- Baked by Melissa, the bakery made famous for its signature miniature confections, is introducing a new line of vegan cupcakes.
- The vegan cupcakes come in six new flavours, including Vegan Chocolate Chip, Cookie Dough, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, Triple Chocolate Chip, and SuperFood.
- Melissa Ben-Ishay, the creator and president of Baked by Melissa, spoke with Insider about the challenges of creating the vegan sweets.
- We tried the vegan cupcakes ahead of their official release, and they tasted virtually indistinguishable from their non-vegan counterparts.
- The vegan cupcakes are available in stores and online starting Thursday and cost $US1.25 for a single cupcake, $US10.50 for a 6-pack, and $US42.00 for a 25-pack.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
And now Baked by Melissa, the bakery made famous for its miniature cupcakes, is jumping on the bandwagon and introducing a new line of vegan cupcakes in stores and online starting Thursday.
“I really want to have cupcakes for everyone,” Melissa Ben-Ishay, the creator, president, and chief product officer of Baked by Melissa, told Insider. “Vegan cupcakes were something I felt passionate about because some customers were asking for vegan options, and I’m personally very into food and what’s going on in the food space.”
The new vegan mini cupcakes come in six original flavours, including a green SuperFood flavour inspired by the smoothies Ben-Ishay makes for her daughter.
Made with spirulina, acai, and chia cake, the SuperFood cupcake “has a little, tiny crunch in the cake from the chia seeds,” according to Ben-Ishay. The icing is made with beets and topped with a sesame seed, sunflower seed, and cinnamon brittle.
“Am I trying to make a cupcake healthy? Hell no,” Ben-Ishay said. “But it’s just a bite, and when are you going to have these superfruits if I don’t pack them into a cupcake? And it’s so good. That’s the flavour I’m probably most proud of.”
In addition to the unconventional SuperFood flavour, the new line of cupcakes includes Vanilla Chocolate Chip, Cookie Dough, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, and Triple Chocolate Chip, the latter of which Ben-Ishay says she craves “more than any other flavour we have across all products.”
The Insider food team got a taste of the vegan cupcakes ahead of their official release, and they tasted virtually indistinguishable from their non-vegan counterparts. They were rich and decadent with bold and unique flavours, but had a slightly denser cake than traditional cupcakes.
“I’m just so freakin’ excited for this vegan assortment because it’s given me the chance to exercise my skill of pairings and using new ingredients,” Ben-Ishay said. “I have very high hopes for this vegan assortment and I see it as an opportunity to get new people to experience Baked by Melissa when they have never had the chance to.”
Baked by Melissa was one of the first bakeries to sell gluten-free cupcakes nationwide back in 2015, and Ben-Ishay said she was pleasantly surprised to discover how quickly she and her team were able to create the vegan cupcakes in comparison.
“With gluten free, you’re taking away the main ingredient in cake and being like ‘make it taste delicious,'” Ben-Ishay said. “They took like two years to develop. Vegan was also challenging, of course, but we did it much quicker than I expected to.”
“We actually had the product ready in April, but I really wanted to test it in the stores,” she added. “We’re very customer-driven, so I wanted them to try it and tell me what they thought.”
Running the new cupcakes past customers proved to be a wise move for Ben-Ishay and Baked by Melissa.
After trying an early sample of the vegan treats, in which Baked by Melissa bakers used almond milk to create the icing, many customers revealed that they would prefer a frosting alternative that didn’t include a nut ingredient.
In response, the Baked by Melissa team developed a new version of the frosting made with oat milk, and Ben-Ishay went so far as to call the new frosting a major improvement on the original version.
“We tweaked the flavours and changed the frosting to oat milk, which is creamier and makes the icing better,” Ben-Ishay said. “We wouldn’t have gotten that quality product if it weren’t for our customers.”
Starting Thursday, Baked by Melissa customers can purchase any of the six new vegan cupcakes in stores or online. They cost $US1.25 for a single cupcake, $US10.50 for a 6-pack, and $US42.00 for a 25-pack.
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