Baking miracles

Senior creates flavorful cupcakes to sell to the public


photo courtesy of Jenna Reynolds and Dana Summers

After creating the cake base for her cupcakes, senior Alissia Graybill must decide how she will choose to decorate. Here, she demonstrates her piping skills as she finishes her Chocolate Reeses cupcake with her decedent chocolate frosting. She then tops the cupcake with bits of the chocolate peanut butter candy. “One of the best parts is finishing the cupcake with frosting and toppings,” Graybill said. “I have about 30 different piping tips that I can use to decorate. I want to get into fondant in the future and play around with that in addition to the frosting.”

Chloe Parker, Staff Reporter

Cupcakes. This simplistic dessert has been around since the late 1700s and started out as a small cake baked in a cup, hence the name cupcake. However, this sweet treat didn’t become popular with the public until the early 2000s, when elements such as frosting and filling were added. Then, with increased popularity, came a rise in the number of bakeries and small businesses that make and sell the mainstream dessert.

Now, young teens like senior Alissia Graybill, have used their popularity to her advantage with the creation of her business Miracle Sweets, where she displays her advanced culinary skills and delicious recipes to the public.

  “I started baking a lot for family outings or for birthdays,” Graybill said. “I would make cakes for my sister, friends and family, or teachers to say thank you at the end of the semester. People started to really like what I made. I also figured that I needed to pay for college somehow and making a little money off of selling cupcakes wasn’t a bad idea.”

Prior to starting Miracle Sweets, Graybill had been familiarizing herself with the kitchen from a young age. She had observed family members displaying their skills in the kitchen and decided she wanted to follow in their footsteps. 

“I think my passion for cooking and baking really came from my mother,” Graybill said. “She would always be making some sort of bread or make a special dessert for the holiday. I would always ask to join in and help.” 

As Miracle Sweets took off, Graybill’s mother Rachel Graybill was able to show support for her daughter as her passion turned into a growing business.

“Alissia is extremely hard working and I knew that she would succeed with this business,” Rachel Graybill said. “Her cupcakes are both visually amazing as they are wonderful tasting. I am so proud of her and know that with her hard work, she will succeed in opening her own bakery in the future.”

Over time, as her skills grew, Graybill was able to create a wide variety of flavored cupcakes. Some such as her Oreo, Reese’s and salted caramel cupcakes, are based on popular candies. Others, like her Peanut Butter and Blackberry cupcake, were made with the intention of tasting like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

“I have this gigantic cake book I got for my birthday one year that I use to help with creating all these flavors,” Graybill said. “It has all kinds of cakes, frostings, syrups and caramels that I mix and match together to help come up with these flavors. I might tweak a part of the recipe here and there depending on what the end cupcake I would like to produce is.”

In total, the process of making these decadent cupcakes takes Graybill about an hour and a half to complete fully. After baking the desired cake, she selects from one of her 30 different available piping tips, that would create the design and texture best suited for the flavor and presentation of the cake. 

With this massive amount of flavor experimentation, comes the task of tasting these flavors. Graybill had decided to enlist a few select students and members of her QT to try the cupcakes and give feedback.

“ She [Graybill] is in my QT and brings her cupcakes to school on Fridays instead of donuts,” junior Olivia Peterson said. “She brought them in a few weeks ago for her birthday and sampled them out to our entire QT. It was really cool and she was able to tell us a little about her business.” 

In addition to Peterson, junior Cloey Gray has also received numerous boxes containing Graybill’s handmade cupcakes. Through these boxes, Gray has gotten to try some of Graybill’s cupcakes and give her feedback on each flavor.

“She [Graybill] would always be bringing cupcakes into our gym class for us to sample,” Gray said. “I love that she’s always making these weird and intriguing flavors. It’s what really sets her small business apart from others in Omaha.”

Along with this business, Graybill will use her extensive knowledge of the kitchen to pursue the Metro Culinary program. This program has many categories that students can choose to go into, based on what area of interest the student has. Then, after completion, the student can earn an Associates degree for the category they chose.

“Some of the categories this program offers is baking and pastry, general culinary and savory,” Graybill said. “I chose to go into the baking and pastry where I can actually continue to learn new techniques and skills to help with my business. I want to take what I have learned from this program and start to develop my own recipes and possibly open up a bakery.”

However until her Goal can be reached, Graybill’s success has relied on word of mouth for her business to reach the Millard West student body. If you are interested in purchasing from Graybill, you can contact her by her email, [email protected] to inquire about purchasing some of her cupcakes.