Photograph by Tom Nutter
Chances are that the last time you thought of a cupcake as naughty was while scarfing down leftovers from your kid’s birthday party during a midnight binge.
Tara Voigt believes instead that cupcakes and conviviality should share space, whether in the midst of a larger celebration or something as intimate as a Valentine’s Day tryst.
“There’s nothing regular about our cupcakes or the store itself,” says Voigt, owner of Sweet-n-Sassy Cupcakes (134B E. Main St., Newark, 368-CAKE). “It’s a naughty cupcake shop, and I think people are surprised by that. For us, it’s just about a celebration.”
Voigt and her husband, Mike, drag these icons of grade school bake sales into the realm of grown-ups. That doesn’t mean making cupcakes in suggestive shapes. Instead, they emphasize the adult by using gourmet ingredients, creating complex flavor pairings and adding enough icing to induce a blissful sugar coma.
Their store pairs the baked creations with adult complements like celebrations of cocktail culture, boa-trimmed beer cozies and candy thongs—“entirely edible,” Voigt notes). The Voigts have also created their own line of Naughty Cupcake wear, with baby-doll tees that can be easily paired with the ruffly panties.
With the holiday of love soon upon us, it all adds up to an equation for fun, especially since this will be the shop’s first Valentine’s Day since opening last spring.
“I don’t like to deny myself anything, and I know there are people out there just like me,” Voigt says. “What could be better on Valentine’s Day? A sweet treat, a cocktail, pretty undies and our lovely naughty valentines.”