Tag Archives: Atlanta cupcakes

Cupcakes, It’s What’s For Breakfast

4 Nov

I discovered a cupcake the other weekend that would be sure to brighten any morning!  There’s no shame to eating cupcakes before noon, right?  Cupcakes are like donuts (small cake + frosting), and donuts seem to really have made a name for themselves in the breakfast department.  So I’m thinking a cupcake for breakfast every once in a while shouldn’t be frowned upon?  If you’re up for it, I’ve got just the cupcake for you – the French Toast cupcake at Smallcakes Cupcakery.

Smallcakes started in Kansas City, but opened an Atlanta location this September.  If you’re a fan of the Food Network’s show “Cupcake Wars”, maybe you saw the episode with Smallcakes owner Jeff Martin as a contestant.  Once I got wind of that little factoid, I was all geared up to go meet Jeff and hear all about the wonderful world of Food Network!  And Candace Nelson.  I sooooo want to sit next to Candace Nelson at the judges’ table and eat cupcakes and smile.

Smallcakes - Buckhead's Newest Cupcakery

Well, it just wasn’t in the cards for me to meet (and squeeze info from) Jeff that sunny Sunday.  My consolation though – a free cupcake!  It pays to follow Smallcakes’ twitter and facebook pages.  Freebies to be found!  My other consolation – the French Toast cupcake!  It’s exactly how you would imagine comforting, cinnamon-y french toast in cupcake form.  Fresh, spongy (we gotta think of a better adjective for spongy!) cake filled with cream and topped with a cinnamon buttercream / cream cheese hybrid.  Go, folks.  Get their French Toast cupcake (call first to make sure it’s available that day) and start your day with a frosting-induced smile.  Just a heads-up, they open at 10am…maybe eat a little fruit or cereal beforehand to tide you over.

Aside for the commendable moist cake, I’m sorry to say the rest of our cupcake loot – the Peanut Butter Cup, the Fudge Sundae, and the Vanilla-n-Chocolate – was kind of forgettable.  The French Toast cupcake’s deliciousness could, however, have Top 10 potential.

Let’s bring on the break down now, shall we?!

Smallcakes / 2955 Peachtree Road Atlanta, GA location / other locations include Overland Park KS ~ Olathe, KS ~ Lee’s Summit, MS / www.smallcakescupcakery.com

1. Price: $3

2. Room temperature:  Yes

3.  Size:  Standard

4. Cake to Frosting Ratio: Socially acceptable

5. Vegan or gluten-free options: No…bummer

6. To-go packaging: Standard box with cupcake dividers inside and logo sticker on top

7. Milk for sale?:  Negative on the milk.  Affirmative on the bottles of Coke, Sprite, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero

8.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow: The only edible treats are the cupcakes.  T-shirts and water bottles are available for purchase, but those seemed to be emitting cupcake enthusiasm.  Oh well…


9.  Ambiance: This was kind of a let down, like something was missing.  Or a bunch of things.  There wasn’t any where to sit, which I’m thinking hinders the whole “Welcome!” vibe.  There’s a long counter along the window that you can stand and eat your cupcakes at.  But again, I just wasn’t getting that “Yay, you’re here! Stay a while!” message.  The cupcake counter, the main attraction, was kind of sad in its slenderness.  While the cupcakes were very attractive, they only displayed one of each variety and the rest were herded away from us on the bakers rack behind the counter.  Can you tell I’m hungry as I write this?  Which means I’m grumpy, and maybe a little too honest.  But I want to give Smallcakes (ATL) the benefit of the doubt since they had just opened this location, and say that they’re in the process of implementing cozy seating, mood music, cheery decor…


10. Service: Socially acceptable

11.  Three words to describe the Smallcakes experience:

1) Uneventful 2)  Sparse 3) FrenchToast (can we still count that as one word?)

Follow cupcakecrusades on Twitter

Smallcakes: A Cupcakery on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

Cupcakes, Come & Knock On My Door…

26 Oct

…we’ve been waiting for you (name that theme song).  Cupcakes knocking on your door is a reality now, folks!  Well, hmm…the cupcakes themselves won’t be a-knockin’ (I don’t think I want a cupcake that can do that) but a cupcake delivery service such as Cupcakes Express can!

