Ten years ago, if you had asked Myriam Nicholas, owner and manager of Brooklyn Baby Cakes Cupcake Shop, what she’d be doing today, baking in Bed-Stuy is the last answer she’d give.
“I got into this business by accident, because I have no previous baking background,” said Nicholas, who was born in Haiti and grew up in Queens. “I didn’t bake with my grandmother or my mother; there were no recipes passed down from generation to generation…”
In fact Nicholas started out as a telecom engineer, an industry miles away from the kitchen, large bags of flour and convection oven she works around today.
But Nicholas loved cakes—especially red velvet cake. And for the longest time, she was a huge patron of The Cakeman Raven shop in Fort Greene, where she’d go to feed her red velvet cake habit week after week… after week…
“But eventually, I thought to myself, I’m tired of going downtown to get these cakes; I’m going to make my own cake,” said Nicholas. “So I started with the basic red velvet recipe and then I started tweaking it to make it my own.”
She started out baking for herself. And then family members started requesting her cakes at events. And then friends. And before she knew it, people were calling her up placing orders and offering to pay her.
So Nicholas started a home baking business on the side for about three years, all the while developing new flavors and experimenting with a variety of ingredients. Then finally, on November 5, 2012, Nicholas opened Brooklyn Baby Cakes Cupcake Shop, located at 506 Nostrand Avenue between Halsey and Macon.
Nicholas bakes all of her cupcakes at Brooklyn Baby Cakes from scratch using what she says are the finest ingredients, such as mango butter and Nielsen Massey Vanilla from William/Sonoma, purchased online or at specialty food stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.
Brooklyn Baby Cakes sells mini cupcakes ($1.50), standard-sized cupcakes ($3) and also whole cakes ($5 a slice, $35 for 6-inch, $69 for large).
Cakes come in seven flavors: red velvet, chocolate-chocolate, salted caramel chocolate, lemon vanilla, berry vanilla, dulce de leche and mint hot chocolate in the fall and winter; and ginger chai, apple cider, mango, guava and lavender during the spring/summer months.
“Everything is baked personally by me and has a two-day lifespan,” said Nicholas. “So you know when you come here, it won’t be something sitting on a shelf for weeks with preservatives. It will never be hard or stale.”
In addition to cupcakes, Brooklyn Baby Cakes also offers cheesecakes, cookies, coffee and tea.
Brooklyn Baby Cakes’s hours are Monday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.