Sprinkles Cupcakes

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Sprinkles Cupcakes
Founded2005 in Beverly Hills, CA, United States
FounderCandace Nelson, Charles Nelson
United States

Sprinkles Cupcakes is a bakery chain established in 2005. It is considered one of the first cupcake bakeries, having opened shortly after the concept debuted in New York City and then at Seattle's Cupcake Royale.[1][2][3][4]


In 2002, Candace Nelson and her husband Charles Nelson, both investment bankers,[5] visited Candace's sister in New York and tried the cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery. Candace decided that it was "time for cupcakes to stop being the backup dancer to cakes".[6] Having started a custom cake business after attending Tante Marie's Pastry Program in San Francisco, she set her sights on cupcakes. "I was taking orders for special occasion cakes which I came to realize are, by definition, reserved for special, infrequent occasions," she said. "I wanted to create an artful and handcrafted dessert, yet one which people could eat on a daily basis...which led me to reinvent and elevate the lowly cupcake."[7][8]

Although starting a cupcake bakery was a "high-risk venture"[2] and the bakery business was in a four-year no carb decline,[9] the Nelsons pursued their dream. Their "sleek, minimalistic" store was designed by an architect from Vienna[10] and the logo and packaging were created by a former Martha Stewart employee with design help from graphic designers Kevin Hagen and David Irvin.[10] On April 13, 2005,[10]the Nelsons opened Sprinkles' first store on Little Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The first day, the cupcakes sold out in three hours,[10] and 2,000 cupcakes were sold the first week.[5]

Candace is described as taking a "sophisticated" twist on the classic cupcake, using ingredients like sweet cream butter, pure Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, Callebaut chocolate, fresh bananas and carrots, real strawberries, and natural citrus zests.[11] She also creates products such as vegan and gluten-free cupcakes[12] and even cupcakes with dog-friendly ingredients.[13] The cupcakes are baked fresh daily and are free from preservatives, trans fats, and artificial flavors.[14]

In 2018, Sprinkles began offering layer cakes in varying flavors.


Sprinkles has 24 locations throughout the United States (Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Georgetown, The Grove, Downtown Los Angeles, Westlake Village, Houston, La Jolla, New York City, Palo Alto, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Tampa,and Newport Beach),[15] with plans to open in 15 more cities including London and Tokyo.[10] The Nelsons also started a traveling "Sprinklesmobile", a Mercedes Sprinter van designed by Sprinkles architect Andrea Lenardin and built by "Pimp My Ride's" West Coast Customs.[16] In 2007 the company developed a line of cupcake mixes sold exclusively through Sprinkles and Williams Sonoma stores in the United States and Canada.[11] In February 2011 Sprinkles released an iPhone app that features free cupcakes and virtual gifting.[17]

Sprinkles Cupcakes opened its first New York City store on May 13, 2011.[18] A second New York City store was slated to open at Brookfield Place in the fall of 2013. In 2013, a branch was opened in Kuwait. In late 2016, a location opened in Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.[19]

Cupcake ATM[edit]

Sprinkles Cupcake ATM in Las Vegas, Nevada

On March 6, 2012, Sprinkles Cupcakes opened the world's first Cupcake ATM in Beverly Hills. The second opened a few months later in Chicago. A third is at the company's bakery in Dallas, and the fourth outside the Lexington Avenue branch in New York City, with a future one planned for Georgetown. The Cupcake ATMs dispense cupcakes and doggie cupcakes 24 hours a day and are continuously restocked with freshly baked cupcakes. Each can hold up to 600 cupcakes at a time.[20]

Sprinkles Ice Cream[edit]

On May 24, 2012, Sprinkles expanded its dessert brand with the opening of Sprinkles Ice Cream next door to its cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills, and later in 2013, in Newport Beach's Corona del Mar Plaza and in Dallas in The Plaza at Preston Center. The shop serves ice cream in unusual flavors like red velvet, Cap'n Crunch and salty caramel and carries a cookie line with a modern twist on traditional flavors including salted oatmeal cornflake and peanut butter pretzel chip.[21][22] They now offer nationwide shipping and have a traveling ice cream cart. Sprinkles Ice Cream is slow churned in order to create a denser, creamier, and more flavorful ice cream.[23]

Celebrity endorsements[edit]

Sprinkles has gained many celebrity endorsements.[24][25] Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, Tyra Banks, Katie Holmes, Paris Hilton,[26] Blake Lively, Ryan Seacrest, Tom Cruise,[27] and Jake Gyllenhaal are among its customers.[28]

