Sunday, September 30, 2012

Meet One of our Bakers, Margaret Joy!

Hello, my name is Margaret Joy and this is my 3rd cupcake camp of Charleston. I am a current baking and pastry student at Trident Technical College: Culinary Institute of Charleston.

1. What are your favorite ingredients to use? I like basic ingredients I haven't really ventured out with wacky ingredients in my cupcakes or other pastries.

2. Celebrity chef you'd like to work with: I am a very vibrant and bubbly person so if I could work with any celebrity chef I would say Chef Duff Goldman from Charm City Cakes, he seem to be the male version of my attitude.

3. Cupcake you are best known for: I wouldn't say that I was best known for any cupcake yet, but I did win at last year's cupcake camp for my Panera inspired Pumpkin Spice Latte cupcake. I did get a lot of compliments on my Pancake cupcake with maple syrup frosting and brown sugar caramelized bacon strip.

4. What was the first thing you've ever baked? Chocolate chip cookies!!! I can remember the feeling I got while making them and then the reaction from everyone and that's when I had a feeling that I wanted to bake.

5. What do you look forward to at Cupcake Camp Charleston this year? The expressions on people's faces when you describe your cupcake and all the tastes and theme's people come up with.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Meet One of Our Bakers, Jennifer Merchant!

Hey y'all, this is Jennifer Merchant, owner of Cup to the Cake Design Shop!   I run a home-based cupcake business from Summerville that specializes in cupcakes for events, and desserts of every kind.  My favorite ingredients to use remind me of growing up in the South, like the Moonpie and Cheerwine cupcakes that I featured at Cupcake Camp Summerville this spring. They had actual Moonpie pieces and Cheerwine soda in them!   The cupcake that Cup to the Cake is best known for — my go-to cupcake — is a chocolate Dr Pepper cupcake. The carbonation makes for a wonderfully airy and sweet cupcake.

My number one all time favorite chef to work with would be Paula Deen. Although she doesn't use as much butter anymore, I still love her homemade oh-so-bad for you creations.  Speaking of butter, my first ever baking experience was a basic yellow butter cake with chocolate icing, the one that everyone's mom seemed to have perfected growing up.

Cup to the Cake looks forward to meeting all of the wonderful people at Cupcake Camp Charleston, and of course all of the tasty inspirations.  For a treat to your eyes, see all of our creations on our Facebook page at or reach us by email to schedule cupcakes for your next event at

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Meet One of Our Bakers, Tess Smith

I'm a SC Native who moved to Charleston from Rock Hill 5 years ago.  I have three children and I'm a Registered Dental Hygienist.  I love the outdoors, history and I'm an avid USC Gamecock!!!

1. What are your favorite ingredients to use? My favorite ingredients are all the fun toppings and decorations.  Making cupcakes yummy and pretty are important!
2. Celebrity chef you'd like to work with: I would love to work with Paula Deen.  She is the best!
3. Cupcake you are best known for: I'm known for my red velvet and peanut butter cup cupcakes.  Everyone always request them!
4. What was the first thing you've ever baked? My first baked item was my daughter's first birthday cake.  She is 23 now.  Everyone couldn't believe I made it and it made me want to improve and learn more about baking.
5. What do you look forward to at Cupcake Camp Charleston this year? I'm so excited to introduce some of my new flavors at Cupcake Camp.  It's my first year and I'm excited that proceeds will go to the CF Foundation, which is near and dear to my heart. My oldest has CF.  Watch out!! Here I come!! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meet A Mother-Daughter Baking Team, Marty LaConte and Jen Gager!

Hi! We are a mother-daughter baking wunder-duo who are entering the contest for the first time!  Jen Gager, the daughter of the team, is a repeat attender of Cupcake Camp, and is often known to sing the words "Cup-cake-Caaaaammpp!" in falsetto to emphasize the amazingness of the event to the uninitiated.  When she's not baking cupcakes, she teaches Arts and Sciences courses at ECPI University in North Charleston.  Marty LaConte, known as "Mrs. Jen's Mom" in certain circles, lives in Akron, Ohio (the Rubber City!), and has a double-super-not-so-secret reason for attending this year: she's organizing Cupcake Camp Akron!  That's right, Marty is hopping a plane for the second year in a row to marvel at the baked wonders of the Holy City.  She's also a nurse at Akron General Medical Center.

Our local team is rounded out by expert tasters Jason Gager, professional adult, and Brodie Gager, toddler-at-large.   

The Quiz, Revealed:

1. What are your favorite ingredients to use?
Marty: I like using nuts, cinnamon, apples and chocolate.  These are versatile, popular flavors that appeal to the vast majority of tasters.
Jen: I like things that smoke, fizz, or sound weird, making the perfect cupcake a dry ice-Seven-Up-glockenspiel cupcake, I guess.

2. Celebrity chef you'd like to work with:
Marty: Paula Deen--she has very practical dishes that use common ingredients that I can pronounce!
Jen says: Oooh, man.  I have a nerd crush on Wylie Dufresne.  I admire his experimental nature that doesn't sacrifice taste at the altar of innovation.

