Category Archives: red velvet cupcake report

And up-to-the-minute report on the best red velvet cupcakes in town.

Sweet on Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery

Valentine’s Day cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery

Whether you’ve got a honey or not, you gotta love Valentine’s Day for the sheer abundance of sweets that seem to find their way to your desk (OK, maybe it’s just my desk at Plate). If you’re looking for a last-minute gift, or want to show yourself some love. Here are my current favorite Chicago sweets in no particular order.
1) Goddess and Grocer red velvet cupcakes. I have always had a weak spot for red velvet, well anything, but the cupcakes here have some sort of hypnotic hold on me.
2). Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, too, but mostly it’s the banana pudding here that rocks my world, as well as the old-school bakery vibe, flourless chocolate cake and more.
3). Speaking of banana pudding, I’m also currently in love with the banana pudding dessert at Fat Rice. I can’t explain its deliciousness, just get it.
4). Key lime pie at Shaw’s. Their two-bite desserts are the perfect guilt-free indulgence.
5). Chocolate chess pie at Hoosier Mama..holy yum.
6). Crème brûlée doughnut from Glazed and Infused. Imagine the crackly shell of crème brûlée over a vanilla doughnut with creamy vanilla curd on the inside. It’s completely redic.
7). The mocha panna cotta from Balena, a explosion of chocolate, banana, hazelnut crunch and brownie.
8). Asparagus flan at Macku…sounds gross, is truly divine. An oldie but a goodie.
9). Sea salt brownie bites at Trader Joe’s. OK, sea salt/chocolate anything.
10). 75% dark chocolate bars of any brand, kind or shape.

Share in the comments what sweet treat you’ll be sharing with your boo, or indulging in solo…



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Magnolia Bakery

Sure, everyone knows that NYC-based Magnolia Bakery (which landed in the Windy City’s Block 37 early fall) is all about the line-around-the-block-wait-worthy cupcakes, but what about mini red velvet cheesecake, old-fashioned ice box cake and the famous banana pudding? Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of Devil’s food cake cupcakes with meringue icing, but within the pastel-hued old-school bakery confines of this bakery are so many other sweet treats…and espresso to boot, it’s worth a stop before your next holiday shindig. Magnolia Bakery, 108 N. State Street.

Devil's food cupcakes with meringue icing

Hannukah cupcakes...who knew?

Chocolate cookies

Banana pudding and red velvet cheesecake

Ice box cake

Mini cheesecakes

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Guest blog post: JenyLee CupCakery

Last Friday night I attended my friend’s birthday party where his fiance surprised him on stage of the show she was performing in with a song, and a cupcake topped with a plastic Superman ring and a lit candle. Yes, we are talking about a 37-year-old man, but it wasn’t the superhero theme of it all I was hating on, it was the store-bought cupcake. Dry, crumbly, bland, almost cornmeal-y, with sticky strangely red frosting.. we all unfortunately got one. Luckily our own superhero accessory on top saved the day (I rocked my Spidey ring for the rest of the night). But it reminded me of two things: one, that that no matter their age, guys will always be obsessed with Superheroes, and two… that I hadn’t had a good cupcake in far too when Amber Gibson decided to blog about Naperville-based JenyLee CupCakery for her second guest post..I was thrilled…and even more so that she did her post interview-style… and cool is the word “cupcakery”?

Hazelnut mocha

“I’m obsessed with cupcakes and I’m kind of a floozy when it comes to Chicago’s cupcake bakeries. I’ll try any and all of them, and if there’s a new flavor, I’ve got to have it too. I never thought much of the suburban cupcake scene though. That is, until I tried my first JenyLee Cupcakery delivery-only cupcake. I was impressed by how moist all of her cakes are and her creative flavors.

Of the cupcakes I sampled, Peanut Butter Candy and Key Lime were my favorite. Key Lime was the perfect ode to the end of summer, while the peanut butter, which I was afraid might be too rich, was just right. Reese’s pieces inside and on top were the perfect touch to this decadent cupcake.

Cherry Chocolate Chip was like Cherry Garcia (my favorite ice cream flavor) in a cupcake and inspired me to do some baking of my own with fresh cherries. Next time, I need to try her Tiramisu, Pistachio and Salted Caramel flavors. Salted Caramel is JenyLee’s flavor of the month, with a portion of the proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Jeny Lee of JenyLee CupCakery

Past life: Project manager at Tellab’s for 13 years

Café du Monde moment: Jeny was inspired by the success of New Orlean’s famous Cafe du Monde, which sells just beignets and coffee. “Why do I have to do cakes? Dinosaurs and Dora? I don’t have to do any of that stuff. I can do what I do best.” Mardi Gras colors also inspired her website.

Milestone: June 2011 marked her one-year anniversary, and JenyLee Cupcakery is still a one-woman show. “ It’s still hard, I’m still at a make or break point. Cash flow is becoming an issue, but I’m going to stick it out as long as I can.”

