For the last four years, Sierra Lehl of Nikiski has been creating unusual gourmet cupcakes. Wanting to share her affection for unique culinary treats, she opened her own bakery, 1 Crazy Cupcake.
Lehl first started making cupcakes from scratch when her daughter needed them for a school celebration. She said that the initial results weren’t promising.
“The first (cupcakes) turned out horribly,” Lehl said. “They were awful.”
Instead of getting discouraged, Lehl said that she needed to prove to herself that she could make something amazing, so she started baking in her free time. She enjoyed it so much that she quit her previous job last September to focus on her baking business full time.
To ensure she remains interested, Lehl has experimented with an array of cupcake flavors including maple bacon, peanut butter and jelly, root beet float and s’mores. More typical flavors are also available.
“It’s always different,” Lehl said. “It’s always a challenge, so I really enjoy that. It keeps me entertained. I offer so many different flavors and (they’re all) so completely different. It’s not run of the mill.”
Lehl said that sometimes people are hesitant to try some of the unique flavors, but when they try them, they are often swayed.
Lehl distributes her baked goods by pickup, delivery or through Tammy’s Flowers and Gifts in Soldotna. While there are several ways to procure her unique cupcakes, Lehl said that only the best ones are made available.
“Every order — I want to make sure it’s perfect before it leaves the door,” Lehl said. “(I want to make sure) it tastes great and looks great. Then I can sell it. I’ve thrown away so many cupcakes it’s not even funny. It’s ridiculous.”
Recently, Lehl began making cupcakes containing various beers and liquors.
“My margarita cupcake is my favorite,” Lehl said. “I try to use top-shelf liquors. For the margarita, I use the 1800 (Tequila) Silver, and it’s fantastic. The taste of the tequila in the frosting and I put a tiny little bit of salt on it and lime — it’s wonderful.”
Lehl is also open to new cupcake ideas from customers.
“I’d really love people to do that,” she said. “It keeps me interested and keeps me going. If somebody calls and says, ‘My son really likes Doritos and Mountain Dew together,’ you know, I’d really love to try and make a Doritos and Mountain Dew cupcake.”
In the future, Lehl envisions having a food truck to help her sell treats in places as far as Homer and maybe even try to cater events.
As for the origin of the company’s name?
“I’m kind of nuts and crazy,” Lehl said. “And the cupcakes — some of the flavors are crazy and fun.”
Reach Ian Foley at Ian.email@example.com.