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Vendor Spotlight: The Cooling Rack

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We love partnering with local businesses in our hometown of Frederick, MD. When Jack and Malorie, owners of The Cooling Rack bakery, asked us to host a pop-up shop  we jumped at the opportunity! Cupcakes in a kitchen boutique? The sweetest pairing ever. With flavors like strawberry cream, peanut butter chocolate (PBC), and pink lemonade you won’t want to miss this chance to satisfy your sweet tooth. Visit us at 38 E. Patrick Street between 1pm-5pm on Saturday August 1st, you can pre-order cupcakes for pick up here or chose from a curated selection in the store. Read on to see our interview with the due behind this baking brand!

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Relish Decor: How did you get into the world of professional baking?

The Cooling Rack: I really didn’t start baking until my husband and I got married.  At that point, I really enjoyed spending more time in the kitchen hosting parties and baking different desserts for our guests.  My mom is a fantastic baker so I think that rubbed off on me a little as well.  I enjoyed sharing recipes with her and testing each other’s desserts to see how they came out.  Whether it was when blueberries were in season, or a special event or holiday, my mom’s baking always brought friends and family together. As I started to gain more knowledge and experience, I enjoyed experimenting and trying my own ideas.  The point where I started to seriously consider turning my hobby into a potential business is when I started making cupcakes for friends and family.  About a year ago, I made my PBC, Cookies n’ Cream, and Strawberry Cream cupcakes for a friend’s baby shower and the response was overwhelmingly positive and urged everyone to ask me why I wasn’t selling these!  My husband, who is the business minded part of our marriage, was supportive of the idea and felt we definitely had a product that would be popular with local consumers of Frederick.  And that’s basically how The Cooling Rack started, and just like my mom, we think our cupcakes are perfect to bring friends and families together.

RD: Do you have any pro-tips to share with home bakers?

TCR: I didn’t always know a lot about baking, and learned a lot from my mistakes in the kitchen.  I remember as a teenager, I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies on my own. Sounds pretty simple, right?  Well, I accidentally mixed up baking soda and baking powder, and put way too much cookie dough on the pan. Although I made several mistakes in this attempt, instead of having chocolate chip cookies, I ended up with a pretty delicious, but accidental chocolate chip cookie cake. It was a hit!

Don’t give up after an epic fail in the kitchen.  Many people have told me that they don’t enjoy baking because they have to follow recipes to a T and can’t experiment.  This isn’t completely true.  I love trying new things when baking, and if I mess up, I want to figure out how I can fix it and make it right.  My current list of cupcakes took a lot of experimenting to get them just how I wanted. When it comes to piping, practice makes perfect…with a little dash of patience.  Lastly, making your own buttercream?  Whip it. Whip it good.

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RD: What do you like most about being in Frederick?

TCR: We moved to the area a little over four years ago, originally from Western Pennsylvania.  While we were only an hour north of Pittsburgh, PA, our hometowns were pretty rural.  My husband grew up in a town with one stoplight and the Amish were his neighbors.  I went to a high school that had a “Drive your Tractor to School Day”.  Don’t get me wrong, our hometowns always have a special place in our hearts, but Frederick offers such a wider range of opportunities, events, and community that we never experienced.  The thing we like most about Frederick is the eclectic downtown and having access to so many different stores, shops, and restaurants.  We also have developed fantastic relationships with great friends and local businesses, which we may not have otherwise experienced if it weren’t for Frederick.  We both are huge on supporting local businesses and we don’t think you can find a more supportive city than our very own.

RD: Where can people get their hands on your cupcakes?

TCR: Right now, we do not have a brick and mortar location, but are operating out of a commercial kitchen in Frederick.  We are able to offer scheduled weekend pick ups at the kitchen as well as local events and pop ups we hold throughout the area.  All of our cupcakes can be viewed on our website at www.thecoolingrackmd.com, and you can pre-order directly from our site for our next scheduled pick up date.  We also can accommodate custom/special orders outside of normal pick up times.  If someone is interested in custom or special orders, they should give us a call (240) 356-1117 or email us atcupcakes@thecoolingrackmd.com.  Also, be sure to follow us on social media so you can stay posted on our upcoming events!

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RD: We love the funny titles for all of the different flavors, especially the “You’re killing me smalls!” s’mores cupcake. How do you come up with the names?

TCR: My husband and I are a little quirky and like to think we have quite a sense of humor.  We wanted our personality to show through our business, and we thought the names of our flavors were the best way to do that.  We didn’t want to just call our S’mores cupcake, “S’mores”, but something that was reflective of us.  We grew up watching The Sandlot, and there’s no better reference to a S’more than when Ham is trying to explain it to Smalls, hence the name, “Killin’ me Smalls”.  We also are a huge fan of the show Arrested Development, and that’s where we got the name for “Money in the Banana Stand”.  We think most people will catch our subtle references, but for those who don’t, it’s also a great talking point for us to engage our customers.  It was hard to come up with something clever for every flavor, but we think we did a good job overall.

RD: Last question, what is your favorite cupcake on the menu?

Malorie:  That’s a tough one!  I think I’d have to go with Strawberry Cream.  It’s one in particular I haven’t seen in other places.  It’s very light, refreshing, and not too sweet.  It’s my go-to summer cupcake for sure.

Jack:  Can I say all of them???  I’m a huge fan of chocolate.  I’m an even bigger fan of chocolate and peanut butter.  So by default, my favorite cupcake is PBC.   The peanut butter icing is so smooth and creamy, but has the perfect hint of sweetness.  As ashamed as I am to say this, I have just eaten the leftover icing by itself… it’s that good.  Put that on top of a moist, chocolate cake… it’s delicious!

Meet the power couple behind The Cooling Rack on Saturday at our Patrick Street shop in historic downtown Frederick! Click here for our favorite sweet summer treats.

Photos: The Cooling Rack