Batter Chatter: Interview with Wine Country Cupcakes, Benton City WA

Things that are great: Wine. Cupcakes.

But are they better together?

Indeed, says Debra Layman, one of the owners of Benton City, WA-based special-order baking company Wine Country Cupcakes. Specializing in booze-infused cupcakes, these are sweet treats for the adult whose palate is a bit more refined but who still enjoys the nostalgia of a delicious classic childhood treat. Here's a bit more of their story:

Please...tell me your story, Wine Country Cupcakes. Who are you, how did you get started, and where are you going with your business? The Wine Country Cupcakes & Custom Cakes story………. I had been taking care of my Mother who had Alzheimer and kidney failure for over 5 years, so when she passed I was so lost I had to find something to do so I asked my daughter if she wanted to come over and do some baking I knew I need a pleasant diversion and baking always had a way of making the world better. So we baked and worked to put together a recipe for Merlot cupcakes and the rest is history. Now as far as where we are going with our business we are looking forward to expanding and within the next year moving into a larger studio. 

If Martha Stewart contacted you and wanted to try just one of your cupcakes, which flavor would you give her? Now as for Martha Stewart that was the most challenging of all the questions, my daughter Meghan and I have really struggled with this one First we thought we would give her the “Dark Chocolate Merlot” it has been our most requested flavor from the beginning but then we felt that maybe she would enjoy a more light and festive flavor which would be the newest flavor we offer which is the “Spiced Pear Chardonnay” Our many customers who are winery club members seem to really love it so I guess Martha will have to take both and decide which one she prefers.

Do boozy cupcakes actually retain the alcohol, or does it "burn off" during the baking process? Now as far as the alcohol burning off of the Boozy cupcakes …… the alcohol content in a baked product is only reduced by approximately... 60%.

Why do you always have to eat the Guinness cupcake cold? The reason we suggest that the Guinness cupcakes are better cold is due to the fact this is a very dense cake similar to a brownies so when you eat it cold it has the wonderful chewy consistency.

Is pairing wine cupcakes with wine excessive, or delicious? Would you suggest it? Oh pairing wine with cupcakes not only delicious but makes the experience brilliant , I actually have a customer who has told me the only way to do is to take a bite of the cupcake and sip the wine through it. He has told us it is heaven and we believe him because when he told us about I as we watch him explain his face went from being a professional business man to this bright eyed 12 year old boy his eye even got a sparkle to them.

What is your response when people say that "cupcakes are over"? Now as far as cupcakes being over Meghan and I both agree that cupcakes will never be over as long as we each have that inner child who allows us to enjoy the sweet moments in life.

Tell me one of your best cupcake moments of 2011. I think that our best cupcake moments of 2011 would have to be when a couple came all the way from Hawaii to do a tasting for their upcoming renewal of their wedding vows. To think that people would travel so far just to try our cupcakes amazing.

Do dudes go for the beer cupcakes more than girls? Now as far as Dudes liking beer cupcakes more than girls no really they seem to both enjoy them equally.

What’s next for Wine Country Cupcakes? To keep working with our local wineries to come up with new ideas for flavors and keep bring those smiles to our customers because there is nothing better than to watch someone eat a cupcake and watch them break into a smile, or when someone meets you for the first time and they respond with “You’re the cupcake lady!” you can’t help but smile.

For more, visit the Wine Country Cupcakes website!