Steamboat’s Cupcake Mini Bar opens at new location |

Steamboat’s Cupcake Mini Bar opens at new location

Veronica Malave decorates cupcakes at the Cupcake Mini Bar in downtown Steamboat Springs.

What is it about gourmet cupcakes that make them so irresistible?

Perhaps it's the cake-to-frosting ratio – it has to be just right to get an equal amount of sweet or tangy flavor. Could it be the decadent concoctions full of elaborate variations? Or maybe it's the convenience, no fork or plate – just a personal serving of sugary goodness.

Walking in to Cupcake Mini Bar's new location at 635 Lincoln Ave., the delectable sweetness of the chic boutique-style café instantly makes your mouth water. And then your eyes graze the display case.

Flavors of strawberry lemonade garnished with a white chocolate straw, raspberry chocolate with fresh berry puree in the middle, Reece's, Oreo, vanilla, chocolate and vegan chocolate – all made from scratch. How will I ever decide which flavor to try?

From 8 to 10 a.m. Friday, you’ll have a chance to try to the bite-sized delights as the Cupcake Mini Bar will be serving up free mini cupcakes accompanied by Steamboat Coffee & Tea Company coffee.

"I love this," said Brandi Eliason, who owns the shop with her husband, Dave Eliason. "I love the creativity of it, taking simple ingredients and making something that tastes and looks amazing. The possibilities are endless."

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Trained as a pastry chef at The Four Seasons Jackson Hole, Brandi Eliason said owning her own boutique bakery was always a dream.

"I wanted to have a boutique bakery where people know the things here were made that morning and that someone put a lot of love and time into it," Brandi said.

Running short on time and need to find a last minute gift? The Cupcake Mini Bar may be just the place to look.

This one-stop-shop Eliason envisions will not only provide a delicately wrapped indulgence, but will also showcase Etsy-esque handmade gifts from local artists such as cards, candles, jewelry and more.

Previously located at the corner of Oak and Fifth streets, the Cupcake Mini Bar was originally owned by Cassie Crooke and it opened as a boutique bakery specializing in mini cupcakes, custom-made cakes and cake pop cookies for any special occasion or celebration.

“I immediately knew Brandi was the right fit to take on Cupcake Mini Bar,” Crooke said. “I was impressed by her extensive experience as a pastry chef, but more importantly, I realized she had the same vision to create this special experience, something I had dreamt up in 2012.T he new bakery is in a great location, and she has transformed it into a true cupcake cafe.”

Brandi said they will continue to create custom event and wedding cakes along with a few of the recipes Crooke originally developed from her background of baking in Los Angeles.

All of their recipes are made from scratch and are made with a variety of fruit purees and pastry creams. Eventually, they’ll offer booze-infused cupcakes with flavors like margarita, Bailey's and Champagne.

About 10 to 12 different variety of cupcakes will be sold daily. There will always be vanilla, chocolate, vegan and gluten-free options on hand, Brandi said. The assortment will also include freshly made crème brûlée, cream puffs, fruit tarts and different flavors of French macaroons.

"My signature style is to use fresh ingredients and take inspiration from wherever," Brandi said. "I'm adventurous to try new things and make things look different.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email @Audrey_Dwyer1

What to try: The Vegan Chocolate — just try it and you will know why

Uniqueness: The icing — it’s not too heavy (whipped until it’s really light) that it overpowers the cake with a sugary taste.

Decorating the perfect cupcake:

“Fresh fruits and simple sprinkles can make a big difference,” said Brandi Eliason. “You can still achieve great results even with a sandwich bag full of icing with a hole cut in the corner as a home piping bag.”

Baking the perfect cupcake:

“In the Rockies it is so important to have a high altitude recipe,” said Brandi. “If you try to use a sea level recipe, you wont get very good results. There are great cookbooks available at the library that have these recipes already worked out for you.”


Vegan and Gluten Free cupcakes and cakes

Customized flavors for special events (will have a few different choices in their display cases in the next few weeks)

Give them 24 to 48 hours notice for tastings and customized orders