3. Cupcake you are best known for:
Marty: Probably my cream-filled chocolate cupcake, but I have a new idea for Cupcake Camp . . .
Jen: Best known for my paleo-friendly almond meal breakfast cupcake, which is a hit for low-carbers.

4. What was the first thing you've ever baked?
Marty: Oatmeal drop cookies...I grew up in a large family and Mom had a production line of brown bag lunches every morning.  They always included cookies for dessert, so we always needed a good supply on hand!
Jen: I'm guessing it was lightbulb-influenced cuisine on Christmas Day.  I can definitely recall inflicting Easy-Bake "experiments" on my poor sister and parents.  I got better, though...and graduated to an actual oven in 2010.

5. What do you look forward to at Cupcake Camp Charleston this year?
Marty:  I'm most interested in learning how CCC works behind the scenes since we are hosting one in Akron on 5/4/13.  What better way than to become a participant?
Jen: I attended the first and second years as an eater, so this year I'm really excited to participate as a baker.  I also have to admit that I've never been around to see the judging portion, so I'd like to check that out if I can.  How do they do it?  So -- many -- cupcakes!

Baker Marty in front of her workplace!

Baker Jen and Tasting Team Jason and Brodie

Tasting Expert Brodie in Action

Monday, September 24, 2012

Meet One of Our Bakers, Brittany Dahn!

Hi! My name is Brittany and I have a love for God, family and food! I am a marketing representative by day and food-crazed blogger by night. I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and was one of the pickiest eaters you would ever know. When I moved to Charleston, South Carolina for college my tastes changed right along with everything else in my life.  I will now eat (or at least try) just about anything. But when it comes down to it, sweets are my favorite thing to eat, especially cupcakes! I started a food blog, Counting My Cupcakes (, in July 2011 and have found even more of a passion for food and writing. The blog documents my trials baking and cooking in my own kitchen, eating the delicious (and sometimes not so delicious) foods from restaurants, and everything in between. 

1. What are your favorite ingredients to use? Chocolate, oats, and sugar!!
2. Celebrity chef you'd like to work with: I have to credit Rachael Ray for sparking my interest in cooking, but I would most like to work with Giada De Laurentiis. Italian food has always been my favorite and it would be amazing to whip up some pasta with the pro! 
3. Cupcake you are best known for: Coconut (started as a coconut cake, but obviously I made cupcakes too!)!
4. What was the first thing you've ever baked? Cookies! I sure do love cookies, too. My dad is a chocolate chip cookie fanatic, so I probably made those first. Although I have a lot of memories baking Snickerdoodles, too. 
5. What do you look forward to at Cupcake Camp Charleston this year? Meeting all of the other bakers and tasting everyone's creations!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Meet one of our Judges, Angela Geiger!

Angela Geiger has been a Toastmaster since 2008, and she is a member of several Toastmasters clubs.

Since joining Toastmasters, Angela has served in several club and district level leadership roles with her current role being District 58 Lieutenant Governor Marketing for South Carolina.

Angela is a retired First Sergeant, and is actively involved in community leadership, where she serves as the Co-Chair for the Richland County Appearance Commission in Columbia.

Angela’s motto: “Enjoy living one a day at a time with a fresh baked cupcake. Okay...maybe two cupcakes, and spoonful of frosting. And always promise to take your vitamins.”

For more information on Toastmasters, visit, for more information. 
Please join me in welcoming our Cupcake Camp Judge, Ms. Angela Geiger.

1. What is your earliest memory of baking? I think I was 7, and I remember seeing a commercial for an Easy Bake Oven.  I received it as a Christmas gift and I was baking little cakes all of the time until the packaged dough ran out. 

2. What do you like more, the frosting or the cupcake? I like both.  Delicious frosting and a well made cupcake make for a perfect combination.  

3. What are you baking these days? I don't get to bake too often except during the holiday season.  When I do bake, it's my Cranapple Casserole, Praline Cheescake Bars, Macadamia and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Sweet Potato Pies.
4. What do you like to drink with cupcakes? As a child I liked milk with my sweets, but as I have gotten older, and cupcakes have become a gourmet delight, I like a glass of wine with my cupcakes.  

5. When you can't bake or get to a cupcake and want something sweet,
what do you go for? When I want something sweet I go for a Krispy Kreme doughnut.  I know my answer should be a piece of fruit, but fruit just can't compare to a warm Krispy Kreme doughnut. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Meet One of Our Bakers, Fired Urth!

My name is Missy Wallace and I am the Pastry Chef/Co-Owner of Fired Urth Espresso Bar & Bakery opening on Daniel Island October 1st. My husband and I have spent the last couple of years in North Carolina where we owned and operated "Just Baked" a gourmet cupcake & coffee house. We recently sold our business and are excited to bring our passion to the Charleston Area.

1. What are your favorite ingredients to use? I believe in using all natural ingedients, no artificial flavors or colors. I really like to incorporate unique ingredients into my cupcakes. Some of my favorites would be wine, stout, brown butter, coffee, bacon, chipotle and sea salt.

