Star Kitchen: Candace Nelson

Tour Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson's Beverly Hills kitchen. Photographs by David Tsay.

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay ©David Tsay

Candace Nelson's kitchen

When Candace Nelson opened her first Sprinkles shop in Beverly Hills in 2005, she sold out of cupcakes within hours. Since that day, her life has been cupcakes 24-7. She sells about 1,500 a day at her original location and runs nine other stores across the country, plus she's a judge on Food Network's Cupcake Wars. We figured she'd take a break from all of the cupcakes at home, but no: She uses her super-mod home kitchen in Beverly Hills to test new flavors.

Finicky oven

Candace's bakery ovens are high-grade machines calibrated to the exact degree. Her home oven isn't as precise, but she has a sixth sense for when her cupcakes are done: "I'm not an oven snob. At home, I can make do with anything."

California light

Two skylights, including one above this wall, let in so much light that Candace needs just four recessed bulbs. "The sun bounces off the brick wall and around the kitchen," she says.

Baking station

Sprinkles Cupcakes has a rotating menu of about 50 flavors, and Candace is always dreaming up new ones. She keeps her kitchen stocked with the same ingredients that she uses in the shops, and she works at this extra-large island.

Indoor garden

The kitchen has a built-in trough filled with snake plants. Luckily for Candace, they're low-maintenance: They get plenty of light, and the sink is nearby for easy watering. "To say I lack a green thumb is an understatement."

Keeping the decor

Even the towels match the yellow, green and white color scheme.

Bringing the outside in

The big windows help Candace feel like she's always outdoors.