Misha's Cupcakes was the first in South Miami to break into the cupcake scene a few years back. But today, her treats are becoming the Mickey D's of the sweet set. Buttercream and Cupcakes Nouveau, two other cupcakeries, are finding their own niches in the same neighborhood.
Cupcakes Nouveau, on Le Jeune Road, has been open for less than a year and has already
received national attention. Owners Cristina Valdes and Shayrin Badillo
were recently featured on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars. Their prize: $10,000 and the chance to cater a party for OK!
Magazine, an international gossip magazine. While Nouveau didn't win, Valdes said
the editor of OK! later called to say they were
robbed. Valdes said requests keep coming in for flavors shown on the show like the Chai Tea cupcake. It's topped with honey
ginger cream cheese frosting ($2.75).
Nouveau specializes in "couture" cupcakes. Options include vanilla
espresso, coconut and pineapple, and Madagascar
Short Order asked Valdes of Cupcakes Nouveau her opinion of Misha's. "She's an excellent business woman...I am not a fan of her cakes though... I don't know her personally but with her, it's more about
the business than the product."
Then there's Buttercream Cupcakes & Coffee on Sunset Drive, located within walking
distance of Misha's. The small shop boasts a jovial Barbie-pink
décor. It was opened by couple Jose Cuellar and Kristine Graulich in February
2008. They focus on childhood favorites that are prepared with
extreme detail. Their Vanilla Oreo cupcake ($2.75), is topped with frosting made using cream and chunks of America's favorite
cookie. Other flavors include the ever popular red velvet, chocolate
peanut butter, vanilla strawberry, and lime. Cuellar said the cakes are
lighter than other places' sweets, which are often too moist. The reason: they use
sweet cream butter in the batter rather than shortening or lard. They
also offer coffee service.
Cuellar says the local competition is "all good," He doesn't seem to
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mind the overabundance of Misha's cupcakes in the area. "Misha's have their cupcakes in a lot of places, but that's fine, that's
not what I want to achieve," he says. "I want to be more exclusive."