The GB Cupcake Crawl
Sometimes I think, there are so many places in Chicago to go get a cupcake. Which establishment has the best product? That was the impetus for the GB Cupcake Crawl. My two eating partners and I set forth to determine the best cupcake in Chicago (according to GB).
As it was a crawl, we picked three locations to test: Sweet Mandy B’s, Molly’s Cupcakes and Cupcakes. Note: We did not include the cupcakes from the Alliance Bakery , Southport Grocery or Letizia’s. This does not mean that they do not have quality cupcakes. We just had to draw the line somewhere before going into a full sugar coma.
Winner of GB Cupcake Crawl: Molly’s Cupcakes
2536 N. Clark (Clark and Deming)
Cost: Mini Cupcake $1, Regular Cupcake $2, Center Filled Cupcake $3.50 – $4.50
Sampling: Tiramisu Cupcake, Pumpkin Spice Cupcake, Key Lime Cupcake
– Cupcakes: The Pumpkin was uber moist, we were giddy with it! The Key Lime had a really complex taste that hit me at different moments. The Tiramisu actually tasted like a real tiramisu. You can also build your own cupcake (genius!), and they offer vegan cupcakes, too. If you’re watching the figure, indulge in a mini cupcake.
– Venue: Kitschy in a good way. There are swings that serve as seats at the counter. And they have board games. The best part of the place was their Sprinkles Station, a place to overload your cupcake with sprinkles.
– Staff: The people who run the place are super relaxed and like talking to their patrons. We chatted about those pesky canvassers who stand at the end of a block asking “Do you have a moment to save the whales?” and “Hi, do you care about impoverished children?”
– Other: They serve Intelligensia coffee. The story of why it’s called Molly’s Cupcakes is really cute (if you go in, you’ll the cards that explain the story). Open late (midnight) on the weekends. The owners give some of the proceeds from the shop to local schools (awwwww!).
– Cupcakes: The frosting was piped on, instead of spread with a spatula. This prevented even distribution of the frosting over the entire top of the cupcake.
Second Place: Sweet Mandy B’s
1208 W. Webster (Webster and Racine)
Sampling: Red Velvet Cupcake with Walnuts and Lemon Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream
– Cupcakes: The icing on the Red Velvet Cupcake was perfect, soft but not too soft. The Lemon Cupcake had sprinkles on the top (!), the taste was of a creamy lemon. They did use a spatula to spread the frosting instead of piping it on, that means a well-coated cupcake.
– Venue: The place is uber cute. There’s space to sit inside at the small tables or outside on the wicker benches.
– Other: They serve a variety of coffee beverages. You can buy their buttercream on the side (someone alert Paula Deen!).
– Cupcakes: The Red Velvet Cupcakes was a tad dry.
– Clientele: Lincoln Park Trixie moms and babies. Lots of ’em.
613 W. Briar (Briar and Barry)
Sampling: Cherry Pineapple Cupcake, Almond Joy Cupcake, Orange Poppyseed Cupcake
– They serve cupcakes.
– Cupcakes: The cake was dry. The flavors weren’t distinctive enough. Even though all three of the cupcakes were supposed to have different flavors of frosting, they tasted the same.
– Staff: The owner was a little bit of a diva when we were there. Having just left our fun times at Molly’s Cupcakes, it was a huge letdown.
– Venue: There’s no where to sit. And there’s no ambiance.