BY SUSAN WENZEL
Whidbey Life Magazine contributor
Nov. 18, 2013
Whidbey Cupcakes’ buttercream-frosted, made-from-scratch bakery delights can turn any grey Whidbey day into a celebration.
Ann Spink, owner and chief cupcake baker at the downtown Langley shop, loves making people happy and her whimsical confections are guaranteed to bring a smile to even the frowniest of faces.
Spink started selling her cupcakes at area farmer’s markets two years ago, and quickly learned that people needed their sugar rush more than once a week. Now, cakeaholics can find their beloved baked goods at the Whidbey Cupcakes storefront, which is celebrating its one year anniversary on Nov. 26.
Spink’s first, and arguably most lovely cupcake creation, was the Whidbey Decadence.
“It looks like the ocean and is topped with a tiny white chocolate seashell,” she said of the carefully crafted chocolate delight decorated with a generous swirl of white and blue variegated buttercream frosting.
While nearly everyone loves a good cupcake, the masses are divided on one point. For some, it is all about Whidbey Cupcakes delectable array of light and moist flavorful cakes (which feature all natural ingredients, premium French Valrhona chocolate and local free range eggs). For others, the cake is an afterthought, a mere spongy platform to support the swirled mounds of luscious frosting.
“Kids especially love the frosting,” said Spink. “And all of the frostings are so different. I spend the majority of my time making frosting.”
Whidbey Decadence, Carrots and Karats, German Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, Mt. Rainier, the “Bella” and Northern Lights are no everyday cupcakes, although they, and many others, are available almost every day that the cupcake boutique is open. Each features a different flavored cake and a unique frosting, of course. The Whidbey Island Area Fair blue ribbon winning Double Bluff – a dark chocolate cupcake frosted with caramel butter cream, drizzled with caramel sauce and sprinkled with black Hawaiian sea salt – is a fine example of Spink’s distinctive style.
In addition to the menu regulars, including vegan and gluten-free alternatives, once can choose from monthly features as well as seasonal and holiday specialties, including clever designs made just for Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and more.
Current fall favorites such as Cinnamon Caramel Apple and Pumpkin Spice will soon have to move over and make room for the likes of Oh Christmas Tree — a rich chocolate-mint butter cupcake layered with glossy chocolate ganache and bedecked with a green mint-flavored buttercream evergreen tree — as well as the Hot Chocolate — a hot-chocolate flavored butter cupcake filled with homemade marshmallow cream and topped with a marshmallow buttercream frosting, mini marshmallows and a dusting of hot chocolate powder.
Spink also loves to customize orders for birthdays, weddings, baby showers or any other celebration. She offers her signature regular sized or mini cupcakes in a variety of flavors or will design a culinary creation specific to the event.
But, there is no need to wait for a party to try one of these sweet treats. The Unbirthday Cake — a vanilla cupcake frosted with chocolate buttercream and adorned with multicolored edible confetti — is testament to the fact that any day can be special; just add cupcakes.
Visit Whidbey Cupcakes online or call 360-321-6656 for more information. Stop by the shop, located at 220 First St. in Langley open noon to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and try a regular cupcake ($3) or special/filled ($3.50).
Food writer Susan Wenzel believes in the power of locally produced food to fortify the health and well-being of both the individual and the community as a whole.