting!

1. As the cupcakes are cooling, in a small bowl wisk together the butter cream frosting and some pistachio pudding mix until it becomes a nice pastel green. Be careful not to add too much pistachio pudding mix, or the frosting will become grainy. If you add too much pudding mix to the frosting, add water to further dissolve the pudding. Wisk until frosting is smooth and insert the bowl into the freezer to set for 10 minutes.

2. Once both the icing and cupcakes are cooled use a knife to spread icing onto the cupcakes. I recommend using a cheese spreader, as the smaller knife is easier to control.

3. Spread out walnuts and coconut flakes onto a plate and gently dip each cupcake to achieve an even coating on each cupcake. Voila! You’re done!

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Adding soda to the mixture makes the cake light and airy while the coconut and walnuts add a  crunchy texture. Warning: these cupcakes are so good it’s hard to have just one!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Master the Cupcake at Butterlane’s Cupcake Classes!

Butterlane's Shop & Cooking Class Studio next doorPicture Courtesy of Butterlane Cupcakes

Butter Lane’s Shop & Cooking Class Studio next door
Picture Courtesy of Butter Lane Cupcakes

Almost two weeks ago before the anniversary dinner I went to Butter Lane Cupcakes in the East Village. Over the summer I won blogger of the week where I was able to  get a special deal to try their cupcakes which were delicious and nothing like any cupcake I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot).

Butter Lane's cookie dough cupcakePicture courtesy of Butter Lane

Butter Lane’s cookie dough cupcake
Picture courtesy of Butter Lane

 I saw they had a cupcake class available and thought it was about time for another visit. Butter Lane Cupcakes are unlike any other cupcake you’ll have because of their recipe which emphasizes on butter which I found out during the class I attended. Here are some facts on the classes they offer:

  • You learn how to make three cupcakes along with icings and mix-ins that pair with them
  • They are about 2 hours long, get there early because they start on time!
  • Use the mixer and oven the real cupcake masters use
  • Ice the cupcakes you made yourself
  • Taste the difference of Butter Lane Cupcakes mixes

Here are some perks:

  • You get to take a four box (which is $12)
  • Take the cupcake & icing recipes home with you
  • Take a Butter Lane Cupcakes souvenir apron home with you for an extra $20
My first batch of finished cupcakes!

My first batch of finished cupcakes!

The classes are $60 a person but worth it because you learn so much.  Find out more information about the classes, here. Look at the class schedule, here. So next time you’re in the East Village make sure you stop by Butter Lane Cupcakes (123 E. 7th St), your stomach and sweet tooth will thank you!

Have a sweet day! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

*Disclaimer: The PR team paid for my class. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*

#SCBDExclusive Interview with Cheryl Burger, Owner of The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe

This summer I had the opportunity to stop by a bake shoppe I had heard about while I was in school, check out my initial post on The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe, here. One thing I love about it is that you always find the owner, Cheryl Burger at the shop working on her latest cupcake or cake pop creation and to greet new visitors. This year I had the opportunity to interview her where we discussed cupcakes, winning Cupcake Wars, and more.


SCBD: When did you open The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe?

CB: February 5, 2010

SCBD: Your cupcakes are delicious, have you always had a passion for baking?

CB: I’ve always loved to bake, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would do it for a living. 

SCBD: What’s your favorite cupcake you serve at the shop?

CB: Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Buttercream, simple, delicious, it’s a classic!

SCBD: You are always thinking outside of the box with your flavors, what is the latest cupcake at the shop?

CB: Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream is the newest addition to our cupcake family.  It’s like an Irish Car Bomb, but in a cupcake! 

SCBD: You also have cake truffles that are great. How’d you come up with them?

CB: I found them online a few years ago.  They are bite sized and different.  People have gone nuts for them.  They are great to take to parties and during the Christmas season we shape them like Santa Hats and Christmas trees.  They are so cute!

SCBD: You are always doing community events, why do you feel it’s so important to be in touch and involved with the community?

CB: I was raised to give back.  I have volunteered for various organizations since I was a kid.  To be honest, it never occurred to me not to give back.  I am so fortunate to have the success I have had and I am honored to be able to share that with the community that supports me.

SCBD: Owning a bake shop, you are constantly baking different cupcakes, cakes, etc for different holidays. What’s your favorite holiday to bake for? Why?

