'Take me out to the ball game' … cupcake style

Zoe Greszler • Oct 31, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Amanda Carpenter, 34, finds baking to be an excellent way to connect with the community and to celebrate the best moments in life.

Her Vermilion cupcake shop Small Town Sweets, 3249 Liberty Ave., Vermilion, is doing both of those things right now, as she celebrates the Indians being in the World Series.

Carpenter said she thinks the cupcakes are unique and a must-try.

“I have a ton of fun coming up with the new flavors,” she said. “We take a lot of care in putting them together. ... My husband is a ridiculous fanatic in sports so it’s in my face 24/7. We’re a cupcake shop we’re all about celebration. This is something to celebrate. And it is important. This is big for Cleveland and we’re pretty close to Cleveland. Everyone is excited the Indians are in the World Series.”

Some of the cupcakes are made with a World Series title in mind. One is called the WINdians and features confetti cake, fresh strawberry filling, vanilla buttercream and “sprinkles for winners.”

“The dugout” is another of Carpenter’s favorites. “The Dugout (is a) Great Lakes Brewery Elliot Ness Lager infused cake, filled and frosted with whipped sunbutter buttercream and garnished with a house-made sunflower seed brittle.”

And what baseball game would be complete without a rootbeer float and cracker jacks?

Carpenter offers both. “Peanuts and Crackerjacks” has vanilla cake, peanut caramel filling, whipped peanut butter buttercream, peanuts and crackerjack garnish.

One of the more adventurous World Series specialties is the Slider Dog cupcake.

“I had one of my regulars came in one day,” Carpenter said. “I told him we’re going to be doing something fun for the World Series and we were talking about ideas and he’s like, ‘You have to do a slider dog.’ I told him that’s gross, but we wound up coming up with an idea for it.

“The Slider Dog (is) inspired by the Slider Dog from "Happy Dog" at Progressive field. The Slider Dog hot dog at the stadium is a hot dog topped with mac and cheese, bacon and fruit loops. Our Slider Dog cupcake is a vanilla cake, caramelized hot dog filling, vanilla buttercream, candied bacon and fruit loops. ... I couldn’t get myself to put mac and cheese on it, so we put yellow butter creme frosting instead. Some people said ‘Yeah, I really like it’ and others said ‘No, that’s just not for me,’ and I was definitely one of those people.”

Despite the dessert not being her personal favorite, Carpenter said she had some reasons to be proud of it.

“I put the picture on our social medias and I tagged Happy Dog, which is who makes it, and they were like, ‘Oh my God. That’s so awesome.’ That was really neat for us.”

Something else that makes her treats special is not only how they look on the outside, but how what they are on the inside.

“I don’t believe in anything artificial. Unless it’s a special order, we try not to use anything artificial,” Carpenter said.

“So if it’s something strawberry, it’s flavored with actual strawberries. We wouldn’t put any artificial flavors or colors in it. When we first started out, I said if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right. ... We do everything from scratch everyday. We source our ingredients locally whenever possible, for example we got strawberries from the local FFA.”

How far does Carpenter think the Indians will go?

“They’re going to go all the way,” she said without a doubt. “My husband’s favorite part is where they do the bottle popping, when they go back into the locker room and they pop the bottles of champagne. He just loves that. So we’ve already got our champagne and we’re going to have our own bottle popping here.”

The Indians are up 3-2 against the Chicago Cubs in the best-of-seven World Series, with Game 6 scheduled for Tuesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Anyone interested in her cupcakes can stop by the shop or call for orders at 440-963-7563.

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