For Maureen and Keith Jarret, cracking the code of the perfect cupcake is a tasty challenge.
The couple owns “The Stuffed Cupcake Place” on Franklin Avenue in Nutley, and their enterprise has finished at or near the top of NJ Monthly’s rankings for all four years it's been open.
The Stuffed Cupcake has drawn praise from Oprah Winfrey, the Cooking Channel and Rachel Ray. Reviewers say their cake is moist and stuffed with goodness. Flavors include Banana, Strawberry Blonde, Boston Crème and Red Velvet.
How their unique cupcakes came to flourish is a story that would pique the interest of any lover of sweets.
Originally, the Jarret’s owned a café down the street, serving breakfast, brunch and lunch, while also catering different affairs. It was through the catering that Keith’s gifts for unusual, memorable stuffed cupcakes became too hard to ignore.
“People were raving about our cupcakes, yet they were ordering out for sweets, so we thought, why not have the treats come from us?” Maureen said.
So, Keith said he took a class to earn proficiency in cake decorating, and began a full-fledged effort to become a baker.
“We had to learn how to take our recipes and increase them for 200 people at a brunch,” Maureen said.
To this day, getting the unique recipes perfect is an inexact science.
“It’s a little difficult, because Keith eyeballs everything,” she said. “He had to learn measurements, but still, a lot of times a recipe will have a little more of this or that than it did yesterday. We’re still outside the box.”
Still, the success is hard earned. The couple is thinking of expanding to a second location, possibly Totowa.
“There are so many cupcake places out there,” Maureen said. “Our unique flavors, and our quality really stand out. We want to make sure we’re second to none.”