I don’t know what confectionary rock I’ve been living under my entire life, but it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I was told I’ve been eating a cupcake incorrectly this whole time. It took two sweet, entrepreneurial young girls, Sofia and Eliana Laskaris, to educate me when I ordered my first dozen cupcakes from their adorably addictive startup, Quarantine Cupcakes.
Apparently, you’re supposed to cut the bottom off the cupcake and then treat that piece like the top bun of a cupcake sandwich. “Anyone who doesn’t eat a cupcake like that,” says Sofia, “definitely has been doing it wrong their whole life.”
Ouch. But the cupcakes are so delicious and creative that I’ll allow her to speak to me that way. “It’s so much easier! No icing all over the place, no crumbs becoming permanent decorations on your table or counters, plus covering the icing with the bottom of the cupcake makes it possible to actually eat it without getting just a mouthful of icing!”
A technique as innovative as the idea of two sisters starting a cupcake company in their kitchen during the quarantine. Sofia expands, “As for the origins of the technique, it’s actually something our mom came up with when we were younger and taught to us.”
Ah, so this truly is a family business. And I also don’t feel as bad anymore about not knowing this cupcake consuming technique.
DareDivas For Life
I first met the Laskaris family about a decade ago when my oldest daughter, Payton, was placed on a recreational soccer team with a handful of other girls, including Sofia. Very few kids and parents already knew each other, but the team of girls and even the parents bonded quickly and stayed together as a team for the most part going forward for years. The DareDivas became a force to be reckoned with, and that’s how I’ll always remember it whether that’s accurate or not.
When I saw Sofia and Eliana’s mom, DJ, introduce their endeavor on social media, I immediately ordered my first dozen to help out, show support, and because I was already stress-eating at the time anyway.
Since I have a platform here with Lifestyle Frisco, I offered to give them a little free publicity. Then I received my box of amazingness and won a smiling contest for the rest of the day. Now I really wanted to promote them. I’m no longer just doing a favor for them. I’m doing a public service for you, the community. Let’s be honest; if they had decided to start a sardine cannery instead, I would’ve been like, “Cool. I’ll let people know,” but this is different. Way different.
A Flavorful Family
Something else that’s different is the flavors Quarantine Cupcakes offers. Each has a unique, homemade spin. There’s your classic red velvet that you shouldn’t be ashamed of loving. There’s a surprisingly delicious banana cream that tastes like banana bread looked at itself in the mirror and said, “I can be better.”
There’s the staple Chocolate Cupcake but with a Dr. Pepper twist that had me wondering if you mix Dr. Pepper and chocolate, does that now make the Dr. Pepper more than 23 flavors? Those three are the mainstay flavors, however, they’ve recently added a gluten-free option: Salted Caramel. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’ll bet my house that it’s more delectable than anything produced by a sardine cannery.
(Cupcake Update or “Cup-date” (which I think sounds cuter): I have finally tried the gluten-free Salted Caramel flavor. When I first bit into it, I thought, “Something’s missing.” Then I remembered it was the gluten, and I ate the rest of them because they’re delicious.)
This is all a work in progress, though, with new ideas dripping across their kitchen like the batter off their mixer. There are some thoughts on limited-edition flavors or a rotating menu or a featured flavor of the month or all of the above.
Could you imagine an Autumn Appetite box with Chocolate Dr. Pepper, Snickerdoodle, and Pumpkin Spice? I’m not saying they’ll do that, but they might. If they call it the Autumn Appetite box, I want credit. I just came up with that name. They recently rolled out a Fourth of July themed order, so the possibilities are endless with these two.
(Cup-date #2: Three new flavors have been added to the mix, and I’ve tried them all. Don’t judge me. It was for research. There is the aforementioned Pumpkin Spice. I’m not a pumpkin guy, but these were delicious enough for me to walk into my local Starbucks and tell them where they got it wrong. The Starbucks employees didn’t take it well and then misspelled my name on purpose. There’s also a Caramel Apple addition. Considering I wasn’t able to go to the State Fair of Texas this year, I was able to enjoy one of my favorite flavor marriages without worrying about my crowns being pulled out. And then there’s the amazing accurate S’more Chocolate Please cupcake. You get all of the s’more flavor sensations without the fire hazard.)
