Pleasant Grove baker wins on ‘Cupcake Wars’

Alisha Nuttall has loved baking since she was in high school, and while baking has long been her passion, she never expected it would lead to her owning her own store and winning the Food Network’s show “Cupcake Wars.”

Nuttall, mother of two and owner of Cravings — Alisha’s Cupcakes, had a long journey to get to where she is today. She originally started the business with her twin sister, who owns Cravings Bistro in American Fork, but decided to take on the project on her own. Since then she has gone through several different businesses to sell her cupcakes.

Cravings, a cupcake shop in Pleasant Grove, has 29 flavors of cupcakes. (Photo by Elliott Miller)
Cravings, a cupcake shop in Pleasant Grove, has 29 flavors of cupcakes. (Photo by Elliott Miller)

“I ended up going through my sister’s bistro in American Fork, but being twin sisters we decided it wasn’t the best for us,” Nuttall said. “Then I went to a boutique called Quincee’s and sold my cupcakes there.”

It wasn’t until after filming the episode last July where she and her sister competed on “Cupcake Wars” for a second time and won that Nuttall realized she needed to get a storefront for her business. The store opened in November 2012.

“(Winning) finally gave me closure that I can do this,” Nuttall said. “It finally gave me the confidence that I can do this.”

While many bakers have gone to school to learn, Nuttall has never had a formal cupcake-making education, and all her recipes are the result of experimentation, which she said wasn’t always the best experience.

“It was hard for me to eat cupcakes for a while because I was experimenting so much that I was having all these gross cupcakes,” she said. “There was a lot of trial and error.”

Despite this, Nuttall eventually got it right, as evidenced by the reviews of first-time customers.

Elizabeth Hinckley, a resident of Pleasant Grove, heard about Nuttall’s cupcake shop in the news and immediately called her daughter Kim Curtis, and they decided to go try it out. The mother-and-daughter duo, who identify themselves as cupcake connoisseurs, had nothing but good things to say about the cupcakes.

“It’s the best one I’ve ever had in my life,” Hinckley said.

“We try cupcakes all the time, and these are the best so far,” Curtis said.

They aren’t the only ones loving the cupcakes. Garrett Johnson, another resident of Pleasant Grove, said Nuttall’s cupcakes are better than any other cupcake place in Utah.

“It’s like a brand new experience in a cupcake wrapper,” Johnson said.

As for the future of the store, Nuttall hopes it does well, and she looks forward to when she will be able to spend less time at the store and more time with her kids.

“I need to balance it out to where I can be a mom and then have this, because this is my dream, but my family’s also my dream too,” Nuttall said.

While winning “Cupcake Wars” was a surprise that gave her the confidence to achieve her dream of opening a cupcake store, it is the fact that she can share that dream with others that makes it the most satisfying for Nuttall.

“I get to serve people and make people happy,” she said. “I feel like I’m making people happy when they come and eat cupcakes.”

Sara Bitterman

Sara Bitterman is a web editor at The Universe. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in editing. She hopes to someday write and edit for a magazine.

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