CB: Christmas, without question!  It’s the ultimate baking holiday!  Besides all the options and great flavors that Christmas is known for, what is better than Christmas cookies?! I honestly can’t believe I get to bake Christmas cookies for a living, who could ask for anything more.

SCBD: You were on and a winner of Cupcake Wars this year. What was that experience like for you?

CB: The entire experience was surreal.  Just to be picked for the show is an honor, but to win is amazing!  After seeing the show I went there expecting to have my cupcakes ripped apart, but the judges were so kind and had so many nice things to say about my work.  I was blown away!  I am dying to go back, but no word yet.


SCBD: Has it affected your business for better or worst?

CB: The first few weeks were great in that business was booming, but we had a really hard time keeping up with demand.  We are now properly staffed and able to keep up with the increased demand, which is really my priority.  More business is always great, but you don’t want to disappoint the people who have supported you since the beginning.

SCBD: Have your expectations in the shop changed since you’ve won? How so?

CB:  I have a pretty focused goal for what I want the shop to be, what I want The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe brand to be and how I want to grow.  I don’t think Cupcake Wars changed much, except that I’m meeting growth goals on a shorter timeline than I had originally planned.

SCBD: I am a young professional, what’s the best advice you got as a young professional, from who?

CB: My parents were extremely supportive of this entire venture and they reminded me constantly to stop listening to everyone who tells you that you can’t do something.  Not once did they question my vision or judgment.  It’s unbelievable the number of people who love to share statistics about small businesses failing, or question if you are qualified to do what you are doing.  Some of my own friends and family were and are skeptics.  You just have to ignore it.  Do what you know you’re good at and watch their jaws drop as you clear each hurdle.

SCBD: What advice do you have for the young professionals out there who are looking to start their own business?

CB: DO IT!  I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s easy, but it is worth it.  This is the time in your life that you can get away with the long hours and hectic lifestyle that comes with owning your own business.

SCBD:  What’s your life motto?

CB: “Look like a girl.  Act like a lady.  Think like a man.  Work like a boss.”

Thank you Cheryl for giving me the opportunity to interview you. If you are in New Jersey make sure you stop by one of my favorite cupcake shops, The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe in Chester, NJ. You’ll be in for a treat!

In honor of the #SCBDAnniversary last week, The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe has agreed to do a cake pop giveaway! Want to enter? It’s easy just become a fan of Small Chick Big Deals on Facebook and our 200th fan wins a dozen!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

#SCBD Exclusive Interview with Marlo Scott, Owner of Sweet Revenge!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Marlo Scott,  the owner of Sweet Revenge, a restaurant with a cupcake and wine bar in the West Village of NYC. Find out how the idea of Sweet Revenge came to life and more as we discussed life, baking, and her path to success.

instagram m & s

SCBD: Marlo, thank you for letting me have this opportunity to interview you. What is your favorite cupcake you serve or still serve at Sweet Revenge? What wine would you pair it with?

MS: The ‘Sweet Revenge’, which is peanut butter cake with chocolate ganache and crumbled peanuts. I’d pair it with an Argentinean Malbec. It tastes like an adult peanut butter & jelly, it’s delicious.

SCBD: Sweet Revenge is a restaurant with a cupcake and wine bar; you serve brunch on the weekend as well as breakfast & lunch during the week. What’s your favorite dish?

MS: My favorite dish is the Cuernavaca Salad with chicken. The truffled mac & cheese is a runner up, too. Our savory oatmeal is also a great brunch dish.

SCBD: I tried Sweet Revenge cupcakes a few weeks ago when I was in the area and it was unlike any cupcake I’ve had. What would you say makes your recipe different?

MS: Our secret is Mexican Vanilla, it is used in all of our cupcake recipes. Our recipes only use quality ingredients.

SCBD: In three words, describe Sweet Revenge for someone who might not have heard of it?

MS: I actually have four words that come to mind- sexy, playful, indulgent, escapist.

SCBD: Prior to opening Sweet Revenge you were working in the corporate world for media companies. What do you love best about having your own business?

MS: I love the freedom I have to take my ideas and bring them to life.

SCBD: On that note, Sweet Revenge is a huge success. You opened the restaurant & wine bar five years ago after being laid off from your job. But unlike most people you had this plan in action. Why do you think it’s so important to have a back up plan?

MS: Sweet Revenge was always in my plan. I am always thinking of different ideas and business plans and I still am.

