Meet this Scarsdale Mom Behind Once Upon a Lil Cupcake - Rye & Rye Brook Moms

This week, we’d love you to meet Lillian Murtha, the super talented local Westchester mom behind Once Upon A Lil Cupcake, a fabulous new online, nut-free bakery specializing in almost too cute to eat cake, cupcakes and cookies. They even have gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Both Lillian and her kids (a son, 10 and daughter, 7) have nut allergies, so you know these are safe if your family your classroom is nut-free! If you need something special for a party, school bake sale or family gathering, email Lillian at [email protected] or call 914-721-0097. Here’s more about this local mom and Once Upon A Lil Cupcake.


Can you please describe your business?

Sure! Once Upon A Lil Cupcake is a home-based local business specializing in nut-free custom made cupcakes/cakes/cookies. I started a little over 5 months ago. I was in the healthcare industry (business side) for over 20 years and left a position I was in after 16 years. 

How did you come up with the name—it’s adorable!

 Thanks!  My son actually came up with the name. He had just read a book in school titled “Once Upon a Child” and I thought it was so cute  I added “Lil” to make it even cuter; plus it’s the shortened version of my name which worked out well. 

Such a great story. Can you share a bit about your nut-free focus?

 My kids and I have nut allergies and know how hard it is to find desserts that are completely nut-free. I also can’t trust the person behind the counter when they don’t sound 100% sure that the cookie or brownie or whatever it is I want to buy has no nuts. I started baking so my kids could eat desserts I know they wouldn’t be allergic to and wanted to be able to give the same peace of mind to other parents because I live it every day. 

Fantastic. And how can people order?  

This is very much a home-based business so I don’t have a store front. My website has an order form they can fill out or they can also order via email. I serve all of Westchester County as well as parts of NYC and CT (including Greenwich). 

What is your most popular dessert so far?

 The cookies & cream cupcake is the most popular and always the first one to go at parties (I’ve been told). The coconut macaroon dipped in chocolate and chocolate crinkle cookie are my most popular cookies as is your good ol’ chocolate chip. Chocolate seems to be the theme here! And any cupcake topped with fondant is super popular with the kids. 

Yum! Where do you get your inspiration?

I love watching cooking channels. There’s something so relaxing about watching people cook or bake and learned a lot just from watching those shows (before everything started to become a competition, that is). I talked about the possibility of opening my own business with my kids and they loved the idea! Their excitement was so infectious that I decided right then and there to give it a chance and see what happens.  

What has been your favorite order so far?

I recently made 400 cupcakes for Edgewood Elementary School [in Scarsdale] for their centennial event where each student received a cupcake. It was a lot work but I had so much fun making and designing them! Anything with a theme is always fun because it gives me a chance to get creative. I especially like it when clients let me have free reign on design. 

What do your kids think of your business?

My kids love it! When I told them about the idea they were super excited and asked if they could be taste testers and they are my best critics. Kids are really honest about what they like and don’t like.

What is your hope for your business?

 I’m still ramping up but hopefully busier in the next year. Honestly, I haven’t thought about what this business would look like in 5 years and beyond. I’m still trying to feel my way around the process and have a lot to learn. Envisioning what this would be like beyond today kind of scares me! 

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’ve only ever baked for my family so this is totally out of my comfort zone. The feedbacks have been very positive for which I am grateful! It’s always a warm, fuzzy feeling when I hear kids are over the moon about their cupcakes. 🙂

For more information or to order, go to, email Lillian at [email protected] or call 914-721-0097. Mention The Local Moms Network to receive 20 percent off your first order (minimum order 2 dozen cupcakes).

This post is sponsored by Once Upon a Lil Cupcake. 

Join The Rye & Rye Brook Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around Rye & Rye Brook, NY with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.