Cupcakes Express Logo

Have you been wanting to send someone a happy birthday/congratulations/thank you/thinking of you/just-because you’re awesome gift?  Want to try something new but with the same convenience (and “surprise!” joy) as a floral delivery?  Too tired to leave the house and need cupcake fuel?  (If this last scenario is the case, please message me.  I’ve been there and can help.)   Well, Cupcakes Express is newly on the scene and bravely armed with a “delivering love by the dozen” mission.  You can order gourmet cupcakes by the dozen (in various arrangements) on their website or by calling 1-855-CUPCAKECupcakes Express delivery is currently available in 21 metropolitan areas but has plans to expand that coverage soon.    How it works – Cupcakes Express has established partnerships with carefully selected bakeries within these metro areas (so your recipient will get to experience a little local flavor) and works with a local courier service to hand-deliver the goods.  And I was lucky enough to get to experience this fun-in-a-box phenomenon first hand!

At the time, my zip code didn’t fall into Cupcakes Express’ Atlanta delivery zone (I bet their cupcake network is growing as I type though!) but my good friends  Beatrix & Manny’s address did.  So once again, Beatrix & Manny dutifully stepped up to the Cupcake Crusade plate (their service to Cupcake Crusade can also be recounted here & here).  They coordinated a delivery time with Cupcakes Express and hung out at home during the 3.5 hour delivery window (have I mentioned that they’re really good friends?!).  Beatrix called me as soon as they arrived, about 20 minutes after the ETA.  (When Beatrix called to inquire about the late delivery, Jessica with Cupcakes Express was an immediate help.  She found out what the situation was and called Beatrix back within 5 minutes.  Great customer service – check!)  I was dying to know – what did the package look like?  Which local bakery did our cupcakes come from?  Was it from a cupcakery we hadn’t tried?  Were the cupcakes packed in dry ice?  The excitement of surprise was all a flutter!  Beatrix calmly described the scene for me – a pink and white box with the Lenox Cupcakes logo on top was handed over to her right on her doorstep (just a heads-up, someone does need to be available/at home to receive the delivery).  A dozen pretty cupcakes in assorted flavors awaited their fate inside.  While Steve & I experienced Lenox Cupcakes back in January (which you can read about here), Beatrix and Manny hadn’t and I was eager to get their impressions.

We made a plan for the four of us to meet up, along with their adorable wonder pup Schmoo, at Chastain Park for a good ol’ fashioned cupcake picnic ( it’s true, I checked -cupcake picnics have been around since the days of yore).  If you haven’t had a cupcake picnic yet, do it NOW (and I’m saying that in a very encouraging and loving voice)!  Just a few recommendations:

-Bring a small meal to eat before the cupcake feast, you know, to buffer all that sugar.

-Bring plenty of water to drink.  Soda, milk, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. will just fill you up faster and hinder your feasting endurance.

-Bring small plates, fork & knife, and LOTS of napkins.

-A park with picnic benches will make the dividing/cutting of cupcakes easier.

-Eat until you can eat no more.  Then, take a nap.

Enough of my ramblings (we’ve heard that before, haven’t we?)!  Let’s turn it over to Beatrix now, who has some wise words on our cupcake delivery & picnic experience!

  • Delivery of cupcakes is never a bad thing, even when running a bit behind. 
  • The only bad experience for Manny was the mystery icing, which when sampled by all, was agreed to be something akin to Crisco.
  • The only complaint from Beatrix was that all the icing tasted like straight sugar – even a bit crunchy like chomping on a mouth full of granulated sugar.  Just not my preference. 
  • The caramel in the center of the salted caramel was a lovely little surprise.  I tend to go for the salted caramel cupcake everywhere I go now, and this was the first to have the caramel filling – bonus points!
  • The presentation of all was really quite lovely.  Nothing too plain like Belly, and nothing over the top like Whole Foods.  I know that you are quite partial to their cupcakes, but I can’t help but think they look a bit too fussy.   These cupcakes all looked like cupcakes should look.  Nothing gimmicky.  
  • Overall, not our favorite cupcakes, but in this world where we find so much else to be annoyed with, we fully acknowledge there really isn’t any such thing as a bad cupcake.  There may be some bad ideas – like icing that tastes like Crisco or gumballs – but a cupcake is fundamentally a good thing.
  • One last note from Schmoo – she pointed out that all were so engaged in enjoying the cupcakes that nary a crumb slipped under the picnic table where she was being most vigilant.  Perhaps a testament to the tastiness of the treat.

