How it works: Nicki Kerbs, Cupcake Royale’s head pastry chef/chief operations officer, asked each chef for his or her favorite ice cream flavor or one they'd like to create. Erickson, for example, chose rocky road, and suggested touches she thought would make it shine: vanilla, salted Spanish peanuts or Marcona almonds and more. Then Kerbs and her team developed a version of the flavor and sent it to Erickson to sample and offer input. After several rounds of tasting and Erickson’s ultimate sign off, Renee Erickson’s Rocky Road is a smoky, salty variety, composed of sea salted Theo chocolate ice cream, Marcona almond bark and marshmallow ribbon.
All Cupcake Royale branches will start the series May 11 by introducing Renee Erickson’s Rocky Road and Tyler Palagi’s (Radiator Whiskey) Maple Old Fashioned with Luxardo Cherries. (That day is also the local chain’s annual Free Scoop Day where guests offered are a free scoop of any of the shop’s flavors between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.) In July, the chef-designed flavors will shift to John Sundstrom’s Brown Butter with Salted Caramel Pecans, Rachel Marshall’s (Rachel's Ginger Beer) White Peach Cobbler with Bourbon Caramel, and Ethan Stowell’s Honey Ricotta with Pistachio Brittle. Finally, in August, the shop will queue up Josh Henderson’s (Westward) Strawberry Frappe and Fries, Tamara Murphy’s (Terra Plata) Saffron with Honey Almond Crunch, and a final flavor still in progress from Brian Canlis and the new Brady Williams.
Kerbs says the most exciting part has been the collaboration between Cupcake Royale’s bakers/churners and these chefs to create something “fun, innovative, and seriously delicious.” Kerbs and Cupcake Royale owner Jody Hall are considering taste-offs and more come summer, so stay tuned.