When Ruthie Bzdewka opened House of Cupcakes in 2008, she never imagined the economy and Food Network would shape the future of her delectable delights.

A prolific home baker, Bzdewka was filling requests from family and friends as fast as she could. Realizing she needed a commercial kitchen to meet the demand, she decided to open House of Cupcakes in Princeton since the tiny confection’s popularity was on the rise.

That was August, 2008; in October, 2008, the economy took a hit, and so did small businesses everywhere. Just as she was considering her options, a fortuitous call came from the Food Network inviting her to take part in “Cupcake Wars.”

“I’d actually gotten an e-mail, but thought it was spam,” Bzdewka laughed. “When they called, I decided to go ahead and send the video even though I wasn’t really sure what it was all about. Next thing you know I got the call, and off we went.”

That experience was a whirlwind of “craziness and fun” culminating in having to keep secret for six month the fact she’d won. And that win changed the course of her business.

“Our business tripled after Cupcake Wars, and it’s been growing ever since,” Bzdewka added. “We do a lot of catering and are proud to supply cupcakes for the New York Yankees’ catering and private events.”

All the goodness at House of Cupcakes hails from Bzdewka’s secret recipe that makes the cake light, super-moist and smooth, almost like a light pound cake. The fact she uses local vendors helps, too: milk and eggs come from Trenton’s Halo Farm, and when she makes her in-demand candy apples and pie she goes to Princeton’s Terhune Orchards. Thirsty? Enjoy one of Princeton’s own Bai beverages.

House of Cupcakes is on the move. Watch for its food truck at local events, and when traveling in New Jersey stop by franchises in East Brunswick, Clifton, and Wayne. In addition to 54 flavors of cupcakes, House of Cupcakes also creates fresh cookie platters to order, specialty cakes, fondant figures, cookie favors, and more. Some items are seasonal so it’s smart to stop by or follow on social media.

Spot the House of Cupcakes food truck at the Allentown (New Jersey) Fair, Wednesday to Sunday, July 8 to 12; Burger Mania in Mercer County Park on Saturday, July 18; QuickChek New Jersey Balloon Festival in Readington, Friday to Sunday, July 24 to 26; the 4-H Fair in East Brunswick Sundays, August 2 to 9; and the Hot Rod Food Truck Showdown in Kingsburg, Saturday, August 8.

House of Cupcakes, 32 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. 609-924-0085. princeton@houseofcupcakes.com. www.houseofcupcakes.com. See ad, page 16.

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