My personal favorite out of the bunch was the Vanilla Vanilla (vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream) – it was simple and true.  Steve preferred the Chocolate Fudge (chocolate cupcake filled with fudge with vanilla buttercream).  That Crisco Cupcake really had us scratching our heads (I’m assuming this was the Chocolate Salted Caramel by photo matching with the Lenox Cupcakes online menu).  The frosting didn’t have a single flavor to it.  My theory was that it was a display cupcake (because it sure was pretty) that accidentally got added to our lot. The remaining treats were enjoyed but didn’t knock our socks off (after knocking on our door, hehe) but scored high for appearance.

My only suggestion would be to include a flavor guide within the box of cupcakes – knowledge is power.   Overall, the Cupcakes Express delivery sure made for a fun and memorable experience with our friends.  Just think, you too can spread this joy on to your loved ones.  What do you think?  Sound like something you’d like to try?  Don’t see your city on their website?  Which city should they add to their network next?  Any other good delivery gift ideas?

I want to send a great big thank you to Cupcakes Express for arranging this experience and allowing me the opportunity to check out your cool new serviceWishing you all the best as you grow and spread joy!

Thank you, thank you Beatrix, Manny & Schmoo – for receiving the delivery and facilitating all that it entailed.  Not to mention excellent park selection, company, and cupcake feedback!

Atlanta Cupcake Factory Forces Me To Break Out The Dictionary

2 Sep

And by “break out the dictionary”, I mean break out the online dictionary (watch out, we can get brainy up in here).  The reasoning behind my dictionary search – to examine the meaning of “factory”.  You see, when I first heard the name “Atlanta Cupcake Factory”, I envisioned this massively old brick building.  That carried a rich and quirky history, like the largest paper clip manufacturer this side of the Atlantic or something.  And now the  industrial, architectural beast of a building was re-purposed to the sweet tune of mass cupcake production.  Can you picture it?  I imagined buying a ticket that got you a tour of the facility.  We’d wear hairnets and white lab coats as we strolled the factory floors and watch freshly baked cupcakes stream down a conveyer belt.  Puffs of colorful frosting would magically drop from some mechanical arm as the cupcakes merrily rolled on by.  We’d get high on the scent of sugar, sample dollops of frosting, then conclude our tour with the all-you-can-eat-cupcake-buffet in the building’s cafeteria.   I see myself emerging the factory at sunset with crumbs in my hair and bellybutton, wearing  a gift shop t-shirt proclaiming “Cupcakes Are The New Paperclips!”.

So, you can understand my surprise when my friend Beatrix first pointed out the Atlanta Cupcake Factory tucked into a small strip of shops called Highland Row.

It’s really charming, but factory it is not.  At least not the factory-type I pictured.  Hence, the need for an official “factory” definition.  Here we go – according to good ol’ Merriam-Webster, a factory =

1. a station where factors reside and trade

2. a building or set of buildings with facilities for manufacturing

3. the seat of some kind of production

So even though their website states that they are “dedicated to handcrafted, small-batch wholesome baking”, Atlanta Cupcake Factory is still the seat of some kind of (–>cupcake) production.  So I guess it’s legit.  I’m just gonna chalk up this whole tangent to my wild imagination, and not a fail in elementary education.  (But now that it’s out there, don’t you think this country needs my visionary cupcake factory!  Surely there’s a sleepy old plant out there some where, just prime for the picking, that we can bestow this sweet endeavor upon.  Let’s make it happen America!)

In terms of the actual Atlanta Cupcake Factory –  it’s a bigwig in the Atlanta cupcake arena and is certainly worth a go-see.  It’s been recommended by Southern Living, has won Creative Loafing’s “Best of” award in 2008, 2009, and 2010, and made National Geographic Traveler’s “25 Cupcakeries We Love” list (um, how have I not seen this list until now?!  I’m so ashamed, I only have like 9 of the cupcakeries from this list on my radar.  This is not a good day for Cupcake Crusader.).

