Ahoy Mateys! These tropical-themed cupcakes with a hidden treasure inside were inspired as memorial tribute to my daughter, Cach’e Dallas Pelletier, who died by suicide five years ago. She was only 29. She suffered from anxiety and was recovering from an Opioid addiction due to pain caused from a car accident.
The name Cach’e is French for “hidden treasure.” The cupcakes are vegan because Cach’e loved ALL animals. These hidden treasure cupcakes are in memory of her and of others who have taken their lives. Cach’e was a big fan of sandy beaches, the ocean, and tropical drinks. These cupcakes have all the flavors of the Caribbean: coconut, rum, cardamom, and exotic vanilla bean.
One of the challenges I faced when creating these cupcakes was how to make an edible (and vegan) pirate ship that would ‘float’ on top of the aqua blue waves of frosting. I ended up using a mold of a pirate ship that I ordered and melted vegan chocolate chips into it.
Another obstacle I faced was finding edible “treasure” that could be carefully placed inside frosting that was piped into the center of the cupcakes. I used Pop Rocks candy to mimic jewels and precious gems, edible gold nugget frosting decorations and miscellaneous cake decoration toppings. I also added pearl colored candy balls on the frosting to represent the crests of waves.
My goal in creating these cupcakes was two-fold: to honor the memory of my daughter, and to bring about awareness of the need for better mental healthcare, drug addiction, and suicide prevention programs. May we all be kind to one another and to animals.
—By Ivy Stevens-Gupta