Through hockey, school, family and personal vacations, I have travelled to quite a few places in North America and I usually always make sure to stop by the local bakery or dessert shop to try a cupcake or two, or three, ahhhh who am I kidding, half dozen, for sure!!! I mean I have to try all the top flavors. In my travels, I have come across some unreal cupcakes as well as some pretty standard cupcakes. In my opinion, there are a handful of key elements that I look for in a cupcake.
For starters, the ICING!!! I have tried many different icing flavors and for the most part, most bakeshops seem to have very good icing. The first thing I look for is the consistency of the icing. Is the icing light? Is it soft? Is there enough? Is there too much? For me the perfect icing is light and has a fluffy quality to it that gives you a melt in your mouth sensation. I dislike bakeshops that have icing that is on the harder side and gives more of a crumbly feeling.
Crave and what truly sets it apart from any other cupcake, is the cake itself. If you ever get the chance to try one, I guarantee that you will come back for more.Next and probably the most underrated part of the cupcake is the cake itself. In my eyes, it is the best part of the cupcake and the key element that can make or break a cupcake. Very similar to defensemen in hockey, the underrated key elements that make or break a team, haha! Again, here you don’t want the cake to feel dry and crumbly. I prefer the cake to compliment the icing, so it should be light, fluffy and moist. Back home in Calgary, the best cupcake shop is
Lastly, SIZE!! And just as the ladies would say, size does matter! But here, bigger doesn’t always mean better. Cupcakes are hand held desserts and if made too big can be messy to eat and possibly ruin the experience. In regards to the icing, there should be enough on top that you get a little bit on your nose, but not so much where it ends up by your ears or worse, spills on the shirt.
Locally, I have tried Crumbs, Sprinkles, Molly’s, Sweet Mandy B’s, and Magnolia’s. Crumbs is pretty solid. Sometimes I find that you have to let their cupcakes warm up to room temperature, because they tend to crumble. I found Sprinkles overrated. The icing is average and the cupcakes are too small. Molly’s, Sweet Mandy B’s, and Magnolia’s are probably the best that I have tried here in Chicago. All three have great cake with equally delicious icing. The Ultimate Cupcake still belongs to CRAVE bakeshop (@craveYYC), located In Calgary.
Anyways, as you can tell I take my cupcakes seriously!! Feel free to send me your thoughts on local cupcake shops that I should try!! (@25maddog) I’m also on the hunt for the top dessert in the Chicago area, so send me your top spots.