Stepping into the 5-year old, family-owned and operated Atlanta Cupcake Factory is like slipping into a little cupcake-feathered nest with tons of homespun appeal.  At first, you might be caught off guard by the tight quarters but you’ll soon be enveloped by the cozy and intimate vibe to even notice.  There were about 12 flavors to choose from during my Friday afternoon visit with Beatrix (but their online menu sets the mouth-a-watering with lots of flavors like Banana Brown Sugar, Sugar Cookie Vanilla Peach, Strawberry Lemonade, and Chocolate Dolce de Leche.)  Beatrix had her heart set on a Vanilla Salted Caramel (an ACF top-seller) and I went with the Fresh Strawberry…and the Chocolate Almond Raspberry for good measure!  We sat outside with Beatrix’s loveable pup, Schmoo, and enjoyed our sugary sweets!

Since I admire and respect Beatrix’s opinion greatly, I asked her to type up her critique (like we had done here after our visit to Belly General Store).  So without further ado, please join me in welcoming back the words of Beatrix!

The thing I like best about the ACF is that their cupcakes actually taste like their name – i.e. strawberry truly tastes like strawberry, etc.  Some cupcakes really just taste like straight sugar, regardless of what flavoring they profess.  But ACF seems quite genuine.  Another funny anecdote to relate is how much joy they brought my 89 year old grandmother when I took them down for an Easter celebration.  She took that double chocolate cupcake from the box and proceeded to get chocolate frosting all over her from head to tow.  She looked a lot like a kid eating their first birthday cake when all was done.  And Schmoo (the loveable pup I mentioned earlier) dutifully sat under her wheelchair in expectation of the cake crumbs from heaven.

I wholeheartedly agree with Beatrix in that the cupcake flavors are not misleading, but immediately identifiable and rich.  Both Beatrix and I delighted in the bursting freshness of the raspberry puree atop the Chocolate Almond Raspberry.   I instantly detected the warm caramel flavor faintly contrasted by a pinch of salt in my bite of Beatrix’s  Salted Caramel cupcake.  And the Fresh Strawberry, oh now that was a darling of a cupcake.  One of those make-you-feel-like-a-(very lucky!)-kid-again kind of cupcakes.  Maybe a Top 10 contender, I told Beatrix (still deliberating in that department).   Overall – fresh cakes all around (ACF uses no oil and bakes on-site everyday) and standard cake/frosting ratio.

Phew, apologies for my chattiness today (or is it always?)!  But at least it was educational, no?  Let me get to a brief break down and get you on your way!

Atlanta Cupcake Factory / 624 N. Highlands Ave.  Atlanta, GA / www.theatlantacupcakefactory.com

1. Price: $2.50 each

2. Room temperature: Yes!

3.  Size:  Standard

4. Vegan or gluten-free options:  No

5. To-go packaging:  Plastic clamshell.  Ours came in a six-seater.  It’s effective, but I’m not a huge fan of plastic.

6. Milk for sale?:  Yes, along with Coke, Sprite, Diet Coke, H2O, coffee, and cinnamon coffee.

7.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow: Homemade rice crispy bars (including fruity pebble and chocolate salted caramel varieties) and chocolate espresso brownies.  Oh yeah, you can also buy cute handmade aprons for $30.


8.  Ambiance: It’s a small space with a vintage feel, fun art, and nostalgic flair.  Plus it had two of my favorite elements in a cupcakery – hardwood floors and lots of natural lighting.  No where to sit inside though.  Two patio tables and bench available outside (which is dog friendly!).


9. Service:  Welcoming and down-to-earth.

10.  Three words to describe the Atlanta Cupcake Factory experience (once I got over my reality check):

1) Flavorful 2) Cozy 3) Artsy

Just for fun, here’s a shot of Beatrix’s Pekingese either 1) eagerly anticipating Beatrix’s exit from ACF or 2) longing for her very own cupcake.  I tell ya, that dog has a special place in my heart (and just happens to be my god-dog :))!  Thank you Beatrix and Schmoo for being such trusty crusade companions!

Atlanta Cupcake Factory on Urbanspoon

Follow cupcakecrusades on Twitter

Piece of Cake Takes a Piece of My Heart

19 Jul

We’ve got a top contender for Atlanta’s best cupcake (in my book, at least)!  The recommendations, high ratings, and online accolades did not go unnoticed, and I finally made it to sweet, PIECE OF CAKE (you can read of my failed, first attempt here)!  And let me just tell you, everything I read was true.  Heavens to Betsy,  their cupcakes rock the house!

