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Cupcake bakery in Linda is just divine
The idea of a meatloaf cupcake will probably never get past the drawing board.
But other creations from the crossroads of unique flavors and artisan flair are a certainty for the display case at Divine Cupcakes, which opened less than a month ago on North Beale Road in Linda.
Baker Denise Smisor, who runs Divine Cupcakes with her aunt and bakery owner Michelle Warren, said she'll probably take up the suggestion to make a cupcake with bacon, possibly with chocolate or maple icing.
"The ideas just come from thinking about it a lot and deciding, 'This sounds good,'" said Smisor, who ran her own business, Sweets by Denise, for six years before pairing up with Warren on the new venture.
With flavors like tropical delight, peanut butter cup and salted caramel, the two women said they believe the cupcakes go beyond sounding good to tasting better.
Warren, who is from Sacramento, said the idea for the bakery came from living in Southern California and being exposed to the high-end cupcake businesses there, then visiting Smisor and her family and thinking her niece's kitchen creations could hold their own.
Divine Cupcakes has a simplicity ethos to go with the creative vibe, Warren said.
"We make everything from scratch," she said. "No shortening, no freezer. Butter, sugar, cream, eggs, just the basic stuff."
As she and Smisor whipped up the day's offerings — every day has some standard flavors such as vanilla and strawberry, along with daily specials — on Monday morning, the kitchen was simple in its own way.
The oven is only big enough for a couple dozen cupcakes at one time, Warren said, and whenever possible, they bake to order.
Smisor scooped out holes in the top of cupcakes made with Dutch chocolate, then filled the holes with cream cheese mousse while Warren made batter for another set of confections.
Because the bakery is a handful of thrown flour from Yuba College's parking lot, Warren said she hopes to tap into students and faculty there as well as passing airmen headed to and from Beale Air Force Base. Free Wi-Fi, French Roast coffee and eventually covered tables outside are also meant to draw customers, she said.
Since opening, the bakery has already gotten some regulars, such as faculty teaching summer classes and worshippers at the Mormon chapel across the street.
Yuba City students Chelsea Linthicum and Harbir Gill said they've been in every day of the week except Friday — the only day they don't have classes next door.
"I like that it's local, and you always want to support the locals," Linthicum said as she tucked into a salted caramel, made of chocolate cake with a fudge filling and topped with caramel butter cream, caramel drizzle and a pinch of sea salt. Both women oohed over the filling.
"The strawberry one doesn't taste artificial, just really fresh and flavorful," Linthicum said. "You couldn't make it at home."
In a way, that is the feeling Warren said she is hoping to evoke from her cupcakes.
"Cupcakes are a classic petite treat," she said. And with the proliferation of cooking shows on television, standards for them are rising.
"People are not ready to accept the status quo of a grocery store cupcake anymore," she said. "I think I can bring a good, quality product."
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at email@example.com or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.