Do astronauts take cupcakes with them on a mission? It seems like the perfect food, small and compact, loaded with life-sustaining calories and exotic flavors, topped with a decorative and sweet icing that is often more voluminous than the cupcake underneath.
If NASA decides to make the cupcake standard issue, we hope they will reach out to Baltimore’s Megon Dee, proprietor of Corazon Cakery, an up-and-coming local bakery specializing in cupcakes of traditional and vegan varieties.
Megon started Corazon Cakery in December, 2011. With an extensive menu to choose from, she bakes and sells cupcakes by the half-dozen (larger orders of course are welcome), and also makes a customized “cupcake tower,” a four-layer, nine-inch cake with cupcakes underneath, a beautiful and delicious centerpiece for weddings and other special events.
“I cater to customers city-wide, and fill orders for birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, baby showers and wedding showers, and parties for the upcoming graduation season,” she says. “I also specialize in vegan and gluten-free cupcakes, and I use rice flour to deliver a cake that remains very moist.”
She also uses many innovative ingredients such as sweet potato, avocado and quinoa. The vegan cupcakes include a secret ingredient, so if you want to know more, contact Megon and order some delicious cupcakes. The main challenge will be to figure out what flavor to start with.
Having gratefully enjoyed the Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing, I can recommend this delicious and substantial example as a great place to start. Megon is also experimenting with a port-wine reduction center and dark chocolate version.
Who wouldn’t want to try a mudslide flavor with chocolate and Kahlua? Or a margarita cupcake, or one spiced with rum?
She builds her business by word of mouth, and sold more than a hundred cupcakes at the recent Open Studios event at City Arts apartments, which is her home base of operations. She is also on the lookout for a truck to take Corazon Cakery on the road.
Another colorful specialty is the Crayon Bomb, with almond flavoring and five different colored layers for a “psychedelic rainbow effect,” and there is also a blood-orange creamsicle flavor. Yum.
Being a culinary artist at City Arts, Megon fits right in with the community, where neighbors frequently post to their online bulletin board offering fresh-cooked treats in exchange for ingredients, a unique twist on the typical walk down the hall to borrow a cup of sugar or a cinnamon stick.
“I always strive to make a better product,” says Megon. “Food is definitely doing well, even in an economic downturn. People will eat, recession or not, and every cupcake is a little bit of happiness.”
Her sales experience and entrepreneurship have enabled her to expand the business, and she hopes to break in to delivering to local cafes and other outlets. The cupcakes have a three-day shelf life, so regular twice-a-week deliveries could accommodate additional demand for her products, and she is ready to expand further with a helper on standby to assist her in the kitchen.
A batch of cupcakes requires mixing, then twenty minutes to bake, and another ten to fifteen minutes to ice after cooling for ten to fifteen minutes. Megon also offers decorative designs, unifying her visual creativity with the culinary art and always focusing on inventiveness and improvement, to deliver a delicious cupcake that is extraordinary.
“The visual impression should match how it tastes, and vice versa,” she says. “Some cupcakes look good but can be pretty dry. I always want to maintain moistness.”
Megon was inspired, in part, by her grandmother who worked in a bakery. The name Corazon means “heart” in Spanish, and Megon’s motto is “for the love of cake.”