Learning to Deal with Cupcake Celebrity
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Today we meet a cupcake champion. Back in early November you may have heard about a born-and-raised Alaskan named Kastle Sorenson, who competed on the Food Network program Cupcake Wars. And won.
After the show aired Sorenson was all over the news, and even got her own recognition ceremony with Mayor Dan Sullivan. More than a month later, I decided to see if things have gotten quieter for Kastle Sorenson and her food cart Kastle’s Kreations now that the dust had settled.
“Business has been booming, lots of people have been calling for orders, and the lines at the truck have just been insane. We’ve had to make a lot more cupcakes after the show has aired,” Sorenson says.
There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for Sorenson’s success or fame, but she’s still not comfortable with her friends and family members calling her a celebrity. Not that the attention has been bad.
“But it’s fun, people want to take my picture or I’ll go to the grocery store and people want me to sign a piece of paper. It’s exciting, and it’s fun to bring back a win for Alaska,” Sorenson says.
And she couldn’t have won in a more Alaskan way. One of Sorenson’s challenges on Cupcake Wars was to make a seafood cupcake.
Sorenson chose to make a savory salmon cupcake with lemon and rosemary. Not only did she survive the round, she dominated it.
Sorenson says she’s not a savory cupcake person, but she wasn’t thrown off by the challenge. It does pay to be Alaskan when it comes to seafood after all.
“Not that people in other states don’t eat seafood, but I think we definitely eat more seafood. So I knew the textures and flavors for what I wanted to go into the cupcake so I felt like maybe I had a little of an advantage there, but I’ve never worked with salmon in a cupcake,” Sorenson says.
Since the shows airing Sorenson has gone from making an average of 300 cupcakes a day to as many as 1500. And she still sells out daily. Sorenson shows me today’s stock that she’s loaded on to her truck.
“About 250 of 600 have been presold for today, and probably another 400 over here. Back here we’ve got all the cupcakes that are left for selling on the truck,” Sorenson says.
Sorenson insists on only selling half of her stock to online pre orders. Otherwise she would likely sell out every day without even setting up her truck. She wants to make sure anyone can stop by and pick up a few cupcakes on the spot. But, don’t expect to find that salmon cupcake if you do, it’s not on the regular menu just yet.
“My assistant every time we make it says ‘you’re mean, I don’t want to touch that salmon.’ We have gloves to pull it apart but she hates the smell of it and hates dealing with it. And then rolling up little smoked salmon pieces on top is very time consuming. So there are lots of steps to it. It’s not the most fun one to do,” Sorenson says.
That and Sorenson says the salmon cupcakes tend to make the other cupcakes in the truck smell fishy. She has sold them though, and they’ve been a hit. ”Being from Alaska I have to have them on the menu, and people are really excited about trying it.”
But she doesn’t want them to be her signature cupcake. Sorenson is more interested in her sweet recipes, which she’ll be expanding along with her kitchen and her business in the coming months. She’s going to pace herself though.
“I just like to take it as it comes to me. First we started in my house, then we went to the truck, now we have the kitchen, and people are saying ‘you need a storefront.’ But I’m just not ready for that,” Sorenson says.
This week Sorenson is focusing on her holiday themed flavors like gingerbread and eggnog. And after the holiday? She’s finally going to take a well deserved vacation.
“I need a break, I’ve been exhausted,” Sorenson says with a laugh.