Sweet road to success for Sprinkles Cupcakes owner

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9 p.m. Extra: Sprinkles Cupcakes

"I kind of looked around and I thought 'Well the opportunities for what I've been doing are not there anymore'," explains Candace Nelson.

She says she knew being an investment banker was not the path she was supposed to stay on. "I decided to pursue my love of baking and go to pastry school and that was the beginning of my journey."< /p>

It was a journey that would lead Nelson and her husband, Charles, to create Sprinkles Cupcakes. "I realized out of my kitchen cupcakes were really growing as a dessert trend and people were demanding cupcakes more and more and I started getting calls in my kitchen from people I didn't even know anymore."

Nelson has opened up five stores across the country with one being here in Scottsdale.

She admits, "I come up with my recipes based on what I like with one exception. I almost didn't create a red velvet cupcake because I didn't really love red velvet cake. Thank God I did because it's my best selling cupcake today."

She uses ingredients like Belgian cocoa to pure vanilla extract to make her customers mouths water, especially big name celebrities like Katie Holmes to Oprah.

Nelson tells 3TV, "We got a call from Harpo Productions saying Oprah loves your cupcakes and she has to have them on her show. Can you have 300 cupcakes to our studio audience by tomorrow morning? We thought, 'You can't say no to that' and we said yes and we hung up the phone and said 'How are we going to do that'? So we started baking like crazy and we packed up 300 cupcakes and carried them all on board a red eye, didn't sleep a wink all night and our business from that point on, sort of the rest is history. We had a line that wrapped around the block once that show aired."

Things were not always as easy as they look. People did not think cupcakes would be a big hit when the first store opened in Beverly Hills. Nelson says, "Everyone was on a low-carb diet in 2005. No one had done a cupcake bakery before. Everyone was saying we're crazy and there were a couple of nights we thought maybe we are."

Now the customers at Sprinkles Cupcakes are sure glad she followed her dream.

So who does this executive pastry chef look up to in the culinary world? Her great-grandmother and the late Julia Child. " She had this great passion for life as well as the food and a great sense of humor."

For Nelson, the passion she has for baking makes her Sprinkles Cupcakes a favorite among people of all ages. As she tastes one she says, "Ah, this cupcake is as good as my grandmother used to make and that to me is the ultimate compliment."

Nelson says the plan is to open up more stores and eventually go international.

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