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Archive for November, 2010

I know that I’m not the only sugar aficionado out there and every taste bud is different. For that reason, I love all of the other reviews and opinions I receive on my posts! The recent comment on my review from Cupcake a la Mode was great! (Haven’t read the thread yet? Read it here) This post inspired me to create a page just for your reviews! I’ll be posting other reviews of the places I’ve been to, want to try, or just good reviews.

Also, I want to hear from you! It can be from places that I have reviewed, places that I should review, or even just your favorites in Kansas City or around the world. (who’s knows – I’m such a traveler that I might just stumbled upon your place!) Just comment on the page and leave your thoughts, opinions, links, etc!

Together, we can find the best places and things to satisfy our sweet tooths!

https://thesweettruths.wordpress.com/guest-reviews/

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Baking Attempt #3

Thanksgiving is here and pumpkin recipes are everywhere! Before we could get to the big meal, breakfast must be served. I found a recipe from Whole Foods for Pumpkin-Gingerbread cupcakes.

Scroll down to the bottom of the “Baking” page to check it out. https://thesweettruths.wordpress.com/baking-2/

Do you have any traditional holiday breakfast items? Share them with me!

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Blooming Cupcakes

One of my favorite things to do in Kansas City is visit the farmer’s market in City Market on Saturday mornings. The parking lot fills up with local farmers and venders, and crowds of people arrive to get some of the very best produce and products the Kansas City area has to offer. Along the perimeter of the market is several restaurants, markets, and shops. One of the newest additions to City Market is a bakery, Bloom Baking Co.

Bloom makes daily breads, pastries, cookies, tarts, cakes and, most importantly, cupcakes. On the weekends during the farmer’s market, they set a table out front and give samples of their treats. Of course, before walking in I had to taste their offerings. Yum… their bread and danishes were “melt in your mouth” good. If these are that good, I can only wonder what their cupcake will taste like!

Walking in, I am met with a colorful display case of treats just begging to be eaten and a smiling face behind the counter. I order a vanilla bean cupcake. As she asked if I needed anything else, I glance over and see another cupcake plate sitting by itself. “Maple Bacon Cupcakes”, she tells me. My mouth drops open… “I’ve been searching for a place in KC to get maple bacon cupcakes! Might as well throw one of those in the box too.”

Leaving the store with not just one, but two cupcakes, I’m eager to get home and try my new discoveries!


Taste
Cake
The cake had a strong vanilla bean flavor. Little specs of real vanilla bean spotted the cake. The cake had a true “made from scratch” taste. The best way for me to describe the “made from scratch taste” is reference corn bread. I know, it sounds silly. But the two use similar ingredients. Obviously, cake doesn’t include cornmeal, but the other combination of ingredients gives it a similar taste. That’s how I know it’s a truly homemade cake.

Frosting
The frosting was way too sugary. I don’t believe any butter was used in this frosting. It was pure sugar, and I definitely tasted the confectioner’s sugar.

Presentation
Bloom uses little paper cups as their cupcake liners. Unique and creative! Each cupcake looks like a little plotted plant.

Sweet Endings
Even though I thought their cake was delicious and the overall presentation was charming, the frosting was a turn-off. The sugar in the frosting was too overwhelming for my taste. However, I will say, I did love the maple bacon cupcake! The frosting used on that cupcake was different and balanced well with the cake. I would suggest sticking with their homemade breads or one of their selections of pastries.

I do recommend everyone visiting the farmer’s market. It’s the best you’ll find in Kansas City! It’s open year-round, so you’re guaranteed to find the freshest produce all grown from local farmers!

Bloom Baking Co
15 East 3rd
Kansas City, MO, 64106
816.283.8437

Farmer’s Market
Hours
November – February
Saturday: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Sunday: 8:00am – 3:00pm

March – October
Saturday: 6:00am – 3:00pm
Sunday: 8:00am – 3:00pm

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The world’s first cupcake bakery. Every cupcake baker, designer, engineer, and aficionado idols it. Every cupcake bakery hopes to succeed it. Celebrities love it. There’s only one cupcake place that fits the bill… Sprinkles Cupcakes. And I was fortunate enough to finally try one of their famous cupcakes.

I arrived to my office one morning to find this sitting at my desk.

I threw my stuff down and giddily peered into the bag. Mmmm, I immediately received a whiff of apple and cream cheese. I unwrapped the box, careful not to tear any edges or tip over the cupcake. Once I finally opened the box, I looked into the bag and let out a gleeful giggle! “How cute are you!” I exclaimed.

I’ve been dreaming of the day I would taste my first Sprinkles cupcake, and I couldn’t believe that this day was upon me!

The cupcake delivered to me was the Carmel Apple, one of the featured fall flavors.

Taste
Cake
Even after four days, the cake was still light, airy and fresh! I was seriously skeptical of how the cake would taste after all that time AND travelling 1400 miles to me in Kansas City. The cake even had a real chunks of apple in it!

