I would never fashion myself a cupcake connoisseur. I like them. I like frosting. Sure. That is enough to know right? So I write this blog with great trepidation because it comes from a complete cupcake neophyte. I will admit it.
Locally it appears that Denver is beginning to catch up on the entire cupcake phenomenon. Now years and years ago there was all this talk about Magnolia in NY. And even the wiki states they may have started the craze. Who knows. I just remember reading in Gawker how amazing they were. Then they showed up on Sex and the City and well... you know the rest. So I checked out the cookbook from the library. It was all cakes and buns and Cinnamon rolls. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just didn't "get it". Then I heard about the Cupcake Cafe in NY that made frosting flowers that were supposed to be amazing. So I checked out that cookbook. And was actually kind of the mind set of "now I get it"... then Sprikles hit the universe. Not having one in Colorado I was interested in the floating menu choices by day. That made perfect sense and I thought... good idea.
Still Colorado didn't have any real cupcake bakeries.
Then came the Shoppe. I remember last year after an early morning event I went over to the store and bought a dozen different flavors for the office folks to try. Now... delicious. For sure. Frosting-ness to the hilt. Absolutely. Interesting flavors... for sure. I will say I did particularly like the chocolate peanut butter flavor (I mean I loves me some peanut butter frosting) and the little bitty chunk of peanut buttter cup was an unexpected treat. But. I was tad overwhelmed by the sweetness factor of the whole thing. It was alittle too much. G and I went back one afternoon after a trip to the museum and got the mini cupcakes with glasses of milk. Now that was better. The mini's are about two bite sized cupcakes and certainly are perfect. NOW the thing about the Shoppe also is that they are open late on Friday's and Saturday's so if we are at a show we can go over and pick up a cupcake. Not that we have but they are open which is always nice to know about.
So... last Sunday when I was sitting on the couch F-less since he was out of town, I was making a list of places that I could go and things that I want to see and visit locally. And cupcakes came up in my thought process. So I went looking to see what other places were around in the Denver Metro area.
There is a cupcake delivery company. That is out of the question probably because I like to see my baked goods.
I saw Happy Cakes...now the thing that enthralls me about Happy Cakes is based on an idea of what their offerings are. But I worry that even though fun flavors that it will be high on the sweetness, which is overpowering and takes away the joy for me just a little. Everyday there is a cupcake flavor that looks really appealing and or interesting. I don't know if I will make it up there tomorrow but definately on Friday for sure. Tomorrow I have the ability to leave the office early enough to make it up there to the Highlands... so I might just have to. And Fridays are magical in their own right so who knows. Its the flavor options that have me really curious.
Sunday after we left Lucille's and partially because as we were walking to our table for blunch I saw a box of cupcakes on a nearby table I made a trip to one of the places I looked up. The box was brilliant, little individual holes for each cupcake so when on a car seat of where-ever for transport they didn't get jacked up (which was a HUGE disappointment when I bought a two cupcakes from the Shoppe... the frosting got all jammed up on the side of the box when the cakes slid over while in the car, I was actually a little pissed because they weren't good for the gift of cupcakes that I was hoping for so I had to come up with something else....anyways). So I was totally intrequed by this box/cupcake holder. Thought it might be a personal holder, you know store bought like at the container store, but nope, there was the bakery sticker on the front... Lovely Confections (which I had also bookmarked in my search online last Sunday). So on my way home from blunch (which was smart because I was NOT at all in the mood for any more food whatsoever, so I didn't over-indulge) I went in.
Loved it. I didn't order 6 cupcakes to get the box, but the counter gal was super nice and offered me one. Seriously its ok. But it totally got me in the door. I bought a chocolate cake with vanilla, vanilla with vanilla and red velvet. So I had the chocolate last night. Choclate cupcakes can be cloying as hell and super chocolately and over the top to me. To the point of no thanks I am not interested way too sweet. I was nervous about the frosting too. Buttercream can be nothing if not super sweet. So imagine my surprise when the thing was actually um... delightful. The cupcake was chocolate, light and spongey and just nice. I had a little brush of frosting on the peice I cut (and moved most of the frosting to the side) and it was very complimentary. Then I thought ok I will just try a little of the frosting alone. Vanilla. There is real vanilla in there... like I think she scrapes vanilla beans into the frosting. You can taste it. And GET THIS: the frosting isn't overpowering and overly sweet. It was really nice. You can taste the vanilla. Magic. Her products are shelf stable meaning you don't have to refridgerate them immediately which is awesome too. No race to the fridge to kept the decorative frosting whatever from falling thus "FAIL" on your little gift of cupcakes (see above) . I wouldn't leave them out on the counter for days but believe me, the four hours didn't do any damage at all. And they held up.
So I will give o'Happy Cakes a shot next. I hope to be as pleased, if not I am glad to know that on a Sunday afternoon (when the cupcake urge usually hits and I just assumed that every other cupcake bakery was closed but THEY ARE OPEN ON SUNDAYS!) I might be able to go up Colfax, make a turn on Steele and get a chocolate cupcake that doesn't knock my fillings out because it is overly sweet. Thank you Lovely Confections... Congrats on getting it just right for me.