Robin Ross, Owner/Baker, Cupcakes Squared in San Diego, California

Cupcakes Squared celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2019 as San Diego’s first cupcake bakery and remains one of the city’s favorite places for specialty cupcakes, not to mention the only place serving its signature redesigned version of the original cupcake.

Owner Robin Ross has been baking with The Perfect Purée since opening and doesn’t go a day without using Passion Fruit Concentrate in her popular Lilikoi Cupcake, a luscious vanilla bean cake topped with pure passionfruit buttercream and lime zest.

“Our Lilikoi cupcakes are definitely a customer favorite and I’m very grateful for the quality and consistency that comes every time we open a new jar from The Perfect Purée,” Robin says. “For me, a more natural approach was important. I’m not interested in using food coloring or fondant for decor, and I source only high-quality ingredients.”

Do square cupcakes taste better? It’s possible. The elegant presentation of Robin’s creations is second only to their exceptional flavor because, as she says, “I believe you eat with your eyes first.”

Cupcakes Squared bakes up to a dozen different flavors of mini and full-size cupcakes from scratch each day including Rosewater Raspberry, a delicate rosewater cake with raspberries and rosewater buttercream, and Red Hot Chocolate, a cayenne and jalapeno-infused chocolate cake topped with chocolate buttercream and jalapeno sugar.

Robin’s unique concept now also includes Square Meals, a line of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free grab-and-go savory items like tamales, quiches and shepherd’s pie.

Robin grew up cooking and baking with her mom and dreamed of one day owning a food-related business. She catered her way through art school and worked 35 years as a graphic designer before she was finally ready to embark on her dream.

“Cupcakes were everywhere in L.A. and New York in 2007 but not yet in San Diego so I decided I would bring the concept here,” she says. “I designed our cupcakes papers and my husband manufactured our proprietary baking pans.”