Miriam Handler / For The Lantern
Donning pink aprons with mixers in hand, the bakery owners of Georgetown Cupcake and stars of TLC’s “DC Cupcakes” baked up some sweet fall fun when they taught Ohio State the recipe for their pumpkin spice cupcakes.
Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis Berman visited the Ohio Union’s Performance Hall Friday as part of an Ohio Union Activities Board-sponsored event for students and family as part of OSU’s Parent and Family Weekend.
One piece of advice the sisters set out to give students was that not every plan has to be set in stone, and your career doesn’t have to be a linear path. Berman and LaMontagne went back on their careers in fashion and venture capital, respectively, to open Georgetown Cupcakes in 2008.
They told the audience their love for baking was instilled in them by their grandmother when they were little girls. Family expectations and a college-bound mindset put the idea of owning a bakery to the side until the women were well into their respective careers. But one day, they decided to take a leap of faith, and left their jobs to follow their old dream of owning their own little bakery.
At the event, the duo asked for three volunteers to come up and help bake the cupcakes. Hands shot up in the air and three girls went up on the stage as assistants, which required them to portion out flour, crack eggs and help create the icing for the cupcakes.
While going through the baking steps, LaMontagne encouraged the audience to not take baking so seriously and remember that it is supposed to be fun.
“Just have fun with it when you are trying out new flavors. You can always try again if they don’t turn out perfect the first time,” she said.
Throughout the event, LaMontagne and Berman gave advice for novice and experienced bakers, such as counting out loud when adding ingredients and to mix ingredients slowly when adding them into the mixer because they could clump together and change the outcome of the cupcake.
Berman proved this advice to be useful when she added confectioner’s sugar too quickly into the mixing bowl and LaMontagne was hit with a cloud of sugar dust.
After blending the ingredients, the women pulled out some previously baked and cooled cupcakes and allowed the volunteers to try to create the Georgetown Cupcake “signature swirl” with the icing. The sisters complimented the volunteers on their iced cupcakes but then showed the audience how the pros do it.
“These are a really great start,” Berman said. “We ice cupcakes all day long so we have a bit more practice.”
A Q-and-A session was held at the end of the event. Comments ranged from, “Those cupcakes look tasty!” from a young boy in the front row to, “I love your show and you’ve inspired me to bake more.”
One attendee also asked about the strangest flavor of cupcake they’ve ever made. A garlic and chocolate cupcake, which they once made for their mom, took that title, followed by advice for those who aspire to start their own small business.
“If you really love something deep in your heart, you’ll find a way to succeed,” Berman said. “This is the time of your life to try new adventures, and if they don’t work out, it was still worth the try.”
A special treat was waiting for the audience outside the Performance Hall as the sisters brought cupcakes for everyone in line to try.
Cecelia Favede, a first-year in psychology, said she has had Georgetown Cupcakes before and was excited about having some again.
“I pretty much came in hopes of having their cupcakes. I visited Georgetown in the past and they gave cupcakes out at an event there too,” Favede said.
Molly Ellender, collaborative events chair for OUAB, said about 700 people attended the event. OUAB declined to disclose the cost to put on the event.