THE CUPCAKE IS ALL GROWN UP AT NEW DOWNTOWN BAKERY
By Kristyna Savard
If your tastebuds crave something sweet, then sink your teeth into this: a tiny-cake craze is about to begin in downtown Lowell.
Think of Lee Taing, owner of Little Delights Bakery at 132 Merrimack St., as the new cake boss in town, whipping up drool-worthy, melt-in-your mouth baked goods including gourmet cupcakes.
“Eating cupcake is a little like cheating,” Lee says. “It’s not a whole slice of cake so it doesn’t count.”
Cheating or not, one bite of Lee’s tasty concoction and even Betty Crocker would be flummoxed.
She kicks her cakes up a notch with a rotating array of grown-up flavors like red velvet, rich pumpkin, death by chocolate (with a scrumptious chocolate pudding filling) and her personal favorite — a creamy tiramisu with mascarpone frosting and dark rum.
Lee admits she never took a formal class in baking or culinary arts.
“I went to ‘YouTube University’ and Pinterest for my inspiration,” jokes the self-taught baker.
She grew up in Brockton, where her business-minded parents instilled good management skills going back to Lee’s Easy Bake Oven days. She took that know-how and paired it with a talent that came naturally.
After earning an associate’s degree in business from UMass Lowell, Lee spent 10 years working in the corporate world. To find an escape after an 80-hour work week, she baked.
One day, she shared a big batch of her cupcakes at a friend’s baby shower. Guests were blown away.
At the end of 2012, the new career path she wanted to take became clear.
“I wanted to do something different,” she says. “I dove straight into cake decorating.”
In the kitchen, she can be as creative as she wants to be. Her flights of fancy seem like projects Buddy Valastro’s team might dream up on the TLC show Cake Boss.
She molds flowers, butterflies and shells from sugar, recreates designer Chanel and Louis Vuitton handbags from lavish cake and creamy frosting.
If you can dream it, Lee can make it.
From birthdays and weddings, to holidays, special events or just because, Lee bakes up creative and delicious cakes for every occasion. Just be sure to give her your customized request at least a week in advance.
Among her many lavish offerings, Lee issues a friendly warning — her cupcakes may create addicts.
Peel back the paper liner and decide…a cake bite, an icing bite or a combo? Whichever you prefer, we dare you to stop at just one.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Little Delights Bakery, specializing in custom cakes and gourmet cupcakes
WHERE: 132 Merrimack St.
INFO: Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit Little Delights on Facebook or call 978.455.0040.
Tory Germann contributed to this report.
Howl intern Kristyna Savard is a cupcake aficionado and journalism major at UMass Lowell.