We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what are you inspired by?
I am inspired by all the unique flavors in different cultures. I consider my cupcakes to be a fusion of various cultures such as Indian sweets, Filipino sweets, and more. For example, I have used these unique flavors to integrate them into my baking such as ras malai cupcakes, ube leche flan cupcakes, and even tres leches cupcakes! I love being able to use desserts other people have grown up within their culture and put them into a cupcake!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe what sets me apart from others is the flavors and sweetness I incorporate in my baking. First off, I am always trying different concoctions and flavors to use in my baking. I especially enjoy incorporating cultural desserts into my baking and putting a twist on them. For example, one of my popular flavors is the tres leches cupcakes. I use a vanilla cupcake base and use a pipette to infuse the cake with the milk mixture. I top it off with my homemade whipped cream, cinnamon, and a fresh strawberry. It is also super fun because it is an interactive dessert! Secondly, I have grown up being very picky with my sweetness. I definitely have a sweet tooth but most of the baked goods I have had growing up have been overwhelmingly sweet. Therefore, I wanted most of my baked goods to be not too sweet. I do this by using less sugar and using natural fruits to provide tartness in my baking. I have come a long way to say this but I think I am proud of myself because I did not know I was capable of doing all of this. I had always underestimated myself because baking has always been a hobby but looking back at all my creations, I am in awe that I was able to create flavorful and fun cupcakes. The process has definitely not been easy but it is all worth it. I think the biggest thing is believing in yourself and surrounding yourself with people who support you and see your vision too.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a HUGE foodie so I definitely have a lot of places to take others when they are visiting Colorado. My top restaurants have to be Asian Cookery, Thai Lily, and Royal Tea. AsianCookery is a Malaysian street food restaurant with the most comforting and flavorful foods. Thai Lily has the best drunken noodles and pad thai in town. Lastly, Royal Tea is a great spot for milk tea and boba! All these spots are only in Colorado Springs so I will definitely bring anyone out of town to any of these places. For exploring the area, I always take my friends up Gold Camp road for a scenic drive, Mt. Cutler for a hike, and of course the famous Garden of the Gods to see the beautiful rock formations. This is a shameless plug but I also have a food Instagram account for spots in Colorado Springs and Denver that are worth checking out! Feel free to follow @em_m_food_ on instagram!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The shoutout I want to give is to my boyfriend, Mark. He has supported me throughout this whole process and is my biggest fan. He is always the first one to try my baking and I love how honest he is because it gives me the feedback I need to grow. He has helped me with creating different flavors and always promoted my baking when he can.