3557 SE HAWTHORNE BLVD.
OPEN everyday 9am-8pm on
Twenty-five years ago Lisa Oswald began baking wedding cakes in the kitchen of her home in Fairfield, Iowa. She specialized in fillings made by whipping heavy cream with sugar and adding whatever flavor her customers desired. The people loved the delicious lightness and artistry of the cakes. The demand became so great that her husband Larry converted their basement into a commercial kitchen and their first bakery was underway.
The couple had no idea it would be so successful and they needed to expand into a storefront in the downtown square of Fairfield. Here they baked everything – cakes, cookies, cheesecakes the works. By the time their children graduated from high school and started to move on the Oswald’s were ready for a change. They were missing the trees of upstate New York where they were from and especially the seasons. The mid-west has two, one hot and the other cold. Where to go? Their son had moved to Medford and that seemed as good a place as any, so they sold their thriving business to a farmers wife and followed him to Oregon.
In the Ashland, Medford area they opened the Cakery, offering the community a selection of 24 different cream filled cakes for weddings, birthday and other occasions. They found a niche once again until the recession hit and they went from baking around 150 cakes a month to 30. They needed a bigger market and Eugene started to look good.
Instead of baking cakes Lisa and Larry decided to do a slightly different spin on their product and serve cupcakes and coffee instead. They opened Larry’s Cupcake Cafe in downtown Eugene. Just as they were about to open their second location their daughter had a dream of rebranding the cupcake shop. In the dream she told her parents, she saw a frog standing by a cupcake and voilà, Toadstool Cupcakes was born. She and her husband designed their catchy new logo – who doesn’t love a charming toad and an amanita muscaria looking cupcake?
This rebranding was a challenge to Lisa and Larry – to create a dessert to match their new business name. They went to work reinventing their cupcake using their twenty-five years of baking experience and the mastery of the truffle like cream filling to come up with a one-of-a-kind cupcake.
The cupcake or fairy cakes as they were often called were first made in England in 1976 and were baked in individual pottery cups. The chocolate truffle was the invention of the French around 1895, a ball shaped confection was made with a flavored cream filling and then rolled into cocoa or nut powder.
The new Toadstool Cupcakes combined these two elements, a layer of cake, a cream filling and then to encapsulate the flavors they are dipped in a ganache – a glazed icing made from chocolate and cream. The cupcakes themselves are an other worldly experience. The flavored truffle inside combined with the moist cake is mouth-watering and the slight crunch outside makes for a satisfying culinary experience.
With this new product and brand, a new location was in order too. Larry started looking for available spaces in Portland. As luck would have it, the former Subway on Hawthorne became available and they were able to get the space. After a few months’ remodel to accommodate their baking needs and an interior makeover to give it a look of their own, Toadstool Cupcakes opened at 3557 SE Hawthorne Blvd. last month.
Toadstool Cupcakes come in two sizes, Tiny and Giant. They boast of the world’s largest selection of cupcakes with forty-eight flavors available in the Tiny size and six in the Giant.
Toadstool Cupcake is open every day from 9 am to 8 pm. And in their own words, “All the cupcakes are baked on site, home grown and harvested daily and of course…are toadally cool!”