Le Cupcake Shoppe uses small snacks to hit the sweet spot
A sign on the wall behind the counter at Le Cupcake Shoppe reads, “Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts.”
Few would argue, especially if they've sampled the lovingly crafted confections of owner and baker Alexandra Hagen. Miniature cupcakes are the coin of this tiny realm in Brookline, whose exterior is the color of lemon icing. Hagen creates legal intoxicants in flavors that include maple bacon, tiramasu, cookies and cream, salted caramel, hot chocolate and s‘mores. The miniature cupcakes are $10 per dozen; $30 per dozen for standard-size cupcakes. She also creates cake pops and varieties of whole cakes in butter cream and fondant.
Hagen graduated from Duquesne University in 2011 with a degree in entrepreneurship and marketing. But her real passion was forged during her Bethel Park girlhood, where she learned the sweet science of baking with her mother, Suzanne. Her career as a professional baker began after college, while she worked as marketing and events coordinator for Cadillac Ranch Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, she built a following on her Facebook page, where the likes multiplied.
“I would post pictures of things that I would make,” Hagen says. “I never thought it would be something that I would sell. It was just something that I always loved to do. Friends and family would say, ‘Can you bake for my baby shower and so-and-so's birthday?' That's when it really stared.”
She says she uses no chemicals and preservatives but sticks to natural ingredients such as Madagascar vanilla, pure extract, real butter and fresh fruits. Le Cupcake Shoppe features six to eight varieties of miniature cupcakes and two to four different flavors of cake pops. The menu changes weekly. Hagen recently added chocolate pistachio shortbread cookies. She even makes sweet dog treats in assorted flavors.
Her shop hugs a steep cobblestone street above West Liberty Avenue, a few doors up from local legend Fiore's Pizzeria. The pink-and-white interior has the cheery bustle of a workshop at the North Pole.
“Brookline is so for small business,” she says. “I definitely wanted to find a place between the city and suburbs.”
Robert Coccaro owns the space, which once housed a talent agency that booked clowns and magicians for children's parties. He was impressed enough with Hagen's savvy and ability.
“She puts so much time and only the best, highest-quality ingredients,” he says. “As a matter of fact, for the first few meetings, she was bringing all these different flavored cupcakes. I brought them home and my family said, ‘These are delicious. You should give this girl a shot.' ”
Hagen's imagination is hardly limited by the Lilliputian format. For the catering side of her business, she creates colorful, multi-tiered cupcake towers, cartoon characters and bright-red trucks that are dear to the heart of every little boy.
Le Cupcake Shoppe, 109 Capital Ave., Brookline. Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays- Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; noon- 4 p.m. Sundays. Details: 412.254.4295, www.lecupcakeshoppepgh.com
William Loeffler is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7986.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LaBar: WWE not backing down from controversy
- Overnight snow delaying schools in western Pennsylvania
- Officials identify man, woman killed in apparent Oakland murder-suicide
- LCB, Duquesne University police recover rare bourbon in illegal sale
- Beloved North Side gardener gets new truck, paid for by her neighbors
- Stat dropoff, road struggles have Penguins seeking consistency
- Kennametal plans plant closings, job cuts in fallout from oil and gas decline
- 3 in Westmoreland charged in painkiller ring
- Rossi: In Super city, everything but football matters
- Driver leaps from sliding truck just before it topples down hillside in Fawn
- Consol Energy posts $74M profit in fourth quarter