EXCLUSIVE DISH: CupCakeBite’s Gingerbread Spice Cupcake

Since it opened nearly a year ago, people in and around Fuquay-Varina have been getting their fill of sweet treats at CupCakeBite, the town’s first cupcake shop.

Located in the picturesque Varina Station, CupCakeBite represents the fulfillment of a dream for local proprietor Gina Pettaris, a New York native and former graphic designer who had been baking cupcakes out of her home for the past several years.

The shop features distinctive varieties of cupcakes baked fresh daily and sold for $2.50 each. Additional items include cake pops, cookies, espresso-based coffees and European hot chocolate. Custom cakes and cupcakes also are available. “We do everything from small birthday cakes to wedding cakes to sculpted cakes,” Pettaris said.

No doubt what sets CupCakeBite apart from similar cupcake shops is that Pettaris makes her products with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives. “I’m really passionate about using quality ingredients like dairy products without growth hormones and no artificial food coloring,” said Pettaris. “I feel like the ingredients make a huge difference.”

During the holiday season, CupCakeBite will feature a gingerbread spice cupcake, which according to Pettaris is a cupcake version of the traditional gingerbread cookie. “We cover it with cream cheese frosting and sanding sugar,” she said. “On top, you see a fondant disc embossed with a snowflake.”

Open five days a week, CupCakeBite is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

13/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons molasses
3/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves into medium bowl.

In a large bow, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, eggs and molasses until blended.

Using a spoon, mix in flour in three additions and water in two additions. Begin and end with flour. Stir until flour is incorporated and batter is smooth.

Dispense batter evenly into lined muffin tins. Bake 18 minutes. Cool completely and top with vanilla cream cheese frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until smooth. Add butter, and beat until fluffy.

Reduce speed to low; gradually add sugar and vanilla and continue beating until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.

512 Broad St.
Fuquay-Varina(919) 557-4300

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