By Adam Black

PORTSMOUTH — For Alyssa Logan and Julie Brandenburg, opening ’83 Sweets in downtown Portsmouth means more to them than just opening a business.

It means returning home.

After months of preparation and hard work, the mother and daughter duo celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting at their new location in downtown Portsmouth. The ribbon cutting, hosted by the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, not only symbolized the opening of the bakery at 609 Second Street, but a return to home for the mother and daughter duo.

“We are back home to our roots,” Brandenburg said. “My mom and dad were born on Second Street and there are many properties here where my great grandparents had a house.”

“It means a lot for us to be here because we have this family connection already established here,” Logan said. “Being from a line of bakers, it just feels like another step in a better direction.”

Logan and Brandenburg are no strangers to the baking world. Logan, the founder of ‘83 Sweets, and Brandenburg, a business partner, even spent time together competing and winning an episode of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” Since then, they have been serving up sweet treats to the community.

Now in Downtown Portsmouth, the duo hopes to continue serving their customers and gaining new ones.

“We started out small in some houses and then had the place in Lucasville. Now we went up to a bigger league here,” Logan said. “We are ready to serve the majority of Portsmouth now and they won’t have to travel to see us.

Logan and Brandenburg shared that, while they will have some of the staple bakery items everyone has come to love, they also plan to introduce some new items, including gluten-free, Keto, vegan and sugar-free items.

“We are hoping to be able to serve a wide range of customers,” Logan said. “We hope we can have something to fill everybody’s needs and have them included.”

During the ribbon cutting, community members got to sample some sweet treats as the duo prepared for Wednesday’s official grand opening. Members raved about the treats and how excited they were the business would be in downtown.

“We have heard a lot of positive feedback about coming to Portsmouth and we are excited,” Brandenburg said.

“After this event this evening, we will be spending the time preparing for tomorrow,” Logan said. “It’s just us, so we have a long night, but we are ready to serve the community.”

“It has been an interesting adventure to get to this point,” Brandenburg said. “I always say good things come to those who wait, which is absolutely true. It’s such a joyful moment.”

Banana Cake with white Macadamia Frosting


1 2/4 Teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons banana pudding mix

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 ripe banana, mashed

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Macadamia nuts, dry roasted and finely chopped

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Buttercream frosting:

1/2 cups (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/8 to ¼ cup melted white baking chocolates

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 12 cupcake liners into a cupcake pan.

In a medium bowl, cream the white sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, pudding mix and baking powder. Then add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until the batter is smooth. Stir in the mashed banana. Pour or spoon the batter into the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan. Bake until the cake springs back to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Test cake doneness approximately 15 minutes into baking time. Cool.

To assemble: Frost the cooled cupcakes with the Buttercream Frosting. Roll the cupcake tops and sides in the macadamia nuts.

Buttercream Frosting:

Slowly combine the butter into the confectioners’ sugar,1/2 cup at a time. After well incorporated, add white chocolate and vanilla. Whip well until light and fluffy.

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