Tucked away neatly behind the main drag, in the quiet, yet vibrant community of Park Orchards on Manningham’s fringe, is where you’ll find the most delightful cupcake bakery, Miss Sprinkles.
For Jenny Dickson, owner and operator of this sweet haven, creating the perfect cupcake was not by chance. The former insurance worker turned self-professed baker, describes her journey into baking and indeed the whimsical world of cupcakes, as one which required a lot of trial and error.
“I definitely tinkered a lot with my cupcake recipe. It took me a whole lot of dud batches that my family had to eat before I settled on one that I was happy with.”
Jenny has been creating mouth-watering cupcakes from her Park Orchards shop for just over 4 years. Before opening her store, she worked full time in an insurance company, however, her underlying love of baking was ever present.
“I’ve always enjoyed baking, even though it was a hobby for a long time. I would bake with my Mum and my grandmother, who baked almost every day of her life. Cupcakes were always around me. I was one of those kids who had a cupcake in their lunch box every single day.”
With this passion for baking, Jenny commenced cupcake making as a side hustle, before she decided on baking as a full-time gig, recounting that it was a little bit of fate that ultimately sealed the deal.
“I was at the same insurance company for 12 years, because I’m very much a comfort zone person, and then, my cupcakes started to snowball. I was getting more and more orders from people I didn’t know. At the time, work was getting a little mundane and I needed a change. But as fate would have it, my job got made redundant so I was forced to make that change and when this shop came on the market, I bought it. I guess you could say the stars aligned.”
Whilst a main focus of the store is to consistently create and offer its signature cupcake range to local customers, which includes unique flavours such as Banana Split, Fairy Floss and Christmas Pudding, Jenny keeps herself busy with a tonne of cake orders for weddings, kids birthday parties and other celebrations.
“The locals really do have a community spirit about them, they’ve been really supportive of my business and they’ll come for their kids’ party cakes, their own party cakes – it’s nice to be embraced by the locals, because they definitely really back you,” says Jenny of the Park Orchards community.
With that community spirit in mind, Jenny also seized on the opportunity to curate a range of giftware which she sells in store.
“We have a little bit of extra space in the shop so I also sell some giftware, things like ceramics and earrings and candles, which I try and source from independent Australian makers… it’s my way of shopping without having to spend my own money,” says Jenny with a giggle.
And whilst Jenny prides herself on the appearance of her store and of course the cakes themselves, we all know that a cupcake is not just made to sit pretty.
“Sometimes a cupcake can look incredible on the outside but disappoint on the taste. For me, the secret to a good cupcake is in the ingredients – high quality ingredients are what is most important. I get all my berries from local farms. I use Aussie honey, really good quality eggs and my chocolate and cocoa is the good stuff from Belgium.”
Asking Jenny to pick her favourite cupcake flavour, elicits the response any true lover of the delectable sweet would give.
“Oh that’s a hard one! I would personally choose the choc raspberry, the chocolate is just amazing, it’s got the Belgian chocolate frosting and Belgian chocolate cocoa so it’s really decadent, but the raspberry gives it this really tart flavour that breaks through all the sweetness. That’s why I really like it, but I mean you could ask me again tomorrow and I’d have another favourite!” laughs Jenny.
Miss Sprinkles is open from Wednesday to Friday between the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm, on Saturdays between 9am and 2pm and on Sundays from 9am (for order pick-ups only).