Ask the Baker: Betsy Eves of JavaCupcake

JavaCupcake Note: This is the 16th and last post in the “Ask the Baker” series featuring interviews with bakers and bakery owners!   Click here to see the complete list of bakers being interviewed.  

Please introduce yourself.  Tell us a little bit about what you do in the cupcake world and how/when you got started.

My name is Betsy Eves and I love to bake cupcakes!  I have been writing the blog, JavaCupcake.com since January 2009.  It has since grown and evolved and has allowed me opportunities to blog for other websites!  I am not a contributing writer for Today’s Military Spouse and am a Blog Intern for Cupcakes Take the Cake!

I don’t own a bakery, but I bake for family and friends birthdays, bridal showers and parties! My husband is currently in the Army and maybe… just maybe when he retires I might open a bakery.  We’ll see!  I am moving with my family to Germany in February 2011 and will continue to bring you the latest cupcake news from there!

You can find my blog here, or you can find me on Twitter, Facebook , YouTube and Flickr!

My most recent pic with Jessica of Rocket Queen Cucpakes, Me,  Lisa Waxman Johnson of New York Cupcakes and Carrie Middlemiss of Bella Cupcake Couture!

Bakery Start-Up Questions

What was the biggest challenge in starting your bakery/baking business?

Well, I’m not a bakery owner…. YET!  Maybe someday after my husband retires from the army.  Until then, I’ll keep on blogging!

What type of tools, gadgets, and gizmos are necessary for fantastic cupcake production?

Definitely good spatulas and wooden spoons, several sizes of ice cream scoops for scooping batter into liners and 2-3 tips that look amazing when piping buttercream!

Recipe/Ingredients & Baking Questions

What do you consider to be the perfect cupcake? What flavors and textures would it have?

My perfect cupcake is a moist cupcake that rises just above the liner.  It’s full of flavor and has the perfect buttercream frosting paired with it.  My favorite recipe I make is my Moist Chocolate Cupcake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream.  SO GOOD!

How many times do you have to “re-do” a recipe before you get it right?

Too many to count!  Some recipes I toss after the first try… but others, like the moist chocolate… I’ve perfected!

What is your favorite cupcake recipe?

I know… I keep talking about my Moist Chocolate… but it’s my go-to.  I love it!  But, my all time favorite is the Strawberry Lemonade I did earlier this year.  OH MY GOSH! SO GOOD!

How much is made from scratch and how much is purchased pre-made?

I’ve never made a cupcake from a box.   So 100% is homemade. Even my vanilla extract is homemade!

What is the recipe for a foolproof cupcake batter? Just a perfect basic recipe that can be doctored with extras to suit any taste.

If you find this… please, let me know.  hehe

Where do you purchase all those fun different sprinkles you use to decorate your cupcakes with?

I really love the website, Bake it Pretty.   But I also find a lot of liners and decorations on ETSY,  Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, and the local Party World.

How do you get your cupcakes all the same size?

Ice cream scooper.  For sure.  It’s a life saver.

Do you have a Vegan Chocolate cupcake recipe?

Nope.  I don’t.  I’ve never had someone request  Vegan.  I’d look into it though if someone asked!

Do you have a delicious recipe for a trans-fat-free cupcake?

Nope.  Sorry.

What is the best cocoa to use?

Well, I’ve really only use Ghirardelli and Hershey’s.  I know a lot of bakers hate the Hershey’s , but I have had a lot of success with it!

I love buttercream… what’s your favorite recipe for it?

Butter,  powdered sugar, whipping cream, flavor.  Easy peasy.

How do you make the icing just the right sweetness?

Practice!

How do you get great control of a pastry bag and make those mile high swirls of perfection on top of each cupcake?

Seriously, this took me FOREVER to figure out.  But after hundreds of cupcakes, I’ve finally got it down!

Inspiration Questions

Did you always have a passion for baking?

Nope, sure didn’t.  I mean, I liked to be in the kitchen… but my passion for cupcakes started out of boredom.  I made a batch for my husband’s soldiers and was hooked!

What inspires you the most? Love of cupcakes or love of making things people enjoy?

Since my surgery, I can’t eat these little beauties anymore… so my motivation comes from seeing the joy on others faces when they see and eat my cupcakes for the first time.   It’s like a natural high I get from it!

Where do you get new ideas for new cupcake and icing flavors?

I follow a lot of blogs… so I get inspiration from reading about others cupcakes.  I also get inspiration from what fruits are in season!

How do you come up with new, creative ideas for decorating cupcakes?

I don’t really.  I start with a color palate and go from there.  The decorations usually just come to me as I start to frost them.

With the internet and easy availability of so many recipes and decorating ideas, how do you come up with new and unique recipes that someone else hasn’t already done?

I’m not too worried about that since I don’t have a bakery.

Fun Questions

What’s your favorite part of cupcakes?

Eating them!

How can you be around all that yummy and not eat it all up?

I would get sick if I did!

Would you bake me a cupcake that wouldn’t make me gain any weight please?

LOL Dream on!

Do you ever get tired of the site or smell of cupcakes?

Only if I’ve been baking for like 36 hours straight.  lol

Can I live in your kitchen and be your personal taste tester?

Sure, only if you do dishes!

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