Shelley Stannard isn’t really a sweets person.

(Yes, you read that right. The founder and owner of Flavor Cupcakery — and owner of the bakery that won Cupcake Wars in Seasons 4 — isn’t really a sweets person.)

“I definitely appreciate a good cupcake. But it has to be pretty amazing,” said Shelley.

The Baltimore mom is, however, someone who loves creativity and beautiful things. A perfect sort of alchemy when it comes to cupcakes. So it’s no surprise that her Bel Air and Timonium bake shops are fan favorites with locals.

Flavor Cupcakery - (cool) progeny

“Cupcakes bring so much joy and fun they to not only special occasions, but to every day,” said Shelley as we perused the cupcake case in her Bel Air shop. She had gotten in a little late that morning because her son had a doctor’s appointment. Her team was gathered in the back, working out a plan for the upcoming weekend. A busy one was on the horizon since it was still the height of wedding season. 

The flavor combinations at Flavor are true flavor concoctions. As we looked through the case, we were greeted with dessert lovers mecca of brightly-colored frostings and toppings. French toast, butterbeer, salted caramel, wedding cake, and pineapple upside down cake cupcakes were all neatly lined up. All waiting to entice the next customer.

Which begs the question — how does the team at Flavor come up with such (cool) combos all of the time? 

Of course, there is a lot of pastry chef talent in the shops. Part of their weekly job is to experiment with flavors, fillings, and frostings to come up with new ideas. They are often influenced by the season (hello, Strawberry shortcake and s’moreo for summer), but Shelley also challenges her team to think outside the traditional cupcake box. Once, team members were asked to come up with cupcake representations of their favorite candy bars. Milky Way is still on the daily menu.

Flavor Cupcakery - (cool) progeny

The community and Flavor customers also are part of the process. Last spring, Flavor hosted a competition for local schools. They had recently launched a new cookie dough product and invited local schools to come up with a new flavor for the cookie dough. Students, teachers, and parents were encouraged to work together as a school, sports team, academic club, etc. to come up with something new, fun, and delicious! The winning school received 10% of their cookie dough sales for three months. 

It’s probably clear by now that Flavor doesn’t just make cupcakes. They are also known for cake push pops, pies, whoopie pies, cookie dough, macarons, cake truffles, parfaits, cookies, and more. All baked fresh.

Flavor Cupcakery - (cool) progeny

And while we’re not sure if frosting is a good exfoliant, it sure makes for great pictures — and a fun work environment. Maybe edible skincare products are the next challenge for the talented Flavor pastry team?

SUMMER PASSPORT PROGRAM

Do you have a Summer Adventure Passport? Take your passport to either Flavor Cupcakery and receive a FREE baked good when you purchase another!  The passport deal is good through Labor Day.

Editor’s Note: Photos by Wendy Hickok, Wendy Hickok Photography