Brick-and-mortar: While her own bakery is still in the works, you can soon taste JenyLee’s cupcakes at the SciTech Hands On Museum. The perfect solution for those who want to buy just one or two cupcakes as opposed to ordering by the half-dozen.

Favorite Chicago cupcakery: Molly’s Cupcakes. “Molly’s has not failed me ever.”

New flavor: French Toast. “There’ll be maple syrup and bacon. I want to get it out there before anyone steals my idea!”

Peanut butter candy

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Sprinkles love…

Forget the conversation hearts…this is what I’m taking about…Sprinkles’ embraces the high holy day of sweets with flavors like Red Hot Velvet (red velvet cake with spicy cinnamon cream cheese frosting), and Raspberry Chocolate Chip (chocolate chip-studded Belgian dark chocolate cake with raspberry frosting). Valentine or not, it’s not too late to get in line and stock up. Sprinkles, 50 E. Walton, 312.573.1600

Raspberry chocolate chip cupcakes from Sprinkles

Red hot velvet

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Sprinkles Cupcakes…finally

I blogged about the storefront, but the cupcakes behind the sweet façade are here after what seems like a five-plus-year wait. A super-fun opening party allowed us to try an array of favorites? Red velvet (of course), Key lime (only available until Sept. 6), ginger lemon and peanut butter chip…must-try-soons? Summer cherry (you only have until Aug 1!), pumpkin, carrot..hell…pretty much the whole luscious lot. Enjoy a few tasty pics and head over their to support the “trend,” that, um, yeah, I’m not sick of. Sprinkles, 50 E. Walton, 312.573.1600

Sprinkles cupcakes for the tasting

Daily changing, seasonal selections abound

Oh, delish.

Attempt your own at home!


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Sprinkles storefront

So what if it looks like a bird’s-eye view of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, I still kind of like the storefront of the impending Sprinkles cupcake shop on Walton (in the old Sur La Table space). I remember writing about this place years ago, and finally, they are set for a mid-July opening with cupcake flavors like Belgian dark chocolate marshmallow and lemon-blueberry with lemon-cream cheese frosting, frosting shots, drinking chocolates and gluten-free selections. More cupcakes for Chicago? Well, they get points for a cool storefront, so why not? 50 E Walton St.

The Sprinkles storefront, taken from the 900 N. Michigan parking lot


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Molly’s Cupcakes

The Ron's as ridiculous as it looks

The Ron's as ridiculous as it looks

I know what you’re thinking. Besides, “holy crap does that look amazing,” you’re also all, “elizabites, did you ever meet a cupcake you didn’t like?” The answer is yes, I have, but not this one. The Ron Bennington from Molly’s Cupcakes (above) may be the ruin of my red velvet obsession. With a crushed butterscotch topping, chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, and peanut-butter-butterscotch filling I had to have one. I took a photo of the RVC because they were lovely, but had to cash in the calories on this masterpiece. Not only is the chocolate ganache rich, creamy and heavenly, but the moist chocolate cake is actually filled with an intense whipped peanut-butter-butterscotch center filling. It’s just one selection from the “center-filled” cupcake selections which includes tiramisu, nutella, raspberry-blueberry and pastry cream. The place also rocks because you can make your own cupcakes, pairing your cake with your frosting and your toppings. Mini, vegan and classic cupcakes are on the menu, and a portion of all profits are donated to local schools. There’s also board games, vintage lunch boxes and wooden “swing” chairs hanging from chains at the bar. Did I mention the Cookie Monster cupcake with vanilla chocolate chip cake, buttercream frosting, a mint chocolate chip cookie and raw cookie dough center? Didn’t think so. Um red may be going away for a little while… 2536 N. Clark St., 773.883.7220
The RVC looked awesome, but I had to go for the center-filled

The RVC looked awesome, but I had to go for the center-filled

Molly's on Clark

Molly's on Clark


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Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique


Bring on the bliss

I first spotted pastry chef Teresa Ging’s picture perfect Sugar Bliss cupcakes at an event last summer, and couldn’t wait for the boutique to open earlier this year. Located across from Macy’s, it’s definitely more minimalist cupcake “boutique” then bubbie’s kitchen, but the cupcakes still taste fresh and homemade. They feature 5 daily flavors (from orange creamsicle to chocolate cappuccino) and seasonal specials all donning luscious flower petal frosting formations. The beauty of offering mini cupcakes is that you can scarf several varieties and still have room for a few of their signature $1 frosting shots (it’s exactly what it sounds like). I loved the chocolate-peanut butter with moist, airy chocolate cake and an intense peanut butter buttercream frosting I would’ve downed in pint glass over a mere shot. The red velvet won out as well, and I should’ve gotten the full size to experience more of the cream cheese frosting and sweet red velvet cake. Sugar Bliss gets all sweet on Cinco de Mayo this weekend with a dark chocolate cupcake with chocolate cinnamon chile buttercream and a Red Hot topping, available through May 5. 115 N. Wabash, 312.845.9669.

Peanut butter-chocolate bliss

Peanut butter-chocolate bliss


Texas Red Velvets available in full-size, mini and as a cream cheese frosting shot

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