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Madagascar Vanilla in Manchester: Queen City Cupcakes

By Elisha Neubauer

Queen City Cupcakes is a small, family-run bakery in Manchester, NH specializing in gourmet cupcakes. They are primarily a retail storefront, but also cater to events such as birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, baby and bridal showers, corporate functions, and weddings. Of course, the beauty of a cupcake is that it doesn't require a grand event- it can be a simple way to say thank you, make a unique gift, or can thoroughly satisfy your own sweet tooth.

To stand out amongst the sea of cupcake shops, Queen City Cupcakes took the time to focus on their recipes and methods long before opening their doors.

"We developed our recipes based off of honest feedback we received from a large tasting audience for about a year before we opened," says Chelsea Stoddard, owner of Queen City Cupcakes. "We tweaked our recipe many times before we got the right one!" Stoddard attributes her shop's success to two major factors: "I think we are different because of the quality of ingredients we use and the unique (and secret) type of recipe/process we use."

Stoddard tells us that Queen City's cupcakes are fresh because they don't bake too many at a time. "We bake in small batches and we bake what we think we can sell in one day. When we sell out, we start over again. This also minimizes food waste which is very important to us." Of course, with flavors like Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie Dough, Blackberry Truffle, and Chai Latte- the risk of food waste seems pretty low, regardless of quantity.

Stoddard names the Peanut Butter Cup and Chocolate Salted Caramel cupcake as the two most popular flavors. Seasonal specialties, like Pumpkin Spice in the fall, are big sellers, too. "We have around 100 flavors so our menu is always changing. Recently we have been working hard on our new product- cookie sandwiches (2 cookies with frosting in between). They are amazing!"

The Queen City team prides itself on fresh ingredients and expansive menu choices. "For example, we use pure Madagascar vanilla which has a very different taste from the vanilla that most people have in their pantry," explains Stoddard. "It is much more expensive than regular or imitation vanilla but totally worth it!" When it comes to baking gourmet cupcakes, Queen City opts for fresh ingredients- some of which might surprise you.

"Often when customers come in the shop, they see us cooking things other than cupcakes," says Stoddard. "Like sweet potatoes which we use for our delicious sweet potato pie cupcake."

The Stoddard family has put their heart and soul into their cupcake shop, and you can sense it in every bite you take. Taking inspiration from family and friends, Queen City Cupcakes is always creating new flavors, recipes, and processes to ensure that their cupcakes- and their menu- stay fresh.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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