March 31, 2011
Cappellino's Crazy Cakes is delivering more than tasty treats. Believe it or not, the shop's lemon drop cupcake is helping deliver babies.
The legend began with Lori Lawson. Pregnant with her son Ethan, Lawson was days past her due date. Frustrated and uncomfortable, she stopped at the Downtown Mall store and ordered the popular lemon drop.
“Within half an hour I started having contractions,” she said.
The same goes for Christina Shoup and her four-month-old daughter, Vivian. “I was five days overdue,” she explained. “We came back downtown and I got [the lemon drop] and it worked!”
Two babies not enough to make you a believer in the cupcake's labor-inducing magic? How about 19? And at the time of this report, 19 overdue babies have been born after their very pregnant mothers ate the cupcake.
In fact, the cupcake has become a well-known secret among Charlottesville gynecologists. Shannon Conklin became a believer after her doctor suggested the now legendary labor-inducing lemon drop.
“I had my daughter. I was in the hospital, I think my daughter was five hours old, and I called the cupcake shop and told them it worked!”
So what makes the lemon drop cupcake so special? Owner Dotty Cappellino says it's all in the ingredients.
“The only thing different about this lemon drop is I like freshness. I put fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest. That's the only difference,” she explained.
Medical experts are stumped, but you cannot argue with the proof. Between Ethan, Vivian, Peyton and the 16 other “lemon drop babies”, there's no denying something special is in the cupcakes at Cappellino's.
Dotty doesn't question it, she just keeps baking them. “I just mix it with a little bit more love and I zest with a little bit more love,” she said.
Cappellino says the lemon drop is one of her best sellers. She makes sure there's always a fresh batch ready, just in case an overdue mother walks in looking for some help.