She makes delicious home-made cupcakes from her kitchen in Rome and she will deliver them straight to your door. Can it get any better? Meet Alexandra, the legal assistant by day and baking goddess by night who delights in creating this classic American dessert for her business, Cupcakes in Rome.
They are the perfect combination of soft, dense, savory cake, artfully topped with rich, sweet frosting. Could I get any more mouth-watering adjectives into that sentence? They are delectably divine, satisfying, sacchariferous portions of joy. I sampled one (ok two). I know… and yes, I am under their spell.
After growing up living all over the world from the UK to Indonesia, Alexandra did the opposite of what most young Italians seem to be doing these days and came back to settle in the country her parents had left. But after getting a degree and a job, her creative, culinary side still needed fulfillment. Her website started almost as a joke, she said, until friends encouraged her to sell her cupcakes. After the first order came in, she thought, Ok, maybe I can do this.
Cupcakes are something that don’t seem to have caught on in Rome and if you’ve been living here long enough I’m sure you’ve had to explain to an Italian that No, cupcakes are not muffins and Yes, they are different from a slice of cake. They’re a whole and unique little cake just for you! (If you’re like me, it’s usually just blank stares and polite nodding after you’ve gone on for about ten minutes.) But look no further expats in Rome and “adventurous” Italian foodies, Cupcakes in Rome will more than satisfy the cupcake craving.
I asked Alexandra if she’d consider expanding into other baked goods but she said for now she’ll be sticking with her favorite American dessert. “Cupcakes have always fascinated me, maybe because they can be customized. It’s like a party for one!”
How does she make her cakes?
By using all fresh ingredients, one 12 portion tray at a time in a tiny Italian oven.
One of the benefits of not having a store front is that she can guarantee that all her products will be fresh. Lurpack butter, Vanilla from Madagascar, British baking powder, and cocoa and flour from Italy might be expensive but taste and quality are assured.
As for the recipes, she finds inspiration online and delights in experimenting. “My favorite thing is when the client lets me create whatever I want,” she says. With no plan, her creativity can take over and it all comes out in the decoration.
Many of her orders are from people outside of Italy who want to remind a loved one of home. “I had an order from a mother getting her daughter at John Cabot cupcakes for her 21st birthday,” she remembers. One of the best ones was a couple on Valentines day who wanted Miss Piggy and Kermit themed cupcakes. Another fun one was the Wild West themed cupcakes for a birthday which she decorated with hats, cacti and sheriff’s badges with the birthday boy’s name iced in the center.
Cake recommendation for Autumn
Apple and brandy cupcakes. A bestseller…of course.
Cupcakes Italian style
Alexandra has made limoncello cupcakes and she’d like to try Tirimisú as soon as she can solve the conundrum of melting mascarpone dripping down the sides.
The cupcake Italian customers most prefer?
Coffee. (Why am I not surprised?)
Vanilla with cinnamon buttercream frosting and a glass of milk. (I was lucky enough to taste this one last week and haven’t been able to stop having cupcake fantasies about it since.)
Dreaming of a cupcake future
In a perfect world she’d quit her day job and sell her cupcakes from the mini “Ape” trucks that seemed to be tucked around every corner of the city. In my opinion, no city is complete without a cupcake truck. Only thing to decide next is what music to play to let you know she’s passing through your neighborhood!
Visit the website cupcakesinrome.com
Or send Alexandra an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org