I met up with a friend of mine, who had the beautiful idea of a mid-week, mid-day sugar snack.  Which couldn’t have come at a better time, seeing as I was suffering from an acute case of cupcake withdraw.  Two and a half weeks I went without cupcakes!  May be a new record…that I’m not at all proud of.  Another record breaker that day – the weather.  Lord Almighty, I’m pretty sure Wednesday July 13, 2011 was the hottest day of my life.  Turns out it only hit 96, but I can now say that whole Hotlanta thing is no myth.  You’d think that a popsicle, frozen yogurt, ice cream, what have you, would’ve hit the spot, but oh no!  A half-dozen of Piece of Cake’s small cupcakes put a skippy skip in my step.

Piece of Cake is a bakery veteran.  They’ve been around 26 years and that time has served them well.  They’ve perfected cake consistency to a T.  We’re talking soft, spongy, fresh, moist, flavorful cake that doesn’t crumble apart in your hand – that’s a piece of art.  Their cake/frosting ratio is respectable.  It’s as, I believe, cupcakes were intended to be.  No risk of frosting shock found here.  But boy of boy, there’s just the right amount of sugar stirred (and love, I’m guessing) into those cupcake creations to make any sweet tooth sigh with relief.

So back to my half-dozen, small cupcakes – I selected the Caramel, Coconut, Lemon, Orange, Red Velvet and Yellow (w/chocolate frosting) Cupcakes.  Three were had on the spot, well, on the pretty patio of Henri’s Bakery just a short distance away.  (Gotta give my props to them for not shooing us away, considering they sell cupcakes too! )  I went to town on the Carmel Cupcake first – sweet Mary Jane, that thing was good.  Next up, the Coconut Cupcake – hold the phone, this cupcake is not messing’ around.  At this point, I’m thinking “why, oh why, did I go with the small cupcakes?!”  I wanted more.  So I went in for cupcake #3, the Vanilla (w/chocolate frosting), which is like edible nostalgia.  Later that evening, I presented Steve with his half of my Piece of Cake catch.  I sat right by his side as he sat down to enjoy, and asked for a bite the second he bit into each of the three cupcakes.  What he calls mooching, I call research.  The goodness continued, and the only downside I observed was the Lemon Cupcake lacking that zesty zing.  Overall, Steve commended the cake consistency as well and deemed them tasty!  When I threw out the bold statement of these being Atlanta’s best, thinking he was right there with me, he surprised me with his nod to CamiCakes.  Soooo,  you know what that mean folks?  A blind taste is in order!  Let’s do this (insert dramatic music here)…maybe next week, stay tuned for that endeavor.  Until then, Piece of Cake still has a piece of my heart as well as spot on the Top 10!

Allow me to break it down for you…

PIECE OF CAKE / 3215 Roswell Rd. Atlanta, GA / www.pieceofcakeinc.com / Other locations = 10971 Crabapple Rd. Suite 1300 Roswell, GA and 307 E. College Ave. Suite A Decatur, GA

1. Price:

Large = $2.75 each / $14.75 half dozen / $29.50 dozen

Small = $2.25 each / $12 half-dozen / $24 dozen

Mini = $16.50 dozen


2. Room temperature:  Yes

3.  Size:  The large cupcakes were definitely on the plump size, but not plump enough for me to share half of graciously.  The small-sized cupcakes look awfully similar to mini cupcakes…maybe a smidge bigger than your average mini.  And I didn’t spot any mini cupcakes on the day of my visit, so I’m afraid I can’t report back on that department.  Anyone out there ever have a mini cupcake from Piece of Cake?  In terms of size, what would you compare it to?   

4. Vegan or gluten-free options:  Not in cupcake form.   But they do have a case full of gluten-free goodies (frozen) from Pure Knead, a “dedicated bakery specializing in allergy friendly fare”.

5. To-go packaging:  White cardboard box with red bow print on top (cute!) and dividers inside.


6. Milk for sale?: No beverages, so you gotta take your thirst somewhere else(I say that in the nicest way possible.)

7.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow:  For on the spot enjoyment, there’s chocolate chip cookies, shortbread cookies, tarts, brownies, cheese straws, slices of cake and pound cake.  Then you can either order (and ship if need be!) layer and/or pound cakes, as well as pick up a gift of chocolate-covered peanuts, bag of malt balls, jar of gum balls, yogurt covered pretzels, mini chocolate chip cookies, pimped out popcorn (i.e. drizzled with chocolate and the like).  Candles, napkins, paper plates, and greeting cards are all available for your party needs, too!


