I’ve been vegan since 2005. The first couple of years were rocky, mostly surviving on pasta and potatoes. But over time I’ve learned all the joys of vegan cooking and the many opportunities it provides to explore different ingredients and cuisines. I grew up baking with my grandma Myrt, my great grandma Ella, and my dear neighbor Dorothy. These amazing women taught me some of the basics of what it is to bake, and instilled in me a joy of creating something sweet to share with family and friends. Baking is love. Baking is science. Baking is beautiful.
When I started this journey of veganism I wasn’t sure how I would be able to keep creating this magic. I began to scour the internet and recipe books and quickly got the hang of it. Over time it seemed like my name became synonymous with cupcakes. Every time my friend’s daughters saw me, it was at a party that involved cupcakes being served. They actually thought my name was “Cake” and not “Kate”…I loved it. Naturally the nickname CupKate was born.
For years I was asked by coworkers, friends and family if I would ever start my own cupcake business. I thought they were nuts. How would that even be possible? I always laughed it off – even when I cranked out massive amounts of cupcakes for three of my friends’ weddings. It wasn’t until recently when I learned about Wisconsin’s Cookie Bill that this crazy idea could actually become a reality. This bill now allows home bakers to sell their foods right out of their homes! So here I am, starting this venture while also being a stay-at-home-mom to two nutball kids. I’ve already got my hands full with them, why not add some sugar to the equation?
Thanks to a lot of the local mommies in my tribe, I’ve been introduced to people with various allergies and sensitivities. My nephew has a peanut allergy, I’ve got mom friends whose kids have dairy or soy allergies, countless moms whose kids react badly to artificial colors (that red 40 is a bitch). I wanted to make it my mission to be able to create desserts that were safe for all of them to eat – even including gluten-free options. Using quality ingredients, shopping around for safe products, and experimenting with different recipes, I’ve been able to put together some amazing and delicious options that can hopefully cater to everyone!
I’ve had some people hear “no eggs, no dairy, no soy, no peanuts, no dyes” and they think, “Ok, so what’s left?? What are you making these out of??” Almond milk, soy-free vegan margarine, and dyes sourced from fruits and vegetables. Possibilities are out there if you know how to work with the ingredients. I’m so proud to be able to offer these cupcakes to my beautiful city. And they’re so good, you can’t even tell they’re vegan! Actually…they’re better because of it.