Big flavours come in small portions

Published on HT, 13 February 2014

An online shop that makes customers happy one cupcake at a time.

Mexican chocolate, the most popular treat on the website holds an explosion of flavour mixing chocolate, dry chilli, cinnamon and cloves.  Photo Credit: Valerie BRUN - Helsinki Times

Mexican chocolate, the most popular treat on the website holds an explosion of flavour mixing chocolate, dry chilli, cinnamon and cloves.
Photo Credit: Valerie BRUN – Helsinki Times

WEDDINGS, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, all have one thing in common: the cake. But, what about cupcakes? Despite their small size, these charismatic-looking creations hold a surprising explosion of flavour both inside and out.

Imagine a wedding cake consisting of a swirling tower of cupcakes of a myriad of different flavours topped with buttercream frosting of intriguing aromas and colours… If anyone can do this, it’s Regina Casteleijn-Osorno, the cupcake goddess from San Francisco that has been delighting the sweet tooth palate of Helsinki and Espoo for over two years, now.

A great idea, out of nowhere?

“Come up with a business plan” Regina’s teacher said during her first entrepreneur class at Aalto University a handful of years back. “I can make cupcakes,” replied the timid student. Even though Regina had seldom made cupcakes before, she took her class project to heart and started baking and bringing samples to her classmates and teachers for feedback.

Rapid success followed her newfound talent, and a website was created a short time later as the business, “Cupcake Goddess”, was officially registered a couple of months later.

The key is to keep them simple. “I let my cupcakes speak for themselves,” the baker says proudly. Only a touch of flavoured glitter on top of the buttercream is added on some of them for a glossy touch.

To give each of her cupcakes an identity, Regina chose to use dark coloured cups as her trademark.

Keeping it simple

Interestingly enough, neither artificial colouring nor flavouring is used in her cupcakes. Casteleijn-Osorno’s aim is staying as close to nature as possible. Organic milk is used, as well as organic and free-range eggs. A full use of organic products is possible upon demand. Prunes or apple sauce replace butter use or oil and fatty products are minimised, while fruit juices or brown sugars give them the colour she is after.

Among the many choices, the Mexican chocolate option is an intriguing and yet seductive combination of dark chocolate, with dried chilli and cinnamon. Topped with a cinnamon-clove and cardamom buttercream. This chocolaty explosion is the pioneer and most popular cupcake on the website.

Our goddess’ personal favourite, however, is lemon curd cupcake with blueberry topping.

My personal favourite is the tangy lemon white chocolate with lemon curd butter cream. I can clearly see the lemon curd inside the cake as I split my moist cupcake in half, eager to taste it with no shame. “Each of my cupcakes holds 300 calories,” our goddess says firmly, which is very good news for my waistline and conscience. The salted caramel buttercream on the vanilla birthday cake made my mouth water and is impossible to resist.

A cupcake demands to be enjoyed; one must sit down and take time to savour it. “A cupcake is not something you can eat on the way to the bus,” Regina explains. And from this line of thinking, her slogan “Love me, Cupcake me” was inspired.

Full of life and good humour, Regina’s passion is contagious. She blasts rock music on the stereo while she completes her orders and puts all her love in her baking. “I really want to make people happy one cupcake at a time,” she adds.

Flavour of infatuation

Casteleijn-Osorno was a wild 16 year-old rock-band fan born and raised in San Francisco when she discovered a photo of the rock singer Michael Monroe. Her infatuation for this Finnish artist grew so strong that after a few years of round trips here and there, Regina finally settled in Finland with her husband and kids. “I came to Finland because of Michael Monroe and I’m proud of that because he’s such an amazing artist”.

In all these years living in Finland, our rock band fan did get the change to meet Monroe and tell him he was the reason why she came to Finland. Monroe was quite surprised to hear such declaration but gladly gave Regina an autograph.

The whole cupcake and nothing but the cupcake

Sticking to what she does best, there is a lot to be discovered in the cupcake world. But Casteleijn-Osorno is always willing to expand her horizons, experimenting with flavours and wild ideas.

At a wedding reception, for instance, she explored new savoury aromas, such as salmon-wasabi, four-cheese and sun-dried tomato with olive. The salmon-wasabi cupcakes were the hit of the night.

While the cupcake guru enjoys experimenting with different flavours of her own creations, a large choice of flavour-combining ideas comes from her own customers and Facebook fans. Casteleijn-Osorno is very active in the social network and her followers’ suggestions are important to her creativity. She keeps her customers interested by creating different contests and events.

Currently, she has asked cupcake fans to suggest their favourite flavour on her website. A few lucky people will be chosen at random and will be presented with some of their suggested cupcake.

One order of cupcakes is one click away

Regina’s idea on expanding her business is always a possibility. The concept, however, will stay as an online shop. “I bake the cupcakes to order,” she says firmly, “that way they are always fresh and not frozen.”

Cupcake Goddess is a successful business that is content with working upon demand and eager to assist at events of all sizes. Regina loves the idea of knowing whom her cupcakes are made for. “I know that whatever I’m baking is going to be loved by whoever is buying it.”

I wonder if Michael Monroe will place an order soon.

Regina – Cupcake Goddess
Tel: 045 255 7373Cupcake Goddess
will be attending the
Love Me Do, Wedding Fair
15 February 2014
More information at:

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