2. Celebrity chef you'd like to work with: Ina Garten.

3. Cupcake you are best known for: Chocolate Stout & Smoked Sea Salt Caramel: chocolate stout cupcake infused wtih our homemade smoked sea salt caramel sauce, topped with a stout reduction butter cream and more caramel.

4. What was the first thing you've ever baked? Blueberry muffins.

5. What do you look forward to at Cupcake Camp Charleston this year? Since we are new to the Charleston area I look forward to introducing our cupcakes and meeting new people.

Contact Fired Urth at

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meet one of our Judges, Allison Gallentine!

I got my start baking when I was nineteen and I applied for an assistant pastry position to work with Lauren Mitterer. She took me in and I learned so much from her. It was also an honor working with a James Beard nominee and now a local bakery owner. After about 2 1/2 years I went on to being the Pastry Chef for the Country Club of Charleston. After realizing that as beautiful as plated desserts could be I wanted to work in more of a bakery place that I could change product day to day. That takes us to where I am now at Caviar and Bananas

I am currently the Executive Pastry Chef at a well established gourmet specialty market in downtown Charleston called Caviar and Bananas. I make a variety of fresh baked product everyday including but not limited to breakfast pastries, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, brownies and tarts. Including normal day to day pastries I also help with catering events. One particular big event I worked on recently were some pastries and parfait wedding favors for Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively's wedding. On top of baking I also accept cake orders for friends and family out of my home. I also enter baking competitions. For example, the Cupcake Camp Charleston events, which I have been lucky enough to win a category in all three past events. I bake A LOT so good thing I enjoy what I do.

On a more personal note, I am married to my great husband of 2 years, Patrick.  When I am not baking I try to spend as much time possible with Pat, friends and family. Some of my favorite activities would have to be anything that involves being by the water whether it be swimming (beach or community pool), canoeing, or just sitting out by Shem Creek watchings the dolphins.

1. What is your favorite thing to bake for yourself? Cookies! I am a true cookie monster...whether it be peanut butter, chocolate butterscotch, apple oatmeal, chocolate chip, I love em' all! 

2. Least favorite thing to bake? Hmm... I really do not know. I bake such a variety of items I never get sick of one thing. 

3. Food Network has a lot of competitions. Which show would you like to appear on? Cupcake Wars or The Great Food Truck Race.

4. Other than baking, what other career would you like to try? Way back when I wanted to be a vet. I am a huge animal lover. 

5. Favorite baking tip that helps you in the kitchen: Be Patient! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet our MC: Tessa Spencer!

A Charleston native, the beautiful Tessa Spencer graduated from Bishop England High School and received her B.A. in Mass Communications from Baptist College at Charleston (now Charleston Southern University). After college, Tessa served in the U.S. Army Reserves and is a veteran of the first Gulf War. 
Most of you know her as ABC News 4 Morning News Anchor for Good Morning Charleston weekdays 5 AM-7AM and the host of Lowcountry Live weekdays 10 AM-11 AM. Tessa joined the ABC News 4 Team as a reporter in 2011. She is also a radio personality for Star 99.7 FM as a co-host of the afternoon radio show from 2 PM -6 PM on weekdays. 
Her broadcasting career spans 22 years with stops in Greenville, SC, Nashville, TN, where she also earned a spot as a cheerleader for the NFL's Tennessee Titans, and Providence, RI.
Tessa returned home to Charleston in 1999 and worked as one-half of Z93's "Breakfuss Club." Tessa and her co-host earned numerous awards and recognitions including a proclamation from Charleston Mayor Joe Riley naming June 21st "Tessa and Baby J Day."
As a voice-over artist, Tessa can be heard locally and nationally as the television announcer for the "Gospel Stellar Awards" and "The Trumpet Awards."
A mother of two boys, Tessa enjoys photography, making jewelry, and reading.
We are so happy to have her be a part of Cupcake Camp Charleston. You can watch Tessa weekday mornings as a co-anchor of Good Morning Charleston and Lowcountry Live...and you can listen to Tessa weekday afternoons on Apex Broadcasting's Star 99.7. More information can be found on Tessa at Find Tessa on Facebook and follow her on Twitter!  
1. What is your favorite cupcake to eat? Red velvet.
2. Least favorite cupcake to eat? Pumpkin.
3. What are you baking these days? Brownies with my boys!
4. What do you like to drink with cupcakes? Hot cup of coffee.
5. When you can't bake or get to a cupcake and want something sweet, what do you go for? Hershey's Almond candy bar. 

(Photo and Biography used by permission).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Hello, friends! Two months to go! We are up to 20 sponsors now and we can always use some more! So far we have 13 Bakers, 20 Sponsors, 142 Eaters and 0 volunteers. Yup, we need you, people! If you would like to volunteer, please sign up soon! 

We could still need the following items. Any help would be appreciated!

Signs (for parking, arrows, etc. to point towards Cupcake Camp Charleston)

Prizes (for our 6 winners)
Gift certificates
Gift cards
Movie passes
Cook books
Baking supplies
Concert tickets
Cooking/Baking Lessons
Car washes
Spa treatments
Restaurant gift cards
Lawn service

Sponsors Needed

New Poster 2021

 New Poster is out! Thanks to Hazel Rider for her help!