8.  Ambiance: It’s a darling little shop filled with sunlight and sugary aromas.  Stepping inside feels familiar even though I’ve never been before.  No place to sit though (bummer),  so you do need to plan on eating elsewhere.   May I suggest your car?  Because it’s just wrong to wait more than a minute to eat these rock star baked goods.


9. Service:  Excellent!  I loved how friendly/down-to-earth/easy-going the staff was.

10.  Three words to describe the PIECE OF CAKE experience:

1)  Darling 2) Sunny 3) Delicious
Piece of Cake on Urbanspoon

Thanks K, for the fun idea and good company!

Sugar Shack, Baby!

24 May

Well the Sugar Shack is a little old place where we can get together – Sugar Shack, bay-beeee!  Sorry, I can’t help but think of the B-52’s classic Love Shack tune when referencing our latest cupcake destination.  Wouldn’t you know it, both the Sugar Shack and the Love Shack are located in Georgia!  Two solid reasons why everyone should move to Georgia – ’cause that’s where it’s at!  🙂

So after Steve and I got our ducks in a row this weekend (after encountering these obstacles), we arrived at Sugar Shack late Sunday afternoon.  And, we’ve got another vlog that will (hopefully!) sum up our outing.  We did encounter one more obstacle, though.  Once we got home from Sugar Shack, we discovered that one of our video clips didn’t download – it mysteriously disappeared.  Drat! I’m still pretty bummed because it was a critical transitional piece.  Thanks for bearing with us here as we learn, and mess up, and grow, mess up some more, and then get really awesome.  Roll tape!

We really enjoyed our experience at Sugar Shack, and got a kick out of all their creative flavors (I counted 41 varieties on their menu, and spotted about 30 in the display case).  Plus, with each of our four cupcakes being filled, I feel like we really got our moneys worth.  Each frosting/topping was creamy and not overly sweet.  The cakes were soft, but not spongy soft.  It was more like a crumbly soft…but not cupcake blanket soft.

One thing the vanished clip included was a shot and description of the cupcake counter, that I was especially excited to share with reader Nessa.  I promise I’ll secure that footage during our next outing, but I do have a photo to offer as a consolation:

And now, the breakdown

Sugar Shack / 4058 Peachtree Rd. Atlanta, GA / http://www.sugarshackatlanta.com

1. Price:  $2.50 each / buy 11, get one free

2. Room temperature:  Nope, they’re kept in a cold case.  But they weren’t super cold, so that was good.

3.  Size:  Standard

4. Vegan or gluten-free options:  They had a gluten-free chocolate cupcake available on the day of our visit.

5. To-go packaging:  Oh, shoot.  We ate ours on the spot, and I didn’t happen to notice the to-go packaging behind the counter.  Sorry folks!

6. Milk for sale?:  Yes!  You can also scan their tea menu (yup, a whole menu devoted to tea!), or slurp on coffee, hot chocolate, espresso, Boylan’s natural sodas, sparkling water, Coke/Diet Coke, orange juice – no shortage on beverage offerings here!

7.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow:  Tons!  Soups, sandwiches, salads, cookies, brownies, cheesecake, pies, cake, muffins.  All of that is bound to make everyone happy!

8.  Ambiance: It may be full of sugar, but shack it is not.  Sugar Shack is charming!  Fun (but not too loud) music playing, lots of natural light, playful chalkboard menus, plenty of indoor seating on cool retro, aluminum chairs – all lending to a solid cozy factor.  There’s also abundant outdoor seating, where you can join in on the lively atmosphere that is Brookhaven Station.

9. Service:  Sweet!  We definitely felt welcomed at Sugar Shack.  The place was clean and sparkly, and we were well taken care of.

10.  Three words to describe the Sugar Shack experience:

1) Fun 2) Filling 3) Peppy

We didn’t crown a Top 10 cupcake this time around (the Sundae came close), but are happy to now know about Sugar Shack. It’s a cool place that’d I definitely recommend to folks!

