The way Sweet Elizabeth’s Cakes owner Elizabeth Paradiso sees it, cupcakes have the same amount of calories regardless of their ingredients. So she concocts her homemade cakes, cookies and cupcakes with the highest quality ingredients she can find, like Plugrá butter, and without using preservatives like shorteners and hydrogenated oils, which Paradiso says coat one’s mouth when eaten and mute the rich flavor of the cakes.
“It’s amazing what you can do with sugar, flour, and a whole lot of butter,” says Paradiso, who opened Sweet Elizabeth’s Cakes a bit more than three weeks ago on Main Street, citing Manayunk’s dearth of accessible sweets for sale in the neighborhood.
Paradiso says the strength of her store is offering a simple selection of baked goods like custom wedding cake designs, cookies, and cupcakes, with exceptional flavor. Paradiso’s edible creations are all baked from hand with local ingredients, and most of the stores remaining inventory are local, such as Philly Fair Trade Roasters Coffee and milk from the grass-fed cows at Trickling Spring Cream in Chambersburg.
“People taste the difference in my product,” she says.
Of her current batch of cupcakes, Paradiso says the red velvet flavor has been the top seller. It’s a moist cake made from beets and topped with Mascarpone cream cheese. Paradiso says the recipe originated from the depression, when bakers turned to beets as ingredients for desserts due to the scarcity of sugar.
Sweet Elizabeth’s other weekly specials include a mojito flavor with muddled mint leaves and a sour cherry tart. Paradiso also bakes custom wedding cakes and cookies, and plans to begin wedding cake consultations and samplings within the next month.
“I like to get to know the couple, and really understand the theme of their party to bake them something that’s unique for them,” she says.