For the last 8 years, Erica McCarron, aka Tiny Baker, has been creating amazing desserts on the Island. Any time I walked into Mocha Motts, I would be tempted by her daily dessert creation.
Erica may be petite in statue but she is big into creativity. She truly is an artist with her desserts. Where many sweet treats stay the same or are on a weak rotation, Erica creates something new and fresh daily.
Lucky for us foodies, you can treat yourself to one of her creations at Mocha Motts, Red Cat Kitchen and The Ritz. The locations within a one block radius that couldn’t be more different.
However, there is one thing they do have in common, in addition to her desserts. Each place enables Erica to be as inventive as she wants.
Though she works with some standard bases, like cupcakes — which are her favorite — it’s the flavors and the decorating that takes her work to a different level. Especially the decorating. This is part that she loves. It’s here she works her genius.
A few years back, her co-worker, Duncan, at Mocha Motts gave Erica the name Tiny Baker and it stuck. She has loved baking since she was four years old. Why baking? Well it’s the fact that with desserts, there are no limits, which keeps her inspired and creating.
Whatever comes to her mind, she creates. Dessert ideas just come to her, whether she’s in the shower, trying to get to sleep or early in the morning, ideas, amazing ideas pop into her head.
She had a craving for Rolos — why not make a Rolo Cheescake?
Sometimes it’s what’s happening in the world around her that helps her create her masterpieces. Like on the day I met with her, she and her fiancé, Island chef Ben DeForest, had watched the Jim Belushi Saturday Night Live skit Little Doughnuts.
So, Erica made little doughnuts, but took them to a whole new level. They were layered chocolate donuts with sprinkle glaze topped with raspberry Jello-O shot ring pops, which were the dessert de jour at The Ritz. The detail is amazing! I can’t even imagine how she could create such an intricate and hilarious dessert.
Perhaps you love Garfield, which Erica does. It’s Winter, who wants to think about dieting or not indulging to chase away the grey days? “Diet is ‘Die’ with a ‘T'” – Garfield. Erica creates almond orange cupcakes with orange zest buttercream, topped with her favorite cat.
It’s amazing to see such effort go into something that is gone in three bites, maybe four. The artist endeavor each cupcake or dessert requires is what keeps Erica in love with baking. There is nothing she cannot make a dessert from.
Strangely, the Tiny Baker does not have a sweet tooth herself. I guess that’s how she remains so tiny. Yes, she might try a smidge of frosting, but that’s it. Sometimes she makes desserts that she herself is craving, but by the time the process is over, she is no longer craving it.
Seriously, I would eat all of it during the process and have at least one of the finished product, just to ensure that it was OK to serve to the public.
Last year, she really got into making some new fun things, like cotton candy. Not the overly sticky sugary stuff you’ll find at the Ag Fair, adult flavored gourmet cotton candy, both sweet and savory, Butterscotch, whiskey, peppermint, basil, key lime. They were served with entrees and desserts at Red Cat. How fun and what a great way to help make you feel like a kid again!
Erica is also learning molecular gastronomy (a combination of chemistry and physics with food). Take a look at the espresso caviar she made. She served chocolate, mango, and espresso caviar with some desserts this past summer. (It’s not actual caviar, just looks like it!)
For Erica, baking offers her the chance to be fresh and exciting. She never wants to be limited or let things get stale, and her world is her cupcake. She can create and design and whip up what makes her happy daily.
I think her joy shines through in her baking. From sight to taste, each dessert is an experience. One that only she can give.
I have to show these cupcakes because they’re just so hysterical and so clever and funny. Take a look at her cocaine cupcakes (some cannoli ones too). I’m sure Charlie Sheen would be flattered to be featured on such a delicious dessert!
When Erica is not baking up a storm, she likes to do crafts. Crafts that are amazing. Like pink lemonade or lavender heart sugar cubes that flavor water which you can get on her Etsy store Tiny Baker Creations
She also likes to make dream catchers, which she sometimes sells. And, she loves spending time with Ben. He inspires her to follow her passions and dreams. Together, they’re a duo that create amazing food, and I think this is going to be an exciting year for them both, personally and professionally!
Love the Tiny Baker? Well, Erica does custom work as well. You can have the cupcakes of your dreams made just for you, visit Erica the Baker for all the details.
PS. With Easter right around the corner, keep an eye out for Erica’s homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs. Last year she made Homemade Cadbury Creme cupcakes – Chocolate cupcakes with “Cadbury Creme” buttercream frosting with orange zest and a homemade egg on top. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I find out when they’re out, I’ll let you know!