Food Issue

Cupcakes and Colors

Local cupcake artist makes extravagantly decorated baked goods for weddings and special orders with Sugar Happy Cupcakes; storefront opening at the end of February

By Maggie Dresser
Sugar Happy Cupcakes in Evergreen on Feb. 4, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

For 25 years, Marin Blandon spent her days cutting and coloring hair as a hairdresser.

But in 2019, she was ready for a career change and swapped hair for cupcakes, launching Sugar Happy Cupcakes. Now, instead of mixing colors for hair dye, she draws on that experience to create colors for her detailed cupcake frosting where she makes floral and succulent landscapes on top of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.

“To get certain colors, I draw from my hairdressing days,” Blandon said. “There are little tricks to match wedding colors and stuff and I definitely use my color wheel knowledge.”

Blandon can make nearly any color for the cupcakes, and she uses purple to make colors like grey and red and can match her baked goods with any event.

“Red is really hard to achieve when you’re doing food coloring,” she said. “A true red is really hard to get and you use purple, which you wouldn’t think but being a hairdresser, you know those things … I didn’t expect that.”

For years, Blandon wanted to start her own business and drift away from her hairdressing career, but it wasn’t until she came across floral cupcake designs on Pinterest that she realized she wanted to open a bakery. Soon after, she taught herself how to make the detailed designs with different types of piping tips and started taking orders.

“I brainstormed a lot of different ideas and I’m an artistic person,” Blandon said. “I felt like the Flathead Valley needed more sweets and treat shops.”

While Blandon likes to bake, she’s most passionate about the art on top of the cupcake. She uses buttercream frosting instead fondant icing, which is typically used for extravagant designs for baked goods like wedding cakes because it’s easier to sculpt. While the buttercream is harder to mold, it tastes much better. Now that she’s well practiced, it takes her anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes to make each cupcake design.

Since Blandon started Sugar Happy Cupcakes, she’s done orders for weddings, baby showers, staff meetings and thank you notes and birthday cards with edible arrangements, all out of her home. But after Valentine’s Day, she will be ready to open a storefront in Evergreen.

Once the store opens, she’ll expand beyond cupcakes with cookies, caramel apples and brownies, some with her signature designs.

She’ll also continue doing orders for weddings, which she typically books out from June to September. Last summer, she was booked solid with small orders despite the pandemic, and she’s already filling her calendar for July and August.

For more information, visit Sugar Happy Cupcakes is located at 2181 U.S. Highway 2 in Evergreen and is projected to open at the end of February.

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