SCBD: Do you still apply what you used in the media world to your business? How so?

MS: As an in-house banking analyst I had to develop pitches. I was able to use that skill when it came time to present for a SBA loan. When I worked for Time Inc. I lead a sales team which prepared me to lead my own team. 

SCBD: You are constantly speaking at different colleges and universities in the city about entrepreneurship, why do you think it’s so important to give back?

MS: I believe what you put out, you get back. I am grateful I always had mentors to help me. It’s fun to connect people and network. It feels great to be able to return the favor.

SCBD: What’s the best advice you got as a business professional, from who?

MS: Advice I took to heart was that when it comes to picking out a concept make sure it’s something you can live in 24/7. One of my mentors told me, “Sleep on it, don’t respond until you’re calm and level-headed.” In any business you always have to remember to slow down and think about your decisions rationally.

SCBD: What advice do you have for the young professionals out there who are looking to start their own business?

MS: Write a business plan and do your homework– that way you can build it, manifest it and make it a reality. This sets you up for success and strategically helps other buy in and believe in it.

SCBD: What’s the best part of living and working with cupcakes nonetheless in New York City?

MS: Satisfaction in coming here and see people enjoy it. It’s incredibly rewarding when I look at where I came from. I love that I can provide a delicious escape for others. I knew it was possible and now I witness it everyday.

SCBD: What’s your life motto?

MS: When I first started Sweet Revenge my motto was, “The sweetest revenge was to live life happily.” Since then the motto I live by is, “Live life deliciously.”  I believe we all can follow our dreams and make the impossible, possible if we are motivated enough. 

Delicious Brunch at Sweet Revenge:

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M & S 1  M & S 3 MArlo & I

#SCBD Event: Unveiling of the #SCBD Cupcake, Sara Smile!

I’m happy to announce the first, Small Chick Big Deals event. This isn’t just any event either, it’s the unveiling of the #SCBDExclusive cupcake that you can ONLY get at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes as of August 31st.

Why August 31st, you ask? It’s because it’s the night of the event!

Here are the details:

Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes in Totowa & Nutley will be having a special deal August 31st from 5-7 PM for any #SCBD followers, fans, & of course readers.

The event itself will be at the TOTOWA location although the cupcake will be available at both locations.

JARETS STUFFED CUPCAKES TOTOWA is located at 181 Union Blvd, Totowa, NJ

At the event in TOTOWA, not only will you get to meet Small Chick Big Deals herself and some of the Jerz Hot Spots crew but you will be the first to see the and taste the Sara Smile Cupcake!

We have a special deal for anyone who shows that they read Smallchickbigdeals.com:
Buy 3 Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes, get 1 Sara Smile Free!

Please RSVP ASAP to the Facebook event here 🙂

Hope to see you all there, Happy Eating! 😀

Stop at The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe

A few months ago I heard about this cupcake shop in Chester, it sounded great and I’d constantly see deals on their Twitter. I was determined to go, Unfortunately it was a bit out of the way from FDU at the time so I couldn’t make it there until this summer. But I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I ended up going there for the first time about two weeks ago.

The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe (57 Main St., Chester, NJ)

Customer Service: 5- Everyone is super friendly there. They are always open to any questions and know their stuff.

Atmosphere: 5- It’s a cute little shop with some seats inside and tables outside. It’s perfect to get cupcakes to go because it’s a mom & pop shop.

Cupcake Quality: 4.8- If you like sweet cupcakes this place is for you. The cake is a great consistency and frosting can be a bit sweet but its unique and homemade. I love all the unique flavors they have like Rootbeer Float & Nutella. My personal favorite is Nutella and my man loved there new Bacon French toast. Yes, bacon.

Price: $- The cupcakes are great quality for a great price–most of cupcakes are $2 each. and the speciality cupcakes are $2.50 each. They also have cake truffles are $1.25 each, $12 per dozen.

Did I mention they have a Cupcake Club?! The Cupcake Club Membership is 12 certificates (1 for each month starting from the month you purchase it, for 1 year). The cost is $20. The certificates can be used on any cupcake including our higher priced, specialty cupcakes, as well as our seasonal specially decorated cupcakes. The certificates must be used during the month designated on each one.

Final Score: 14.8/15- The staff is friendly and the cupcakes are delicious and are sure to satisfy a sweet tooth! I also love that they have a cupcake club, which I think more places should have. It’s a huge money saver and totally worth it! I can’t wait to get mine once a month! If you are a cupcake connoisseur like myself, I highly recommend it!

