Archive for the ‘Cupcake Wars’ Category

There are two things I really love— Vegas and cupcakes. I usually don’t get both at one time, but lucky for me, work sent me out to Vegas and I’m going out to find me some cupcakes. My initial search of a cupcake shop was disappointing. There are just not many cupcake places off the Strip. And, for those who have been to Vegas, unless you have a car it can be difficult and expensive to get around. Nonetheless, I continued to search until I found a few feasible options.

1. Gigi’s Cupcakes
This shop originated in Nashville, Tenn. Gigi has tremendously expanded her business and has several locations throughout the country. I have some great friends in the Tennessee area that were gracious enough to pack some cupcakes with them and bring them all the way to Philadelphia this past summer. My goodness, those were good. But, the other half of the experience is visiting the shop. Fortunately, Gigi’s shop in Vegas is the closest—only 2 miles away from my hotel. Heck, I could get my daily workout by running there, eating a cupcake, and running back. Sweet.

2. Retro Bakery
I’ve heard so much about them and was introduced to this place via Cupcake Wars. To my great disappointment, they are located 25 miles north of the Strip. That would be a ridiculously expensive cab ride. However, to my great joy, I discovered that they deliver, no order too small, for a flat rate of $20. Beautiful.

3. Cupcake Café
This place was a little further away, almost not within walking distance. After sitting with the Google Map, I learn that 4 miles isn’t that horrible. Even if I needed to catch a cab, it wouldn’t be that expensive. Check.

After narrowing down my options, I’m ready to paint the town red. I’ll be back next week with my full report!

Ready or not Vegas, here I come!


Read Full Post »

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and I had nothing planned. While going through all the possibilities of options, one great idea came to mind – road trip to Smallcakes in Olathe, Kan. I had first heard of this place while watching one episode of Cupcake Wars. When I heard them mention “Kansas” on the show, I stopped dead in my tracks. I eagerly awaited their bio, pulled out my laptop to search them, and I intently watched the rest of the show. I was slightly disappointed when I discovered that they were fairly far south from me, but nonetheless, I added them to my “must try” list!

Side note—Ok, I’ll admit, Kansas City is very easy to get around. One can be completely cross the city within 45 minutes top. But since living in urban KC, I’ve started thinking twice for heading down “south” or even up “north” for that matter. In all reality, it’s not that far away. I’ve just gotten spoiled.

Once arriving, I was torn between which cupcake to try. I had two choices that covered my criteria, Pink Vanilla or Birthday Cake. Both were vanilla cupcakes, but the Pink Vanilla, obviously, had a pink-colored buttercream and the Birthday Cake had white buttercream but topped with sprinkles. After much deliberation, I settled with the Pink Vanilla (I didn’t want the sprinkles to distract me from the frosting taste).

I can honestly say, I have not tasted anything like their cupcakes. I take pride in how many different types of cakes I’ve tried, but I could not compare this to anything that I have tasted before. The cake itself was cooked to perfection. It was fresh, fluffy, and had slightly browned edges. I could not pinpoint the taste I was experiencing, but the best explanation I can give is a very vanilla cake with a just trace of lemon flavor.

The frosting was thick, but after taking a bite, it was nicely met with a splurge of sweetness that melted in your month. It was very vanilla-y, which almost masked the taste of butter. But, after another bite, I got the slight undertone of butter. It was not overpowering, but unless you were looking for it, it would be easily missed.

In my effort to not eat too many cupcakes, I brought the cake home and shared it with my roommate. After her first bite, she had that look. The look that says “That was the best thing I’ve ever tasted”. Before I knew it, she told me that is indeed was the best cupcake she has ever tasted. So, even though my cupcake taste buds wouldn’t have pegged this as my favorite, Smallcakes now has a new fan.

There wasn’t anything to the cupcake that “wowed” me. The frosting looked a little sloppy, and there were huge differences from one cupcake to another. Some of the others in the case looked better. However, the pink color of the buttercream was a beautiful shade of pink.

Sweet Endings
They are two things that I fell in love with Smallcakes. First of all, their name! That’s exactly what a cupcake is—a small cake! Ha! Secondly, the face of Smallcakes is the owner’s daughter. Making her the face of the shop adds a touch of innocence and sweetness.

Smallcakes had a very unique taste and flair to their cupcakes. It was well-worth the Sunday drive, and if they were located closer, I probably would visit them more often.

For all you Cupcake War fans, I was told that the owner just got back from filming another episode. Stay tuned! Hopefully this time around, he won’t forget such an important ingredient like the pumpkin!


Store #1
14383 Metcalf Avenue
Overland Park, KS

Store #2
Avignon Shopping Center
14150 W. 119th, Olathe, KS

Read Full Post »