Barbra Streisand was one of Sprinkles' first customers and introduced Oprah Winfrey to the brand by sending her a box of cupcakes. Only eight months after opening Sprinkles, Charles and Candace received a call from Harpo Studios that Oprah needed 300 cupcakes for her studio audience in Chicago the next morning for Breakfast with Oprah, wherein she showcases her favorite delicacies. The couple managed to catch an overnight flight, and the cupcakes were featured on Oprah's show. Soon after, sales in their Beverly Hills location increased 50%, to 1,500 cupcakes daily.[29]

Sprinkles has also appeared on The Today Show and Nightline,[30] as well as Entourage[25] and The Girls Next Door.[2]

Sprinkles played a role in Tom Cruise's courtship of Katie Holmes.[2] At Christmas in 2007, the Cruises sent out boxes of holiday-themed Sprinkles cupcakes to friends and associates.[29]


  1. ^ https://www.cupcakeroyale.com/about/
  2. ^ a b c d Wollam, Allison (14 June 2010). "Sprinkles Cupcakes cashes in on Houston's sugar rush". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  3. ^ Webb, Jaci (10 February 2012). "Cupcakes: They're not just for birthdays anymore". Billings Gazette. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  4. ^ Bhasin, Kim (2 March 2012). "Someone Has Created The First Ever ATM That Dispenses Cupcakes". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b Davidow, Audrey (3 June 2007). "So, Sweetie, I Quit to Bake Cupcakes". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  6. ^ della Cava, Marco R. (30 October 2007). "Cupcake bakeries cater to the kid in us". USA Today. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  7. ^ Kitchen Daily (2013-06-19). "Secrets from the World's First Cupcake Bakery". Kitchen Daily. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  8. ^ Nelson, Candace; Winfrey, Oprah (14 July 2009). "The Story Behind Sprinkles Cupcakes". Oprah.com (video).
  9. ^ Davidow, Andrea (20 June 2007). "Playing with flour a rising obsession". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  10. ^ a b c d e Ganus, Sara (3 October 2007). "Former investment bankers riding cupcake wave". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Candace Nelson: How she empowers others". womensconference.org. 2010. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  12. ^ Prisco, Joanna (7 June 2010). "Q&A with Sprinkles Founder Candace Nelson". Parade.
  13. ^ Skatssoon, Judy (28 May 2007). "Shop till you drop in LA". Australian Associated Press. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  14. ^ Luna, Nancy (18 May 2006). "Sprinkles bakery to open in Corona del Mar". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  15. ^ "Locations". sprinkles.com. 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Sprinklesmobile". sprinkles.com. 2010. Archived from the original on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  17. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo (February 2, 2011). "Nightcaps: Pastrami, Zeitgeist, and a cupcake iPhone app - Paolo Lucchesi". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  18. ^ Heyman, Marshall (13 May 2011). "Setting Up Shop in Manhattan". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  19. ^ McClintock, John (September 26, 2016). "Catch the Cupcake Wave! Sprinkles Arrives in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in November". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  20. ^ William-Ross, Lindsay (2012-03-06). "24-Hour Sprinkles Cupcake 'ATM' Starts Serving Today!". LAist. Archived from the original on 2015-03-15. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  21. ^ Coyle, Matt. "Sprinkles Ice Cream". orangeglad.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
  22. ^ Odell, Kat (2012-04-19). "Sprinkles Ice Cream Opens May 24 in Beverly Hills". La.eater.com. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  23. ^ "Ice Cream - About Us". Sprinkles. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  24. ^ Middleton, Diana (19 October 2006). "Shop sticks to its very own". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  25. ^ a b Stephens, John; Jennifer Burtness (7 November 2008). "United States: Sprinkles Cupcakes Is Seeing Red ...Velvet, That Is!". Mondaq Business Briefing. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  26. ^ Yoshino, Kimi (21 August 2008). "A point of cupcake contention". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  27. ^ "Candace Nelson". Food Network. 2010. Archived from the original on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  28. ^ "Sprinkles Cupcakes Make Its Big Texas Debut!". Business Wire. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  29. ^ a b Schermerhorn, John R. (2009). Exploring Management (2 ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-470-16964-8.
  30. ^ "Sprinkles Cupcakes Takes its Sugar Rush to the Windy City". PR Newswire. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2010.

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