The one thing I am assured will not change is the icing. The presentation may change or some of the flavors may rotate, but their signature cream cheese frosting will be the constant, reliable, “I need this in my life” accessory to each and every cupcake they bake.
‘Cause Calories Don’t Count in Quarantine
Okay, so now the details on how you can get your well-sanitized hands on these sensational sweets. First, go to their website. Next, begin to drool. Then, change your shirt and compose yourself. After that, what do you want and how many of them do you want?
I started with a dozen and sampled their three original, main flavors, but you can do the same with a half-dozen for whatever weird reason. Sofia suggests, “It depends on the person, really. For someone who just wants to see what Quarantine Cupcakes is all about, I’d recommend a half dozen box with a mix of flavors. Then you can decide your favorite if you want to order again! For people who know what they like or want to share with others, I’d definitely get a dozen. You can customize it to fit everyone’s preferences, and have enough cupcakes to last a few days.”
Eliana is a little more direct. “[Order] one dozen, one hundred percent. Our cupcakes don’t get dry or hard easily, so you don’t have to eat them all at once, or stress about where to keep them. I say to go crazy and get all the flavors.”
This is a good point because I could’ve eaten the entire dozen in one night but then my points calendar would’ve shamed me the next day. “We’ve found that leaving the cupcakes in a Tupperware container with just a sliver of air works well for a couple of days, but you can actually just leave them in the box they come in! Of course, it’s important to eat them in the first couple of days you get them so they stay moist.” See there? Satisfied tummies – 1; Guilt and sadness – 0.
Place your orders online, fill out your information along with your order, and then wait for the happy. They hand-deliver each box to your doorstep on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. They deliver for free to Frisco, Little Elm, and Aubrey, where their corporate office (or house) is located. For an additional fee, they’ll deliver to Plano and McKinney, but don’t let that deter you if you live in Plano or McKinney. Trust me. You’ll know where that extra money went. Oh, and I also believe you can pay a little extra for a front yard dance routine upon delivery.
In less than six weeks of being “open” for business, these enthusiastic young entrepreneurs have already sold nearly 800 cupcakes, and they’ve recently added a “special occasion” order option if you are ordering larger quantities for a party. Eliana says she’s hoping to get booked for a wedding, so we’re just throwing that out there like a bouquet. Feel free to catch it if you’d like.
The Spark Behind the Sweet
“Quarantine is tough. One way to get through that is finding things you can do that bring you joy and can be a source of happiness for someone else. That was the spark behind this. The business was second.” I’m sure a lot of bored kids at home had some pretty good ideas over the last few months, too. These girls followed through on theirs with delicious results.
Not that there haven’t been some roadblocks along the way, but mom DJ (CEO), older sister Sofia (CFO), and younger sister Eliana (Director of R&D and Product Management) have been cutting the bottom off their challenges, slapping it on top, and taking a brilliantly big bite out of being first-time business owners.
“There’s really no fancy backstory to the company, just a family that just ended up with a bit too much free time during quarantine and decided to find something to fill the time,” explains Sofia. “We’ve always loved to bake things for friends and family, so starting a cupcake business was one of the first ideas we had.”
“Baking” the Most of Shelter-In-Place
You know what I did during “shelter in place”? I finally organized my sock and underwear drawer. These girls started a cupcake business, and I think neither of them has a driver’s license yet. They win.
You’ll win too if you order so very many dozens of Quarantine Cupcakes. Order some for your friends and family. Order some as a donation to a senior-living center or for anyone you might know in the community on the front lines or teachers and administrators.
Speaking of which, Quarantine Cupcakes, as of the time of this publication, is going to stay committed to their current delivery schedule when the new school year begins. That could be subject to change, but really, isn’t massive societal change what led these ambitious, talented ladies to create such an amazing and delicious business in the first place? I’ll safely assume they’ll handle it beyond their years just as they have with everything else so far.
Also, when you do order your first, second, or twentieth batch, try following their cupcake eating technique. Don’t do it wrong your entire life as I did.