Arriving at Fitzroy’s darling new sweet-slinger, Merry Cupcakes, owner and cupcake creator-in-chief Mary Lin is cashing up. Things must have gone pretty well for the dainty little shop that day because (much to our horror) there were no cupcakes left. Chatting with Qualia Creative’s Tim Cruickshank – who designed the shop and the brand – to distract from the disappointment, he reveals that the project was in fact a personal one for his friend Lin.
“When I was putting the design together, my concept was one word: ‘cute’,” says Cruickshank with a laugh. And cute Merry Cupcakes certainly is. From outside the shop itself looks like something out of a tooth-loosening fantasy village, all cream with pinkish-red and sky-blue frosting. Even the logo’s typeface was customised by Cruickshank to evoke the smooth cursive of icing writing.
Inside, the atmosphere is light, airy and uncluttered. The stools that line the custom Goodsir and Otto Douglas Fir tables were commissioned in Merry Cupcakes red and blue and they give the otherwise white shop a candy-coated atmosphere. Which is all to say that Merry Cupcakes looks delicious.
But what about the cupcakes? Fewer indicators point to a baker’s skill than empty cases at the end of the day, so we were more than a little excited to sample the wares that Lin and her ream went out of their way to ensure we received the following morning. The results were far from disappointing. The cupcakes themselves matched all the shop’s pretty trimmings, and flavours like Strawberry Blonde (strawberry base, lemony topping), Bruce Banner (zucchini and banana with lime cream cheese) and Peanut Butter and Jelly Time are an indication of the variety on offer.
Perhaps most surprising is that Merry Cupcakes are actually semi-healthy. A trained dietician and nutritionist, Lin’s creations are vegan-friendly and boast 77 per cent less saturated fat than a typical cupcake, with avocado replacing butter and sneaky soy masquerading as cream cheese. Not that Lin really wants you to think about any of that. She’s confident enough to let the quality of her baking speak for itself.
And healthier or not, everything about Merry Cupcakes says positively wicked.