You can follow them @SweetSpotNJ on Twitter!

If you go there, I’d love to know if you agree!

Have a safe & happy weekend & most of all…

Happy Eating! 🙂

…’Til next time!

Fulfill your craving at Stuffed Cupcakes!

Last week while I was on my cupcake adventure last week, I was able to stop at Stuffed Cupcakes in Nutley, NJ. Unlike Mr Cupcakes and other cupcake shops I’ve been in, Stuffed Cupcakes specializes in cupcakes with topping on the outside as well as a custard or creme mix on the inside. Stuffed Cupcakes is also in the hometown NJ category for my #cupcakecontest!

Stuffed Cupcakes (231 Franklin Avenue, Nutley, NJ)

Customer Service: 5– When I went in it wasn’t very crowded but everyone was friendly. The service was great and even brought my cupcake and tea out for me.

Atmosphere: 4.8– It has a cute cafe setting with a place to eat. I’d highly recommend it if you plan on grabbing cupcakes & coffee with friends on an afternoon.

Cupcake Quality: 5– These cupcakes are not like any cupcake and have stuffing inside.I got the confused cupcake first which was the best of both world with both vanilla & chocolate batter with vanilla or chocolate pudding inside (mine had vanilla) and it had both kinds of frosting on top. It was delicious and big.

Price: $ — The cupcakes are $3.50 each, but take into consideration they are pretty big and have stuffing inside. You could even share one with someone and each get a coffee there.

Final Score: 14.8/15 — I’d recommend coming to Stuffed Cupcakes for a date with your loved one or friends. The cupcakes are big, filled and easy to split. The dining area is comfortable and its easy to grab & go there as well. I’d definitely come back again.

You can also follow them on Twitter @stuffedcupcakes!

Make sure you Tweet me @smchickbigdeals!

Happy Eating!!! 🙂

Enjoy a bite or two at Mr Cupcakes!

If you don’t already know, I love cupcakes. I actually have a cupcake contest. This past week in the midst of craziness I had the honor of going to Mr Cupcakes in Clifton and I was not disappointed at all! FYI I went to one of the four locations they have NJ!

Mr. Cupcakes (1216 Van Houten Ave, Clifton, NJ)

Customer Service: 5– The customer service was great and everyone was ready to help customers.

Atmosphere: 4.5– The space is kind of tight and its more of a grab & go type store. But it’s cute and smells great!

Cupcake Quality: 5– I loved my cupcakes. I got the cookie jar and there are literally bits of cookies in the mix and on top of the frosting. I also had the french toast which was delicious. I definitely want to go back and get a dozen sometime! The cupcakes aren’t huge but they are more than bite size.

Price: $– The cupcakes at Mr. Cupcakes are a great price. Only $1.50 each and $2.00 at the Riverside location. Now thats a great deal and part of the reason why I’m hooked.

Final Score:14.5/15– The cupcakes were delicious and affordable so I’d recommend it to any cupcake lover! The staff is friendly and so is the owner. They have also been voted as best cupcakes in NJ in 2011!!

Heads up: Make sure you follow @mrcupcakes on Twitter for updates. They will be having a text message service underway where you can get special promos which means more great deals!!!

Mr Cupcakes is in my hometown cupcake contest for NJ!


Happy Eating!!

My Favorite Cupcakes: NYC edition

If you know me, you know I have a sweet tooth: cupcakes, cookies, brownies, candy, you name it…I’m on it!

So after trying a variety of cupcakes in the city: Magnolia Bakery, Baked By Melissa, and of course the winner is…Crumbs!

Why I love Crumbs:

  • There good sized and fill you up!
  • They have a nice variety
  • There cookies, danishes, etc aren’t bad
  • They have some killer coffee
  • You can eat them for breakfast
  • Excellent customer service!
 The store I went to most was on Lexington because it was close to my internship, but they have tons of locations in NJ, NY, and DC! You can also order them online!
I recommend getting the chocolate coconut cupcake but they have plenty of variety! There a little pricey up to $4.50 for a cupcake but its worth it! I want a colossal for my birthday one year or graduation coming up!
Check out the website for more information: http://www.crumbs.com/
Now I’m craving some sweets 🙂 Happy Eating cupcake lovers!!! 😀