If you live in New England, you’ve either visited The Queen’s Cups, spotted them on Phantom Gourmet, or follow them on Instagram. Located in the Canal District of Worcester MA, The Queen’s Cups is a woman-owned, from-scratch cupcakery, and not to mention, super instagrammable. Being a Massachusetts-based brand, we’ve always been fans, but even more so after we found out that they were using 90+ Cellars for their occasional boozy cupcakes. We sat down (virtually, of course!) with The Queen’s Cups owner, Renee Diaz, for a Q&A about everything cupcakes and wine.
Tell us about yourself. How'd you get into baking? I always loved to eat desserts but never really had a knack for baking, haha. But when I was a senior at Worcester State, I was home one afternoon and was watching the Food Network. Cupcake Wars was huge at the time and I found myself fascinated by it. I remember looking in my parents pantry for box mix to bake because I was going over to my friends that night and wanted to bring cupcakes. I made some pretty ugly cupcakes to bring over their house, but they actually really enjoyed them. So, naturally, I became obsessed. I started to make lists of different flavors that I thought would go well, scoured Pinterest and baked every day. Instagram had just come out so I started posting my photos on there. Instagram was not used for business then like it is now. I had no idea the impact it would have! Eventually people started to order from me, and my mom decided that I should open a bakery.. which is hilarious since my degree was in Psychology.
How do you make boozy cupcakes? Where does the alcohol go? Is there a certain way you're supposed to eat it? We don’t bake the alcohol into the cupcake because it’ll burn off. A lot of times we dip the cupcake top into the alcohol and then add a cute little pipette on the top. I am a big believer that there is no right way to eat a cupcake. I would imagine that people would squirt the little pipette into their mouth first and then dig into the cupcake.
Favorite type of alcohol to put in a cupcake? 90+ Cellars Rosé (my all time favorite) and Tequila!
Favorite 90+ Cellars wine and why? Lot 197 Prosecco Rosé stole the show. I just can’t get enough of it. It’s so tasty and crisp, and the label is beautiful.
Best selling items at the shop? Cupcakes, Fluffernutters and M&M Cookies!
Any helpful tips and tricks for someone who wants to bake at home? Just go for it. Have fun, don’t follow rules or listen to what other people tell you is right. Most masterpieces come from messing up! Let yourself be a beginner.
How do you manage a work/life balance? I have an amazing staff that I can trust to make sure things run smoothly if I am not here. I dedicated eight years of my life working non-stop to get my business going. I missed out on many important events, or could never fully enjoy them. I remember going to my Sister-in-Law’s baby shower and my mom had bought my gift, wrapped it and gotten the card. I signed it but I had no idea what I bought her, and I wish that I could say in that moment I realized that family was the most important, but it took getting the flu on my wedding day to fully realize that I needed to slow down. There may never be a full work/life balance but I know that if I have something going on, I try and get all my important work done in the early hours of the day so I can enjoy life.
- Chocolate cupcake and 90+ Cellars Lot 179 Pinot Noir or Lot 23 Malbec
- Vanilla cupcake and 90+ Cellars Lot 152 Chardonnay or Lot 66 Riesling
- Strawberry cupcake and 90+ Cellars Lot 33 Rosé or Lot 197 Prosecco Rosé
- Red Velvet cupcake and 90+ Cellars Lot 75 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
- Peanut Butter cupcake and 90+ Cellars Lot 53 Cabernet Sauvignon
Follow @thequeenscups on Instagram for your daily dose of cupcake inspo + future 90+ Cellars cupcake collaborations. Cheers!