The cupcake invasion of Oklahoma City began about five years ago, and has shown no signs of slowing. Somebody back East must've noticed because two local stores have been or will be featured this month on Food Network.
Last week, it was Tiffany Magness' Green Goodies, and on June 23 it will be chef Eric Smith of Sara Sara Cupcakes.
Green Goodies, 5840 N Classen Blvd. in Classen Curve, is planning a watch party for the re-air of its episode tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. to watch Magness and former assistant Kerstin Bellah win $10,000.
“We'll have a big-screen TV outside, we'll serve the winning cupcakes and have complimentary Champagne,” Magness said.
I'll have more on Green Goodies in a couple of weeks. First, we'll take a look at Sara Sara, which opened in 2008 and now boasts three stores.
Smith, who is also executive chef at West, said the secret to Sara Sara's success is creating individual batters for each flavor of cupcake.
“A lot of places will make a base batter and flavor to it or add a flavored topping,” Smith said. “Ours are made individually to make them distinctive.”
The idea for Sara Sara Cupcakes is pure Oklahoma. It sprang from a proclamation of 18-year-old Sara Brinson, who told her aunt, Toni Hoffman, “You and I are going to run a cupcake shop together” as they finished yet another batch in their family kitchen on Easter in 2007.
Toni, who now manages The Iguana Cafe in Nichols Hills Plaza, couldn't possibly have known what a fateful statement Sara had made. The teenager died of a sudden cardiac arrest the next day.
Within a year, Toni had kept her promise and lured Smith, her cousin, into the family operation. Smith was just getting back from a stint in Chicago. Since his return, he opened the Pachinko Parlor, tends the stove at West, and created the more than 25 cupcakes at Sara Sara.
“We do jumbo-sized cupcakes,” Smith said. “We have daily specials beyond our regular menu, we do $2 Tuesdays and we use only butter in our recipes — no oils or syrups.”
For the “Cupcake Wars” appearance, Smith tapped Avery Cannon as his assistant. Cannon, along with Rachel Cope, will soon open a pizza concept called Empire Slice House in the Plaza District.
Together, they took on the challenge, which Smith admitted was extremely difficult logistically. Smith couldn't talk episode details, but did say it was as difficult as it appeared — maybe even more difficult.
“It was intense,” he said. “Things get pretty crazy on the set.”
The show airs at 7 p.m. June 23 on Food Network. If you want to watch with a complement of Sara Sara Cupcakes, there are locations at 9 NW 9 St., 17 E. 5 St. in Edmond and in Penn Square Mall. The Edmond store is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The 9th Street store is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The mall location keeps mall hours and closes at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays.