Valley News -

By Halle Kowalewski

The Cake Cottage offers a taste of home


Last updated 7/5/2018 at 5:48pm

Halle Kowalewski

The Cake Cottage sells a variety of cupcakes including Key lime, Kahlua and cream "cheese," white chocolate raspberry and chocolate-chocolate.

The first step inside The Cake Cottage feels overwhelmingly like being at home. The shelves are stacked with colorful and inviting cake decorating supplies. A wide variety of metal cookie cutters fill a small, almost hidden alcove. The staff room is tucked next to the counter with no door separating it from the rest of the shop. Owner Susan Carberry stands behind the counter. She remembers that a returning guest loves chocolate-peanut butter cupcakes and chats with another about their mother.

The shop is filled with loyal customers, not all of whom live locally. Carberry said customers from across the United States have returned to the shop with coolers in tow, saying they couldn't leave without a Cake Cottage cupcake.

The Cake Cottage, a small, local cake business, sells gourmet cakes, cupcakes and a variety of other sugary treats. The shop, which has been open for 10 years, is run by Carberry and her family.

Carberry offers custom cakes for weddings, birthdays, graduations and other events. Her gourmet cakes start at $75 and must be ordered at least one week in advance.

"My clientele trusts me. Give me the colors and the party invitation and the budget, and we can go from there with the design," Carberry said.

Carberry's cakes come in a variety of styles, from cute and kid-themed to rustic and deconstructed. Although she specializes in custom, large-scale cakes, she also offers cupcakes for walk-in customers.

The white chocolate raspberry cupcake is a best-seller. The cupcake mixes a simple cream cheese frosting with a vibrant raspberry sauce. Its white cake has raspberry flavoring and is topped with white chocolate curls.

Other specialties are the Kahlua and cream "cheese" cupcake, topped with a chocolate-coated coffee bean and a wafer roll, and the Key lime cupcake, the vibrant lime flavoring mixes with the light buttercream frosting.

Carberry also offers cake-making classes at her shop. They range in difficulty from beginner to advanced and typically involve a simple decorating technique.

Customers are "going to have a good time, because I like our classes to be fun. But they will also walk away having learned something," Carberry said.

The cake cottage also sells a unique line of cookie cutters, designed by Carberry.

When coming up with ideas for a new set of cookie cutters, Carberry said she finds inspiration in "almost anything. Everything I see is either a cake, a cookie or it can be made into something that's edible. Maybe I see a ceramic figurine in a store or a photo or it could be as simple as a piece of paper that has a design or print on it," she said.

Carberry said that she loves "almost everything" about her job. The work isn't all fun and games; the small-business owner is also bookkeeper, janitor and dishwasher. The shop is staffed by only her and her brother with the assistance of her retired parents.

"It's a little hard to balance things sometimes, but I love being creative," Carberry said. "I love the clientele that I have."

The Cake Cottage truly is a "hidden gem" as Carberry puts it. It is located just off Interstate 215 in Murrieta, at 39429 Los Alamos Road, Suite D, and is open weekly, Monday to Saturday. More information can be found at

Halle Kowalewski can be reached by email at [email protected]


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