14 Things You Didn't Know About Melissa of Baked By Melissa

14 Things You Didn't Know About Melissa of Baked By Melissa
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14 Things You Didn't Know About Melissa of Baked By Melissa

Read on to learn more about Melissa Ben-Ishay of Baked by Melissa.

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The places she calls home

"I'm from Northern New Jersey originally, so New York has always been my city," says Melissa, who fondly recalls going to Broadway shows and out to dinner with her parents in New York City growing up.

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What her N.Y.C.-inspired cupcake would be

"The cliché answer would be apple, but I would maybe do taxi cab yellow stuffed with marshmallow," Melissa explains.

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What her kitchen at home is like

"My dream involves one thing: A big kitchen in my home. Right now we are making do, but it has been great for my marriage because if you can cook in a New York City apartment with your spouse, you can do anything together," Melissa shares. "In looking for a new apartment, a renovated kitchen is top priority. We have a nice kitchen, [it's] just small," Melissa explains.

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Strange cupcake requests she's received

"Hot dog or hamburger," Melissa reveals. "People often request savory cupcakes that mimic meals. They often forget that it’s a cupcake!" she jokes.

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Her first memory of baking

Melissa's earliest memories in the kitchen are when she'd pull up a chair to bake next to her parents. "We used to make apple pie," Melissa says. "Everything was a teamwork kind of thing. Baking was so fun because it is like arts and crafts and you can eat your project."

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Who her greatest influences are

"I like to take lessons from everybody I love," Melissa explains. "My parents always encouraged me to do whatever I set my mind to...My brother is somebody I’ve always looked up to, and now he’s our CEO. We always wanted to go into business together. I always look to him for inspiration."

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How she crafts new cupcakes

Melissa says she puts a lot of thought into the invention of new cupcake flavors. Most of the flavors she creates she's been thinking about for months. "By the time I get to the kitchen to create them, it is the easiest part," Melissa reveals. "Then there are other flavors, of course, that are more difficult and take a few more tries, but for the most part it is just a lot of thinking."

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Where she gets flavor inspiration

Melissa admits she gets inspiration "everywhere." When she goes out to dinner, she likes to order all the desserts on the menu to get inspired, but she also draws on the flavors that bring her back to her childhood. For instance, the flavor of cookie dough reminds her of baking homemade cookies with her mom. "Cookies and cream reminds me of eating Oreos at the kitchen table with my brother," Melissa shares.

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Her favorite cupcake

"My all-time favorite flavor is peanut butter and jelly," Melissa reveals. "I think it is just because you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is healthy right? Peanut butter has protein!"

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What's behind her love for tie-dye

One of the most recognizable Baked by Melissa creations is the mini tie-dye cupcake. "I love classic rock and I love the care-free culture of the 60s and 70s," Melissa reveals.

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What she cooks at home

Melissa doesn't just hit the kitchen at her shops. She says she loves to cook and bake at home too. "Most recently I baked my husband snickerdoodle cookies," she says. "I think I put peanut butter chips in them. He wasn’t happy about that, but I can’t do anything that simple. I baked bread pudding recently. We like to cook big, decadent meals.

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Where she dines out

"Lately I’ve been trying to go somewhere new every time I go out to dinner, which is hard for me because I'm the type of person who finds something I love and I would go back there, like, three nights in a row," says Melissa. She and her husband recently celebrated their anniversary, and went to the West Village restaurant L'Artusi, where she was thrilled to try their homemade ricotta.

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Celebrity sightings at the store

"One of the earliest celebrity experiences was when Bobby Flay came to our Union Square store," Melissa shares. "I believe it was very shortly after we opened that location. I wasn’t in the store, but there was somebody there who knew how excited it’d make me to know he was there, so I looked at the cameras and I saw Bobby Flay in the store, and I was so excited! That was definitely a moment."

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The name of her store

It was important to Melissa that her cupcake company have the word "baked" in its name. "I actually wanted to call the company Baked and my brother thought it would be better if it had my name in it, which I completely agreed with, and once I heard the words Baked By Melissa spoken...it was perfect."

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Melissa Ben-Ishay, founder of mini cupcake shop Baked by Melissa, knows that big things come in small packages. The famed cupcake maker is well-known for her mouthwatering bite-sized cupcakes. (It's hard not to eat many of the tasty little treats in one sitting!)

Do you know which cupcake Melissa loves most? Or where she gets her inspiration for the flavors she creates? Melissa reveals what the cupcake creation process is like, her favorite restaurants and the celebrity chef who walked into one of her stores to buy some treats.

Check out the slideshow above for 14 things you didn't know about Melissa Ben-Ishay of Baked by Melissa.

Then, discover Melissa's favorite food trends, learn the story behind Baked by Melissa and find out Melissa's tips for indulging without going overboard this summer!

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