Jasmine Maki, MSUM Multimedia Journalism
FARGO, N.D. – What do Elvis, Lady Jane, robins’ eggs and chai have in common?
They’re all flavors of cupcakes at Bakeology, a small cupcake business based in Fargo.
Owners Andrea Chang and Kristina Lau started taking orders for Bakeology in July and have been continually growing their customer-base, baking in rented kitchen space and selling cupcakes among the various homemade crafts and decor at Unglued in downtown Fargo.
I sat down with Chang and Lau at Unglued one afternoon to talk about their love of cupcakes and have a few laughs. Check out the Q & A below to find out more about this comical and creative baking duo.
Q: Why did you choose cupcakes?
A: Chang – I think we were drawn to cupcakes because we wanted to do something that had a lot of versatility to it and just a lot of endless possibilities. They’re fun to work with. I think a lot of people are more adventuresome with cupcakes than they would be for a whole cake. They’re willing to try something that’s a more unique flavor; it’s less threatening when it comes in that little form.
Lau – Our economy isn’t the best right now, so I think people are always looking for something to indulge in and have a little happy part of life to look forward to even if everything else is falling apart.
Q: What makes your cupcakes stand out from others?
A: Chang - We’ve really put in a lot of thought into coming up with really unique, intriguing flavors that people simply can’t find anywhere else.
Lau – The different quality level of ingredients and final product, we try to take everything we do a step up.
Q: What is your favorite part of owning Bakeology?
A: Chang - Coming up with the new cupcakes.
Lau – Research and development. Mmm. (laughs)
Chang – Yea, that’s probably the most fun. I think that’s the most creative element of it, which is something we both really enjoy.
Q: What is your favorite flavor of cupcake?
A: Lau – There’s so many. Right now for fall, I think my favorite is the sweet potato marshmallow. Oh, it’s so good. I could eat that everyday. Summer: lemon.
Chang – It really depends on the mood you’re in. I think my two favorites right now are the Persian rose and the salted chocolate caramel, but it totally depends on the day and time of year and what you’re in the mood for.
Chang and Lau have released more than 20 fun flavors of cupcakes, and more are on their way.
“We have at least half-a-dozen (holiday flavors) that are not even released to the public yet,” Lau said.
“We’ll be breaking into the 30s pretty soon,” Chang added.
The most popular flavors vary with the seasons, but the duo agreed that light, fruity flavors are more popular in the summer and the fall cupcakes are the most popular right now.
“Maple bacon has definitely been very popular and the salted chocolate caramel,” Chang said.
Almost every flavor is also offered in a gluten-free version, which has been very well accepted and much appreciated from the gluten-free community.
“It’s hard to find something (gluten-free) that actually tastes good,” Lau said. “But if you have one of our gluten-free cupcakes and one of our wheat cupcakes, you can’t really taste the difference.”
Although Chang and Lau don’t bake in a gluten-free kitchen, they take the cross-contamination seriously. They use separate pans for the gluten-free and standard cupcakes and try to keep the ingredients separate in the kitchen.
Many people contact them asking how the cupcakes are made, worried about cross-contamination, but Lau said they have all been pleased when she explains the process and precautions taken.
With only five months in the business, Chang and Lau have set Bakeology apart from other bakeries by offering creative flavors and delicious gluten-free cupcakes.
To hear what Chang and Lau have planned for the future of Bakeology, listen to the audio clip below.