As a young girl baking alongside her mother, Valerie Hansen determined early on that desserts were her favorite food to make and eat. Today, as the owner of her own on-the-go cupcake bakery and delivery service, Frosted Swirl Cupcakes, she's bringing the sweetness to anyone in the Westfield area that has a sugar craving for homemade cupcakes made with real ingredients.
"My company is a company built on the passion of baking," she said. "When you love what you do it shows in the end result. I am the owner and baker. I bake everything fresh to order, decorate, and deliver everything."
Hansen uses her family's own homemade cake and frosting recipes that had been handed down through generations. That baking expertise combined with a creative spark for experimenting with new flavors, plus a desire to make her business mobile, is what inspired her to start her own cupcake business.
With the help of some willing taste testers, she perfected her menu in 2011 and launched Frosted Swirl Cupcakes the same year. She regularly gets hired to supply her cupcakes to weddings, showers, family gatherings, corporate events, and others. Her truck has also been spotted at fairs, festivals, and special events throughout Western Massachusetts.
There are at least 30 cupcake flavors available at any given time, plus fun seasonal flavors. All cakes are made using natural flavors and ingredients such as premium cocoa, Madagascar vanilla, cinnamon, and other spices. Many of her ingredients are sourced from local farmers and businesses, a way of her supporting the local community. Some of her unique flavors include maple bacon, peanut butter fluff, chocolate chili, and Andes mint. Orange dreamsicle, pink lemonade, and lemon blueberry bliss are among the spring and summer flavors. Hansen also makes a selection of naughtier cakes for grown-ups that contain liquor, such as her red wine chocolate cupcakes, Irish cream (infused with Bailey's), and her tipsy turtle cakes, which contain rum.
Decorative touches are another trademark of Frosted Swirl Cupcakes and are a giveaway for each cupcake's flavor. The ice cream sundae cakes, for example, are topped with vanilla buttercream frosting, fudge sauce, and a cherry, just like an actual sundae would. The cannoli cupcakes are decorated with a mini chocolate chip cannoli. Hansen can also create custom themed cupcakes for birthdays, baby showers, weddings, and other special events. One of her most unique creations was a zebra cupcake, where a marzipan version of the famous wild animal topped each cake.
"Frosted Swirl Cupcakes is a sweet addition to any celebration," she said. "I've helped make lasting and delicious memories at birthday parties, graduation parties, grand openings, corporate events, weddings and showers. I can be located right at your event or make a special delivery just for you."
Orders must be placed at least a week in advance, and cupcakes may be filled or ordered with a graham cracker bottom, and are also available in mini batches. Some delivery charges may apply depending upon location and the size of the order. Cupcakes don't have to be delivered; Hansen will set them aside for anyone that wants to pick them up themselves. Her favorite part of the job often isn't the actual hands-on baking, but getting to meet people from all walks of life that have one thing in common: a love for cupcakes.
"What I love most about my job is being able to be a part of people's special events and memories in their lives," she said. "I have met some amazing people and have formed many lasting friendships with my customers."
Watch a demo of how it works!