Author, The Cupcake Diaries (2011)
Hosts: TLC’s DC Cupcakes
Have appeared on Oprah and baked with Martha Stewart
Katherine, Married, Ben
Holiday Cupcakes, DC Style
The 700 Club
Katherine, 32, and Sophie, 34, grew up baking with their grandmother, Babee, in Hamilton, Ontario. The girls were in high school when Babee passed away in 1996 at the age of 82. She spent hours baking cupcakes, biscotti and other treats. Not only did their grandmother pass on cherished memories and her recipes, but also her passion for baking. At Christmastime, the Kallinis family would task a family member to pick up and drop off gifts. Along with the gifts, their family would always send a basket of homemade baked goods. Babee did all the heavy baking and the girls were on decorating duty. As they got older, Katherine and Sophie took on other roles in the kitchen like kneading and rolling dough. They would make a variety of cakes: spice cake, gingerbread cake, chocolate eggnog and chocolate peppermint cakes. Their favorite was the gingerbread cake.
A DREAM COME TRUE
It took 2 years for the girls to give up their careers in fashion and finance to open a bakery. Their first lease was on a tiny house on Potomac Street in one of DC’s most historic neighborhoods. On opening day, Valentine’s Day 2008, Katherine and Sophie only had one question: would anyone show up to buy their cupcakes? They were shocked to see the line form in front of their shop and snake around the building…hours before they opened their doors! By 10 am, the girls and their mom (their first employee) had baked 500 cupcakes and sold them all. So they posted a note on the door saying they were temporarily sold out and would reopen later with more cupcakes. After baking 300 more cupcakes, the line was back and had grown longer than before. By 6 pm, they sold the last of the cupcakes and even had to turn some customers away.
Three years later, that opening day seems like a lifetime ago. Since then, Katherine and Sophie moved their shop into a larger store a block away and hired more than 200 full and part-time staff. Today they have over 80 different flavor of cupcakes, and people from all over the world come to their bakery. Sometimes they sell over 10,000 cupcakes a day.
In 2009, a producer from TLC came in to get cupcakes. “He came in as a customer and saw how chaotic it was in our kitchen,” says Katherine. When things get stressed out at the bakery, the sisters say it’s family first, business second. “We do not take our family and their love for granted,” says the girls. “It has helped us so much in our journey both starting and running our bakery.” Sophie’s favorite cupcake flavor is Chocolate Hazelnut and Katherine’s is a toss-up between Peanut Butter Fudge and Salted Caramel.
The girls will decorate various cupcakes for the holidays, demonstrate how to roll and cut out fondant, how to fill a cupcake and how to frost using their signature swirl. Fondant is a sugar dough made from confectioner’s sugar, water and corn syrup (like an edible Play-Doh). It can be molded into any shape and used to decorate cupcakes. Fondant dries out quickly so it is important to work fast and keep fondant sealed in a zip-locked bag. Katherine and Sophie use an apple corer to gently remove the middle of a cupcake and then fill each one. Cupcakes should be cool before coring or they will collapse. The Georgetown Cupcake Signature Swirl can be achieved by starting in the center of the cupcake and guiding the tip of the frosting bag around the cupcake in a circular motion, then end in the center with a burst of pressure.
TLC will air a Christmas DC Cupcakes special on Christmas eve at 10 pm.
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