The Queen of Cake Pops
Cristin Carbone was set to attend a graduation party two years ago when she did what anyone would do: ask the hosts what she could bring.
Their response? Cake pops.
It was a puzzling request to the Weymouth woman, who’d never made a cake pop before or expressed any notable affinity for cooking or baking. But she gave it a go.
Now she runs a successful side hustle from her Weymouth kitchen, making the trendy dessert in different flavors and elaborate themes.
“It feels like I just started yesterday, but then I look back at all the cake pops I’ve made and am blown away,” Carbone, now 27 years old, said.
On a recent afternoon, Carbone was hard at work putting together cake pops to look like a “puppycorn.” It’s exactly what it sounds like – a puppy/unicorn hybrid – and it was at the request of her elementary school neighbor.
“It’s different, but I’m bringing her imagination to life and I’m so excited,” she said.
These desserts start like any other. She makes a cake, crumbles it into a dough, scoops the dough, rolls it into balls, attaches them to a stick and dips them in melted chocolate. Then the true creative process begins.
For the puppycorn she used candy corn for the ears and handmade golden horns and small flowers. For a Cocomelon-themed order, she made tiny lady bugs and a watermelon vine that snaked up the stick. For a Cinco de Mayo order, she made margaritas complete with a rock sugar rim and lime garnish.
Her small kitchen is full of life and color – her Kitchen Aid mixer and oven hood are a stand-out turquoise – and she has shelves of cake pop supplies, from molds to beads, glitter, sprinkles and various colors of melting chocolate, stashed away in the corner.
“I think when people think of cake pops they think of Starbucks, but then they ask for something crazy and I say yes,” Carbone said. “I think it’s the creativity that appeals to people. They’re just very different than people think of cake pops to be.”
In her day job, Carbone is an accountant who loves the company she works for but says any way you slice it, accounting is boring. She’s also a full-time online student working toward a college degree.
“I like being active and not sitting in a cubicle,” she said of her baking. “It gets my on my feet, it’s something to do and it’s very rewarding. I love it when people are happy, and being able to make them happy is amazing.”
Pops By C is still very much a side business for Carbone, who said she spends almost three hours a day making pops just to fill two orders of two dozen to 50 cake pops she takes per week. She charges about $3.75 per pop.
She took 15 orders in one month and was staying up until all hours of the night to finish them, and said it made her realize she doesn’t plan to take the gig full time.
“I don’t want something I love to turn into something so demanding that I hate it,” she said. “It would be lovely if people understood the hard work that goes into them, but I also want people to just be excited and inspired.”
Photos in this post were taken by the wonderfully talented Greg Derr. They were originally published in The Patriot Ledger.