Category Archives: red velvet cupcake report
I faced a sugary onslaught of red velvet cupcakes this week, from my office birthday treat (Goddess and Grocer, holla!) to this awesome RVC transported to Chicago by hand from Los Angeles-based Toast Bakery and Cafe. My friend Daphne, who’s constantly jet-setting between LA and Chicago, insisted I try one from the bustling cafe/bakery and kindly included me on the list of friends who get in on the stash she brings back to the Windy City after each trip. Four-hours at 35,000 feet and one and half days later, the RVC was still delicious with a cream cheese frosting that leaned more towards buttercream-sweet, and balanced perfectly with the moist, dense cake topped what I think were red velvet cake crumbs (the bakery does a red velvet cake that sells out daily and a blue velvet cupcake!). Neatly packed in a Chinese take-out box, it made it back with hardly a dent, thick generous spread of sweet frosting still in tact. From Cleveland’s A Cookie and a Cupcake to the RVC at the Milwaukee Public Market, hit me up if there’s another RVC anyone’s experienced in Chicago or beyond. Toast Bakery and Cafe, 8221 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, 323.655.5018
I know, I know, I’ve been failing at keeping up with my red velvet cupcake report as of late, and I’m especially bummed that I never got to try the velvety treat at Cupcakes, which recently closed. I am still waiting on the L.A.-based Sprinkles to make an appearance, and have yet to try Swirlz, Molly’s, and Chaos Theory Cakes. I did notice that Starbucks just launched a red velvet I have yet to try, and um, has anyone else noticed the red velvet whoopie pie at Fox & Obel? I gave those a try a while back, and I have to say I actually prefer Fox & Obel’s actual red velvet cupcake over the ultra-sweet and dense whoopie pie incarnation. However, it does get points for novelty. Anyone spot any other RVCs I should know about?
While I don’t think I could tire of writing about Chicago’s food scene, I do plan to take Elizabites on the road when I travel. I had to hit up lovely Cleveland for a work conference last week, and somehow had a moment to stumble upon a very cute cupcake shop called A Cookie and a Cupcake. Syndee Klingenberg and Wendy Thompson, two former pastry chefs from Cleveland’s famous Dante restaurant, opened the tiny pink spot just a couple of weeks before. I saw way more cupcakes than cookies, but maybe that’s because I was paying more attention to the classic flavors from lemon to carrot, as well as creative varieties like PB lovers (chocolate cake, peanut butter crunch, and peanut butter buttercream) and the Grasshopper (chocolate chip cake with mint buttercream). I had to wait 20 minutes for the fresh batch to cool off, but I fell in love with the red velvets, first with the sweet cream cheese frosting and then with the dusting of dehydrated raspberry powder on top. The pastry chefs make gorgeous wedding cakes as well, great custom cupcakes and win the award for cutest logo. 2173 Professor Ave., Cleveland, Ohio, 216.344.9433
Sweet Mandy B’s in Lincoln Park is known for their cupcakes, but I always found their vanilla and chocolate to be overly sweet and birthday-cakey. Don’t ask me what I mean by that. Anyway, I was finally able to try the red velvets today and ladies and gentleman, we may have a new Chicago winner. I was licking the sweet cream cheese frosting from the box after the thing tipped over on the drive home, and loved how top of the cupcake is oversized and a bit more baked while the rest remains perfectly fluffy, moist and rich. I’m into the label and old-school bakery vibe, but the cupcake container is on the flimsy side and kept popping open. Either way, we have a new winner, but I do have Swirlz, Cupcakes and many others still on the red velvet radar. 1208 W. Webster, 773.244.1174
OK, unoriginal title, but I mean it. I got to check out More cupcakes and was drooling over the bacon, maple and brown sugar and the pink grapefruit. Yes, those are flavors, along with an array of 50 rotating sweet and savory varieties, including salted caramel, madras curry, and of course red velvet. I got to try a mini version of the gem and was in love, mostly with the light, almost whipped cream cheese frosting. I’ll be back to try the full-size version soon. But a new favorite cupcake may be The MORE; chocolate with marshmallow filling à la classic Hostess. Get More when they open September 12. 1 E. Delaware, 312.951.0001.
In an attempt to cross a few more cupcakes off my list, I tried to hit up both Swirlz and Cupcakes over the weekend, only to find them both closed on Sundays! Can anyone explain that? Sweet Mandy B’s (1208 W. Webster, 773.244.1174) was open, but they were out of the RVC. We happily resorted to the Goddess and Grocer, which still reigns in the hunt for the best RVC in Chicago. Any other suggestions?
Tired of red velvet cupcakes yet? Me neither! So the RVC at Twisted Sister Bakery in Old Town scored some major points last night. Not only because they’re perfectly moist and not too dense, but each one is topped-to-order with freshly made cream cheese frosting. 1543 N. Wells St., 312.932.1128