Three years ago, the Esparza sisters opened up their first cupcake bakery and kept it simple by calling their bakery Cupcakes. Originally Lindsay and Stephanie wanted to open up a boutique upon graduating from Arizona State University. Because of the influx of boutiques in Phoenix, the sisters knew it wouldn't be a wise move economically. Lindsay could never find a good bakery to satisfy her major sweet tooth, so while 30,000 miles up in the air on their way to Europe they decided to open up a cupcake store. A new passion and career path ignited. Now the sisters have two stores, one in Scottsdale and one in Tucson. They say they are taking over cupcakes in Arizona, one store at a time.
Jasmine Frank is the youngest baker to compete on Cupcake Wars. A student at The Art Institute of California, this young baker is fresh at the beginning of her career. Although she's only been baking professionally for two years, she's been experimenting in the kitchen most of her life. Her dream is to open up her own store someday called Jazzy Cakes.
Farshid Hakim is the successful owner and chef of La Provence Cafe in Los Angeles, Calif. This skilled pastry chef studied abroad honing his skills at the Hotel de Paris. He credits himself with being the first person to introduce the Parisian macaroon in Los Angeles, while cupcakes are on the list of his baked goods that have a "cult following." A talented culinary artist and fluid businessman, Farshid is also very funny and has a sense of humor that leans toward sarcasm. In 2007, La Provence Cafe expanded to a second location in Brentwood, Calif., proving yet again that Farshid knows what he's doing.
WINNER!: Eileen Kerbel
The secret behind Molly's Cupcakes is without a doubt Eileen Kerbel. This feisty Illinois native is known for her center-filled cupcakes. She's been working in bakeries for more than 12 years, but she never found her perfect fit until she found Molly's. Now as a partial owner and head chef of the bakery, Eileen has the creative freedom to concoct interesting and dynamic cupcake flavors. She's quick on her feet and passionate about the business of cupcakes, but admits she can get a little hot under the collar. All of this passion comes oozing out of every bite of her cupcakes. This non-traditional baker may be tough on her staff, but it's her edgy personality and drive that propel her success. Eileen and her partner at Molly's are looking to expand with another location in New York City.
Try Eileen's winning recipe:
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