Sugar Shack on Urbanspoon

Fancy Mall Cupcakes

29 Jan

This past Sunday, the husband and I set out for Lenox Cupcakes.  I knew it was in Buckhead, on Peachtree Street, in a mall.  You’d think it’d be in Lenox Square mall but then you’d be wrong…just like we were.  Standing in front of the Lenox Square directory, not seeing “Lenox Cupcakes” on the map, I winced.  But Steve handled my oversight quite well.  We got back in the car and drove the 0.3 miles over to Phipps Plaza.  At least we weren’t that far off 🙂

Phipps Plaza is kind of fancy, folks!  It has a Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Tiffany & Co, etc.  Here some interesting scoop I came across…

~Phipps Plaza was named a “Southern Best” in Southern Living magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

~It opened as Atlanta’s first multi-level mall in 1969 (with Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor as the original anchors).

~Celebs like Usher, Elton John, and Janet Jackson have been spotted here.

Stroll down the “spacious promenades” and through the “grand interior courts” (Frommers.com), up to the second floor and you’ll find Lenox Cupcakes (just outside of Belk)! 

When we arrived, there were 11 flavors to choose from in their cupcake counter/case.  And I must say, these cupcakes were beautiful!  The icing technique on each one was impeccable.  Have you ever known a woman whose hair is always perfectly coiffed and makeup to the nines always perfectly applied?  That’s what these cupcakes make me think of.

After about 10 minutes, we finally decided on the following three cupcakes:

~Sunny Lemon: Lemon cupcake with “zesty lemony” buttercream

~Carrot Cake: Carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting

~PB Chocolate: Valrhona dark chocolate cupcake w/peanut butter frosting and chocolate fudge drizzle.

We got ours to go and enjoyed the feasting at home.  Here’s a quick summary: 

~Lenox does not skimp on frosting!  If anything, and I can’t believe I’m about to say something like this….but, I think there was too much frosting!   There was actually frosting left on my plate, which usually never happens.  Plus, the frosting is sweeeeee-eeeet!  Almost like eating a spoonful of straight up powdered sugar.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all this like it’s a bad thing ’cause some people like their frosting super sweet and an unbalanced frosting/cake ratio. 

The Sunny Lemon wasn’t all that “zesty”.  It was the most tame zesty I’ve ever had.  I personally like my lemon cupcakes to be on the light and fluffy side (as well as zesty), and this one is pretty dense.  Dense cake and thick frosting.

~The carrot cake was yummy.  A good amount of raisins throughout the spongy cake, and a sweet cream cheese frosting.

~The PB Chocolate was ok.  Again, kind of heavy.  Not overly peanut buttery.

That’s all I got!  Let’s break it down now…

Lenox Cupcakes / Phipps Plaza – 3500 Peachtree Rd. Atlanta, GA / www.lenoxcupcakes.com

  1. Price:  $2.75 each / $15 half dozen / $28 dozen

2. Room temperature:  Affirmative

3.  Size:  Standard

4. Vegan or gluten-free options:   None to be found on the (online) menu.

5. To-go packaging:  Individual, white cardboard boxes.  Cute logo sticker on top.

6. Milk for sale?:   Negative.  Bottles of water, Coke, and Diet Coke were on hand though.

7.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow:   Well, if the non-cupcake enthusiasts you have in tow happen to like cupcake-themed merchandise, then you guys are in luck!  One side of the store is kind of like a gift shop where you can find things like cupcake shaped bath fizzes, t-shirts, fancy cupcake wrappers, candles, cupcake containers, etc.

8.  Ambiance:  This one is tricky to describe.  It’s cute – with their pretty pink and brown boxes piled here and there; cupcakes stands and towers scattered about; warm, hardwood floors; and dry stacked stone veneer walls.   I’m not sure if it was the lighting, the stone veneer walls, the windows you couldn’t see through or what, but I kind of felt like I was on a movie set.  Like in Pleasantville or Truman Show.  Maybe if they had some music playing, experimented with the lighting a bit, scattered some fresh flowers or plants it would eliminate that sensation (for me, at least).  They do have a small table to sit at if you wanted to eat your cupcakes right away.

9. Service:  Very pleasant. Informative and patient staff.  Clean and tidy space.  BONUS points for samples on hand, gotta love those!

In summary, we didn’t find a Top 10 candidate here.  BUT! If you have a special event coming up and want some pretty desserts to wow and serve your guests, I would say Lenox Cupcakes fits the bill.  Plus, they have mini cupcakes on the menu and those are always fun for parties, too!

Lenox Cupcakes on Urbanspoon