Cupcake bakeries are a common occurrence these days, and Candace Nelson may be the one to blame.

While these epicurean businesses have been gaining momentum across the country for the past few years, Sprinkles Cupcakes, a Beverly Hills-based bakery with several locations across the states, takes the cake with a deliciously unique variety of flavors. It might even be said that, Nelson, founder and co-owner with her husband, Charles, have given new meaning to the word “sprinkles,” instilling an overpowering, dreamlike prominence to the delicate word descriptive of sprinklings of charm and forbidden lusciousness on ready-to-eat desserts.

Storefronts adorned with delectable, and dainty alternatives to sheet sized cakes are a treat that everyone is craving, and the shop responsible for the new cupcake craze vogue, bakes fresh delights daily to gratify the hunger of even the most disgruntled customer. Pegged as the world’s first cupcake bakery, Sprinkles has gained a fanatic cult following praised for its sweet tastes ranging from the delectable infusion of lemon coconut to their most demanded flavor, red velvet (now available daily at all locations in vegan and gluten-free), as well as creative variations such as chocolate marshmallow and peanut butter-chocolate.

With the pungent atmosphere of flair and ingenuity that transpires from the cupcake goddess, it is difficult to fathom that Nelson was not born in a cupcake bakery. However, while she has captured the essence of the retro – yet stylish treat, her previous career as an investment banker was anything but glitter and sprinkles. Rather, it was notoriously bland. As dedicated patrons of Sprinkles get their taste buds tangled over her rich, velvety cakes garnished with cream cheese frosting and an overdose of sugar, she feels fortunate for the impromptu career move. Hit by the dot-com bust during the time that countless Americans were enduring the hardships of a crippling economy, Nelson decided to make some renovations. The idea of a luxury cupcake shop flooded with fresh smells of Belgium chocolate and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla was a transparent transition for Nelson.

While an investment banker, baking was reserved for special occasions. After ending her banking career, Nelson attended Tante Marie’s Professional Pastry Program in San Francisco. Post-graduation, she developed a custom cake business out of her home. It was at that point — after specialty three-tier cakes proved to be a difficult business — that the idea of Sprinkles Cupcakes was conceived. The pioneer of designer cupcakes emerged and the reinvention of the waxy, tasteless supermarket cupcake began.

Today, Nelson’s sophisticated take on the classic American pastry has led her to a fortunate and indulgent path. A judge on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and Bobby Flay’s Cupcake Throwdown, Nelson’s accomplishments are transparent. Her charming cupcakes have been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show as well as in Bon Appetit Magazine and in The New York Times. Furthermore, baking enthusiasts can now purchase Sprinkles’ mixes at Williams Sonoma stores nationwide to create their own decadent bliss – all this achieved in the span of seven years, since the opening of the first location in 2005 which brought in a sale of over 2,000 cupcakes in the first week.

“I never dreamed that Sprinkles would be the brand that it has become today or that I would be considered a ‘cupcake expert’ on a Food Network show. I feel very fortunate,” Nelson says.

Twenty tantalizing butter-cream frosted desserts topped with Sprinkles’ trademark modern dots or rich chocolate sprinkles, push the national conglomerate to the top of the cupcake empire. But apart from its unprecedented taste where does its sensation come from? The answer is quite simple; its distinguished success is credited to the continuous baking valued at all locations throughout the day – an unfathomable feat for a corporation that produces them only by hand.

With ten locations and constantly growing nationally, each Sprinkles location offers its own personality varying with interior. Sprinkles’ flagship bakery, and original shop in Beverly Hills, has been deemed a celebrity favorite with frequents from Gossip Girl star Blake Lively to Jimmy Kimmel, who allegedly stood in line for 45-minutes to buy $80 worth of the sophisticated petite cake. The bakery, located only blocks from Rodeo Drive, has Sprinkles delicately scrawled across the storefront window. The nominal interior is created with modern whites and wood furnishing; however, the centralized cupcake window disperses its own whimsical spotlight.

“Sprinkles Beverly Hills was our original location and is definitely my favorite because of the emotional attachment I have to it,” she says. “However, our New York bakery really incorporated the playful elements of Sprinkles and took it to a new level with lively features and a party room on the second floor.”

Sprinkles Cupcakes New York is adorned with giant chocolate cupcakes signed with the signature Sprinkles dot. Colorful bands of color outstretch the walls, offering a fresh perspective in comparison to the Scottsdale, Ariz. location’s minimalistic atmosphere. The urban Scottsdale location allows the cupcakes to be the focal point of the quaint storefront.

“Sprinkles Scottsdale opened the day before my birthday,” Nelson says. “We had some of the longest lines I’ve ever seen. It was definitely a wonderful birthday week with the opening.”

Growing up, Nelson was surrounded by women in her family who have served as inspiration reflected in her bakery today. “My great-grandmother owned several successful restaurants in San Francisco for more than 20 years. Her passion for baking and cooking was passed down to my mother who always dazzled her friends with dinner parties and show-stopping desserts,” she says.

Having a knack for baking at a young age, she spent her afternoons as a child baking comfort food treats, hoping to create what her taste buds were frequently missing.

“A significant part of my childhood was spent in Southeast Asia, where I spent baking my favorite American treats that I couldn’t find there,” she says.

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