Arts & Entertainment

Local Baker Shares 4 Way to Sprinkle Cupcake Cheer

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Supplier of cupcakes to Stacy’s Coffee Parlor in Falls Church and owner of Springfield-based Lily Lane Cakes, Kathy Paz-Mingledorff gives a few tips on how to decorate holiday cupcakes your friends and family will remember.cupcake_frostingsnowman.jpg

Supplier of cupcakes to Stacy’s Coffee Parlor in Falls Church and owner of Springfield-based Lily Lane Cakes, Kathy Paz-Mingledorff gives a few tips on how to decorate holiday cupcakes your friends and family will remember.cupcakebox4.jpg

During her 25th week of pregnancy in 2001, Kathy Paz-Mingledorff and her husband welcomed their premature son Alex into the world. As a result, Paz-Mingledorff dropped out of her senior year at the Corcoran College of Art and Design where she’d been studying sculpture and oil paintings.cupcakebox1.jpg

“Needless to say, large-scale sculpture was kind of out of the question after that,” Paz-Mingledorff told the News-Press with a chuckle.

After using her children’s birthday parties as an excuse to make elaborate sculpted cakes, while combining her knack for artistic construction and baking, requests started pouring in from neighbors and friends who wanted their own slice of the sculpted-sugar craze.

Paz-Mingledorff’s increased labor in the kitchen fulfilling orders inevitably urged her to consider the profit potential of her talent.cupcakebox3.jpg

“When I started getting out there and realizing this was going to be a legitimate business venture, I knew that I just wanted to spread cupcakes throughout Northern Virginia,” said Paz-Mingledorff.

And spread she did. Under what is now known as Lily Lane Cakes, named after her daughter Lily, half of Paz-Mingledorff’s business comes from cupcake sales to local stores and coffee shops for distribution, such as Stacy’s Coffee Parlor (709 W. Broad St., Falls Church) and Bernie’s Delicatessen.

“There was a mixed response when I first started [at Stacy’s]. People would say, ‘Well, you should decorate these like the last vendor,’ and I responded, ‘Sorry, but I’m not just going to duplicate someone’s work,'” said Paz-Mingledorff, whose sales at Stacy’s has tripled in the past seven months.

Definitely not duplicated are her flavors, most of which are inspired by family members, such as Adam’s Apple – an apple-filled cupcake – named after her husband, Adam. Paz-Mingledorff said she usually spends a couple of months on a signature recipe before introducing a new cupcake flavor.

Aside from mastering recipes, she also devotes time to being eco-friendly through Lily Lane Cake’s recyclable packaging and donating her compost to co-op gardens in her community.

“In regards to every aspect in general as I coast through life, I make an effort to be more conscious of our environment,” said Paz-Mingledorff.

As far as the secret ingredient of Lily Lane Cakes, Paz-Mingledorff said it’s all about real European butter – no margerine allowed.cupcakebox2.jpg

“There’s a slightly higher fat content,” she said. “But I feel like if you’re going to eat a cupcake, you’ve got to go all the way!”

To learn how to get your hands on your own Lily Lane Cakes, visit www.lilylanecakes.com.