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Cupcake Station and Cake Nouveau indulge A2's sweet tooth

By Jennifer Xu, Daily Arts Writer
Published October 20, 2010

The tubs behind Ternes read “Peanut Butter Buttercream,” “Lemon White Chocolate” and “White Chocolate Cream Cheese.” The cupcakes are then finished with a decorative topper — usually a buttercream flower, a few douses of multicolored sprinkles or a drizzle of caramel.

“Sometimes we mix different things in the buttercream in order to get different flavors,” Ternes said. “The buttercream is easiest to work with. The cream cheese is a little thicker, so sometimes it’s a little more difficult to use.”

Cupcake Station also provides people with a special custom cupcake service for weddings, holidays and special events. People who come in for wedding tastings get six to eight cupcakes for free to try some of the different flavors and frosting combinations.

The store also bakes larger cakes on request, which can be tiered or unilayered. Ternes outlined the difficulties with decorating each type of cake.

“It depends on what you want to do,” she said. “Cupcakes can be easier because they’re smaller to work with and a lot of times people just want something really simple — you put something on there and it looks really cute. But if they want something bigger, like flowers or letters, it’s easier to do it on a cake.”

To achieve the exquisite intricacies found in Cake Noveau’s creations, Clark does not use the kinds of cake tools that one would find at IKEA or Williams-Sonoma.

“This one she uses to thin the fondant out so that can get ripply and crease-y. This one she likes to use when she’s doing indentations for a person’s face,” Mayfield said, pulling out a bevy of cake tools that resemble large plastic toothpicks. “They’re all just — there’s no name for these. They’re just special cake tools.”

Whatever the tools or ingredients or sizes involved in fashioning their respective cakes, these two locally owned dessert stores have won the hearts of Ann Arborites, not just through their outside decorations but also for their decadent flavors underneath. One bite into Cupcake Station’s “Boston Cream Cake,” a cupcake covered in a dark chocolate ganache and drizzled with white chocolate and a sweet pink buttercream flower, reveals an even sweeter vanilla bean interior soaked in a rich creamy custard. If only all artwork were this delicious.