BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO
Local dessert lovers have a new reason to celebrate. Brooklyn Cupcake, the small bake shop with a large cult following, just celebrated the grand opening of its newest Queens location at the Shops at Atlas Park, located at 80-00 Cooper Ave. in Glendale.
The independently owned, family-run business was founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, by sisters Carmen Rodriguez and Gina Madera and their cousin, Michele Caballero, after spending many weekends together baking at home with their children. After being laid off from her job during the recession back in 2009, Rodriguez decided to pursue her passion for baking full-time. Her family members donated funds to help launch Brooklyn Cupcake and help Rodriguez fulfill her dream.
“I started selling my cupcakes out of a bagel store in Williamsburg,” Rodriguez said. “It gained traction and rolled on from there.”
In 2012, the Daily News named Brooklyn Cupcake one of the best cupcakes in the city. They were also bestowed the title of Brooklyn Small Business of the Year by the city for 2012. In 2013, the Brooklyn Cupcake team appeared on the Food Network’s hit show “Cupcake Wars” in which they competed for the chance to cater an exclusive cast and crew party celebrating the 10,000th episode of the soap opera “The Young and the Restless.”
The menu at Brooklyn Cupcake was inspired by the family’s Puerto Rican and Italian heritage. Latin-inspired cupcake selections include the Flan de Queso, Dulce de Leche, Guava con Queso and the popular Coquito, a sweet mix of coconut cake soaked in rich coconut milk eggnog infused with a hint of rum flavor and topped with mascarpone whipped cream. The family’s Italian roots inspired the Rainbow Cookie cupcake, a play on the traditional Italian favorite, featuring almond cake filled with raspberry preserves and dipped in a chocolate ganache.
The peanut butter and jelly cupcake, inspired by the classic childhood treat, features a mix of yellow cake filled with grape jelly and topped with peanut butter frosting. Breakfast lovers will want to try their French toast cupcake, a sweet combination of yellow cake swirled with cinnamon and brown sugar and topped with vanilla frosting.
The popular Tiramisu cupcake is a decadent mix of espresso and vanilla cake infused with marsala and coffee, and topped with mascarpone whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa. Brooklyn Cupcake is also offering special seasonal menu items, such as the pumpkin cupcake, for a limited time.
In addition to their new Atlas Park location, Brooklyn Cupcake treats can also be found at their flagship Williamsburg store, located at 335 Union Ave., as well as at Whole Foods Markets throughout the city.