by Dianna Dames
Walking into The Peppered Cupcake, I anticipated the sweet buttery smell of baking cupcakes would meet me first but was completely surprised and charmed by the quaint decor of the shop.
The Peppered Cupcake has two locations – one close to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the other, downtown on Front Street. I visited the latter location because I love spending time among the historic shops on Wilmington’s vibrant waterfront.
This gourmet cupcakery sets itself apart from other pastry shops by offering imaginative combinations as well as a menu of spicy cupcakes topped with classic, southern pepper preserves like the Green Pepper Jelly with Jalapeño cupcake, the Peach and Habanero cupcake, and the Black Cherries with Horseradish cupcake.
There are even more spicy flavors listed on the website. A chalkboard located above a welcoming couch informs visitors that everything in-store is baked from scratch using only the freshest ingredients.
The chalkboard also outlines the story of the company’s beginnings in 2008. Early on, the owners opted out of seeking paid advertisements because they believed their scrumptious cupcakes would be enough for the business to thrive on word of mouth. Sure enough, several Trip Advisor and Yelp recognitions later, they are still bringing in new customers.
When I approached the counter, the baker halted her vigorous work in the kitchen to welcome me with a smile and take my order. I selected the Cookie Butter Cupcake, a vanilla cake topped with Biscoff cookie buttercream. The cake had a perfectly moist texture and the dusting of graham cracker crumbs on top was a great addition. It was the type of sweet treat that pairs well with a glass of milk. And the presentation was perfectly Instagram-able.
The baker behind the counter shared that she finds all the flavors to be tempting but the Cookie Butter Cupcake scraps are the toughest for her to resist. She also later shared with another customer that the Crème Brûlée Cupcake was a customer favorite.
In addition to its spicy flavors, The Peppered Cupcake offers a warm cupcake menu of desserts that melt and ooze in the best way possible. With nine daily cupcake options, plus a dozen rotating feature flavors available every day, there is surely more than one cupcake waiting just for you.
The Peppered Cupcake is located at 105 S. Front Street, in Wilmington, NC. They are open on Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.