Cupcakes are a passion for Michelle Spell, owner of Ava's Cupcake Shoppe & Cafe in Rockaway, N.J. This pastry chef and mother-Spell's bakery is named after her daughter-specializes in cupcakes and other baked goodies, including cakes, pastries, and handpies, featuring seasonal ingredients and exotic flavor combinations. Her Banana Guava cupcake finished first on Food Network's Cupcake Wars, and it has become one of her signature cupcakes.
Spell has recently expanded her menu to include gluten-free and vegan cupcake options. Here, she shares a gluten- and dairy-free recipe inspired by spring.
Ava's Cupcake Shoppe & Cafe ships cupcakes nationwide. Visit avascupcakes.com to learn more.
Use toasted coconut as a garnish on cakes and cupcakes. Simply spread coconut shreds on a cookie sheet and bake at 350ºF for 5-7 minutes.
Photo (top left): Pornchai Mittongtare; Food Styling: Liesl Maggiore; Styling: Robin Turk