A piece of bacon tops some of the mini-cupcakes made by Hilliard resident Scarlett Kilzer.

A piece of bacon tops some of the mini-cupcakes made by Hilliard resident Scarlett Kilzer.

"It tastes like breakfast," Kilzer said. "We put maple syrup in our frosting, batter and cinnamon to make it taste like a really yummy pancake, and then add the bacon and the nuts on top."

Other cupcake flavors resemble Zingers, Oreos, Orange Creamsicles, Caramel Macchiatos, Boston Banana Cream Pies and cookie dough.

"We had decided we weren't going to do regular-flavored cupcakes," Kilzer said. "I love to cook, so we incorporated different spices and different flavor combinations. We're working on a curry chocolate. The new flavors don't come out unless we're all in agreement that it's the perfect flavor for the spice."

Kilzer is the owner, founder and baker for Cupcake Yum.Yum, a Hilliard-based business specializing in creative cupcakes and other confections.

Cupcake Yum.Yum got its name from Kilzer's dad, Doug Grassel, who is the guitarist of the Ohio Express, a bubblegum band out of Mansfield that once graced the pop charts with such infectious hits as Chewy Chewy and Yummy Yummy Yummy ("I've got love in my tummy" rhymes the latter song).

"He's still playing," Kilzer said. "He's in Germany right now and they're touring in Europe. They are still around, but he's the only original within the group right now."

Cupcake Yum.Yum started eight years ago. Prior to that, Kilzer worked at Handke's Cuisine, did a lot of catering and made wedding cakes.

"Then I got married and had kids, and I was thinking these wedding cakes are huge. They take hours and hours I better do something else. We got down to three-inch cupcakes that were really huge and cool-looking, but people wouldn't finish them. So we finally ended up at the mini-appetizer-size cupcakes. That works really well, especially for special events. I think we found our niche."

Cupcake Yum.Yum's products are all natural and organic, Kilzer said. "We use a lot of local farmers. We want local, fresh, ripe berries, and we've been scouting for the best butter we can find. We really go into detail about what ingredients we use because of so many preservatives and chemicals. We just thought, if we're going to do this, we're going to do it right."

Baking is a science, Kilzer said, and that her variations of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes were the most challenging for her to perfect.

"When we have a new recipe and it's not working, it can drive you crazy! You're like, what is wrong with this?"

The cupcakes are made either in Kilzer's home, or at a commercial kitchen in Dublin, but she is looking for a production facility in Hilliard.

She's recently did a pop-up, selling her products at Kitamu Coffee on Hilliard-Rome Road.

"I think it's good because it brings in more walk-in traffic for the actual retail space. I know with Kitamu Coffee, he had the highest numbers he's ever had. That's what we're going to continue to do each month, is pop into a retail space."

Kilzer said she gets help from her husband Paul Kilzer, as well as some of her brothers.

"It's become a wonderful family business, which I love."

From 6-9 p.m. Tuesday (March 1), people can sample some of Kilzer's cupcakes (and many other types of cakes) at the "Cakes for a Cause" contest at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, 3960 Brookham Drive, Grove City. Tickets cost $27, with the proceeds going to the Foodbank and Operation Feed.

"It's a great cause," Kilzer said. "Anyone who's a fan of cake should definitely come. We're definitely going to enter our bacon, and our coconut is one of our most popular flavors."

For more information, visit cakesforacause2011.eventbrite. com or cupcakeyumyum.com.