Our reader Laurel in Chicago just sent us this note, and in Gawker Stalker style, we're going to post it in full. We tend to link to and hype bakeries that exclusively sell cupcakes or focus on them, but there are also plenty of full-service bakeries offering up extremely yummy cupcakes. If you have tips like this, do let us know at cupcakestakethecake at yahoo.com - and if you're Lovely Bake Shop, send us some photos of your cupcakes!
As a cupcake connoisseur, I feel that I may have found the best cupcake in Chicago! (actually, I have found a couple of great ones!) So I thought that you girls should know about them, should you ever decide to come to the vast and beautiful Midwest. Whenever I go anywhere and they have a cupcake, whether it be coffee shop or gourmet bakery, I get it. This has lead to some supreme disappointment and a couple of epic experiences. Just recently I discovered what is the best cupcake in Chicago at Lovely - a Bake Shop www.lovelybakeshop.com. Their chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting is TO. DIE. FOR. They also have vanilla and carrot cake cupcakes regularly which are both quite nice and if you are lucky enough to be there on the day that they have a chocolate and marshmallow cupcake, it is something not to be missed. Saying all that, however, the chocolate cupcake is literally probably the best cupcake I have ever eaten - and being a cupcake connoisseur, I have eaten quite a few! What makes it so great? Well for starters, this is no wimpy cake - it is dense and dark and moist and well.....unlike nearly any other that I have ever tried. It is extremely dark chocolate and not too sweet. It has a neat denseness and moistness that is usually not found in cupcakes which tend, for the most part, to end up dry and crumbly! I was talking to one of the gals that work at the shop and she mentioned that the cake itself is vegan - who knew that vegan could be this delicious? But of course, once you add the cloud of frosting which is resting on this heavenly cake, it ceases to be vegan. The frosting seems to be almost a mix of butter cream and whipped cream it is so light. It is a wonderful, not too sweet, not too heavy, just plain wonderful, real vanilla frosting (with actual vanilla visible!) which contrasts so well with the dense, dark, decadence of the cake. Really, I feel like I have to spread the word on this place - not only because I enjoy the lovely cupcake (for only 2.50 or so) but also because the girls that own the place and their staff are just about the sweetest, most laid-back, cool people ever! And they are not paying me to say that either. In fact, I only just went there for the first time three weeks ago and have quickly become a regular. I also keep buying the cupcakes for friends - they are like that good book that you think everyone should read so you buy it for everyone you know - these cupcakes are my "Franny and Zooey" (Salinger, of course!) classic, perfectly executed, no random filler, only the essential info/flavor, a standard which others must strive, and great every time you revisit them.
Time Out Chicago
Lovely Bake Shop on MySpace