Frosting
I’m usually a vanilla buttercream type of gal, but Sprinkles may have converted me. Their cream cheese frosting was one of the best I’ve ever tried. The frosting was pure, smooth, and had a perfect balance of sweetness. Again, I couldn’t believe how fresh the frosting tasted!

Presentation
I fell in love with how they decorated the cake. Firstly, the frosting neatly covered the entire top of the cake. It’s rare to find a bakery that will spread the frosting edge to edge. This way you are guaranteed to have a splash of frosting with every bite. Also, the one little ghost sprinkle was so simple, so cute.

Sweet Endings
There is a reason why Sprinkles took off! Honestly, I thought it would be more hype than anything else, but I was definitely wrong. They have created a unique cupcake experience, and they have done it right. If you are fortunate enough to live near a Sprinkles or visit a city where they are located, based on flavor alone, it is worth a visit. I’m confident that the in-store experience will be remarkable as well.

Sprinkles Cupcakes
www.sprinkles.com
Locations

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To celebrate my newest favorite holiday, National Vanilla Cupcake Day, I wanted to try a new cupcake place. Little did I know that I was about to find a taste I’ve been searching for years… the wedding cake.

Briarcliff Village, just north of the river is a home to Kansas City’s most admired and sought out stores and restaurants. Taking pride of local establishments, this small shopping complex is an experience all in itself. Sugar Mamma’s, one of their newest additions, was my stop to celebrate the beloved holiday.

The black and white art painted walls, plus the splash of baby blue furniture welcomed any guest or returning customer. Upon walking in, I discovered a beautiful display case of their signature “jumbo” cupcakes. Even though I already knew my flavor of choice (besides it is vanilla cupcakes’ special day), I always enjoy looking through the other flavors options (side note—they had a vanilla chia cupcake that I almost broke down on bought). As in my true fashion, I ordered the vanilla cupcake.

Taste
Cake
Typically I like to smother my cake bites with as much frosting as possible, however, this time I didn’t need to. The cake was so satisfying, so sweet, so good… I found myself removing some of the frosting just so I could get more of the cake in each bite. And it smelled wonderful! Ironically, this cake appeared to be dense. With a poke of the fork, the cake resisted being touched. But, after the cake engulfed my mouth, it resisted no more and melted.

Frosting
At first taste, I wasn’t a fan of the frosting. The outside edges were very crisp. After the hard edges softened on the tongue, it was a sugary rush. On second bite, I grabbed a bigger bite of the cake with the frosting. Instantly, this flavor flooded to me through a past memory taste. To test my burning thoughts, I took another bite. Yes, yes it was true… I had just tasted wedding cake in a cupcake form!

Presentation
I was pleasantly content with the frosting display on top. I was a little concerned at first because I noticed sugar sprinkles. Somehow the sugar sprinkles didn’t get in the way of my frosting experience. I imagine it was because the frosting was crisp around the edges, so the sprinkle had blended with the frosting and melted along with the frosting. The small round sprinkle on top was also a nice addition.

Sweet Endings
Sugar Mamma’s name fits accordingly… Their frosting was very sugary! The cake itself had a slight tartness to it, which balanced perfectly with the sweet frosting.

The cupcake tasted exactly like wedding cake, which is a taste I’ve been searching to find. I only attend a few wedding throughout the year, and sometimes their cake doesn’t measure up. I’m ecstatic to know that I can satisfy my craving anytime now!

I highly recommend checking out Sugar Mamma’s and all of the other Briarcliff shops. I believe that this cupcake is one that will please all sugar palates, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Besides, the eye candy isn’t only found in the display case… there was something very easy on the eyes behind the counter!

Sugar Mamma’s
4173 Mulberry Dr.
Kansas City, Mo 64116
816-437-8044
www.sugarmammasbakery.com

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I don’t think I could have walked another mile in search of a cupcake. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to… the cupcake was coming me! Retro Bakery was my third and final stop on my adventure to satisfy my sweet tooth in Vegas. Retro Bakery is located about 25 miles north of the strip, so I was disappointed when I first discovered their location. But when found that they will deliver anywhere in Vegas for a flat $20 fee, I was ecstatic! And, since I was having them come ALL the way to me, I couldn’t just order one!

This time, I put two cupcakes to the test! Vanilla loves Vanilla and Maple Bacon. Ever since I’ve heard about a cupcake with bacon, I immediately became intrigued. How could a meat taste good in a cupcake? Logic doesn’t seem to make that one work, so I knew I had to try it myself.


Taste
Cake
Maple Bacon—the inside tasted like a coffee cake. The maple syrup sweetened the vanilla cake without making it too sweet or soggy. Very much like a brown sugar/butter drizzle. Yum!

Vanilla—I’ll be honest, I only had one bite of the vanilla, but I was immediately met with soft, fluffy goodness. The cake had a perfect balance of vanilla flavor and instantly tickled my taste buds.

Frosting
“It’s all about the buttercream”—This is Retro Bakery’s motto. They use only the best butter when it comes to their buttercream… and boy does it show!

Maple Bacon—The maple buttercream wasn’t overly sweet and made a great complement to the maple syrup infused vanilla cake.

