Tracy Naviaux admits she doesn’t have a green thumb. “I’m the type of person who can kill a cactus.” That’s why today she creates a different type of flower—and this one is even better because it’s edible. After remodeling her home six years ago and building the kitchen of her dreams, Naviaux set her eyes on her next passion: desserts. Now, she brightens people’s lives with flowery creations from her big kitchen.
What were you doing before you started your company Dreaming of Dessert?
“I was a social worker and actually still am. Social work, while I love it, can be really intense. People are not excited to see you or answer the uncomfortable questions you have to ask them. But people always light up and smile when I deliver a bouquet of cupcakes. It’s really two polar opposite reactions but I love doing both and I think they complement each other nicely.”
How did you come up with the cupcake bouquet concept?
“Originally, I just loved to bake dessert. Then, I started making a variety of cupcakes. But there are a LOT of good companies already out there. I first saw cupcake bouquets on social media and thought they were different and interesting, but also intimidating. I spent hours on YouTube and Instagram watching videos and taking some classes. From there, it blossomed—once I realized I could create these edible flower arrangements I fell in love and started playing with colors, styles, sizes and arrangements. I think about an upcoming bouquet order as I fall asleep at night excited to get started the next day.”
How do you make the cupcake arrangement?
“Each arrangement takes about five to six hours, not including baking time. I like to have at least a 48-hour turnaround time but the more heads up, the better since I am getting busier. I make the frosting, then color it, which for darker colors requires overnight refrigeration to set into those darker shades. In the Summer, the frosting gets warm quickly so I have to periodically put it back in the fridge to firm up. I have about 50 different piping tips I use to pipe on my design and build the bouquet. I first start with plastic cups, then put paper in them so the cupcakes don’t fall through, then staple them all together. I put the cupcakes in a wrapper that looks like leaves then push tissue paper up and around the plastic cups and finish it off with a big ribbon. The bouquet will then stand on its own. You can also order them in a beautiful, clear box. My cupcakes cost around $4 each, which may be higher than other cupcakes but I think of mine as a gift or mini piece of art, not just a sweet snack.”
What flavor cupcakes do you offer?
“I bake vanilla, chocolate and red velvet. For a little extra, I can do other flavors like Italian cream or lemon. I use only the finest ingredients such as European butter and Vanilla paste instead of extract. I can also make the cupcakes gluten or dairy-free. All the frosting is American buttercream with no shortening. It’s not too sweet but deliciously tasty and easy to pipe into my designs. People can order a mixture of flavors in their bouquets. A small has seven cupcakes, the medium has 12 and the large has 17.”
What flowers do you emulate?
“My favorites are hydrangeas and peonies. Roses and king proteas are what I call ‘wrist killers’ and definitely the trickiest to make. But I like to have variety, whether that’s the size or flower type. Roses look good all together but then I like to make the middle one giant. I like to choose the flowers according to the season, but then it’s also fun because it’s just cupcakes so you’re not actually restricted and can always have Summer flowers in the middle of Winter. I am constantly looking for new flowers driving around the neighborhood, hiking on the trails or on vacation further from home. I love finding inspiration in the natural designs and definitely see flowers differently now.”
What occasions do people mostly order your arrangements for?
“I bake for birthdays of all ages, weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, gender reveals, holidays, corporate events, parties, thank you’s, teacher appreciation and more. I made succulent bouquets for Father’s Day, am making a huge bouquet with cupcakes flowing down the stand for an event at the Botanical Gardens and will be making a small wedding cake and an army of cupcakes for an upcoming wedding in the mountains.”
What areas do you serve?
“I serve Denver, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Roxborough, Castle Rock, Parker, Lakewood, Centennial, Arvada and Cherry Hills. I deliver for free in Littleton and people are always welcome to come pick up the arrangements from my home.”