Vanilla—The vanilla buttercream was thick, but not too thick. Creamy, but not too creamy. Vanilla-y, but not too vanilla-y. Basically, it was the epiphany of the ideal buttercream.

Presentation
My entire box of cupcakes looked adorable! However, I was disappointed by two things. First, the size. These were smaller cupcakes than I had anticipated. Paying $2.65 per cupcake, I would have thought they would be slightly bigger. Secondly, the frosting was oddly swirled on top. I don’t like when the frosting doesn’t cover the entire top of the cake. Personally, I think it doesn’t look “complete” and some of the cake is getting robbed. But, I will say as a whole, the presentation of the box was great!

Sweet Endings
When they say “It’s all about the buttercream”, they really mean it. Their buttercream was like none I’ve tasted. It wasn’t extremely thick or sweet. As a person who doesn’t typically enjoy thick frosting, I was pleasantly satisfied with its texture.

I was most excited to finally try a bacon flavored cupcake. It was very weird to pull off a few bacon pieces off on top. But, you know what? The flavor combination was seamless! If I had to choose an ideal cupcake for breakfast (or “breakfast for dinner” cupcake), I would pick this one… hands down!

Out of all the places I tried, Retro Bakery was by far my favorite. Everything about them was great. Next time I’m in Vegas and need a cupcake to brighten my day, I think I know who I’ll be calling!

Retro Bakery
7785 N. Durango Dr. #130
Las Vegas, NV 89131
95 N Freeway/Durango Dr.
Ph: 702-586-3740
www.retrobakerylv.com

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My second stop on my Cupcake Tour de Vegas was Gigi’s Cupcakes. Since I apparently didn’t think I had enough walking adventures the day before, I decided that the two-mile walk to Gigi’s was worth the trip. So, I doubled-up my socks in attempt to cover up my blisters and managed to somehow squeeze into my tennis shoes (there was no way I was just wearing sandals after my crazy escape to Cupcake Café).

Again, this place didn’t look that far away on the map. Besides, walking two miles is nothing. However, walking two miles in another sketchy stretch in Vegas is not just “nothing”. But, I was bound and determined to make my way to Gigi’s, so nothing was standing in my way.

Gigi’s was a ray of sunshine on this tiny strip mall. Upon seeing the store, I nearly ran to the front door. I was so excited to finally get to visit an actual Gigi’s store! At first glance of the glass case, I was overwhelmed by the amount of frosting on each cupcake. Now, I’ve heard numerous reviews of how much frosting they put on their cupcakes, but I had no idea it was that much! I glanced through their menu and their cupcake offerings, but had a hard time deciding which one to get. Since I have already tried some of their vanilla options, I decided to get crazy and get their “Trick or Treat” cupcake. Chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips with a orange-colored vanilla buttercream on top.


Taste
Frosting
There wasn’t any flavor to the frosting. It was very thick and piled high onto the cupcake. I swear the thing had a couple of pounds of frosting on top. I had to shave off a few layers of frosting to even find the cake. And, when I did that, the frosting just “plumped” over in a small gob. Seriously folks, this must have been three inches tall. Even though I am a HUGE fan of frosting, this one hardly had any taste.

Cake
The cake was much better than the frosting. However, I don’t have much experience with chocolate cake, so I couldn’t tell you anything based on its flavor. It did taste airy and light, and I enjoyed the chocolate chips mixed throughout the cake. It added a fun bit of crunchiness and helped break up the thickness of the frosting.

Presentation
Gig’s gets an A+ on her presentation. Every cake looked so beautiful and well put together. One great thing was their uniformity. I believe that no matter when I go, what cake I get, or where I go, I’m going to get the same presentation quality as before.

Sweet Endings
Sadly, I was disappointed in my second Gigi’s experience. One thing I wonder is how Gigi franchises her stores and have them all the same. Does she send out guidelines and rules they must follow? Does she ship out pre-made frosting with direct orders on how to frost? I’d be really interested in know how she makes sure that every store is alike.

There might be two other reasons why I was disappointed. First of all, I had endured a long journey to reach the store. I didn’t have the time to fully enjoy them because I knew that I had a grueling two-mile walk back to my hotel. I was almost to the point “eat and let’s move on”. Secondly, my first experience of Gigi’s was when my gracious friends packed a box to bring me to Philly this summer. Those were some well-traveled cupcakes that survived the fourteen hour drive! Also, my friends had run into the “Gigi” of Gigi’s Cupcakes and she signed my box. That was such an unexpected surprise! So, perhaps my current situation just couldn’t top my previous experience.

This probably means that I will need to give Gigi’s one more try. Third time’s the charm, right? I think that my next visit must be to her original store to get the full experience!

As for you folks out there, if you happen to have a Gigi’s close by, jump in the car and make a visit. Your eyes will be amazed. As for your taste buds—I’ll let you be the judge.

Gigi’s Cupcakes
www.gigiscupcakesusa.com
To find a location near you: www.gigiscupcakesusa.com/findagigis

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