Sunday, November 12, 2006
Cupcakes Competing for Your Taste Buds
Fondue schmondue folks, it appears that cupcakes are the latest dessert craze for local foodies. Surprisingly this is a good thing as bakery after bakery churn out the most amazing cupcakes. I was hoping to write this post after exploring more places (hence the long time between posts) but decided to post as I discover places instead. Hmmm, could be the groundwork for an end-of-the-year fussy eater round-up, and I haven't even visited Tuck's Candy Shop for the season yet...
But I digress.
If it's cupcakes in Boston you want, then Lulu's Bake Shoppe on Hanover Street in the North End is the place to start. If/when I open a bakery someday, Lulu's would be my model - it has the retro look and smell of walking into a kitchen from the 1950s but without the pearls and pretension. It is just downright fun. The owners are happy to chat with you about their goods and, quite frankly, their display warrants much excited comment. This tiny shoppe with little seating (you're getting these cupcakes to go) is filled with rack after rack of cupcakes and other baked goods. Don't miss their signature Lulu cupcake, what the Hostess cupcake aspires to be, or their Red Velvet cupcake. Bring a hearty appetite!
I'd also highly recommend the cupcakes at Zaftigs in Coolidge Corner. Supposedly the owner's wife makes the cupcakes and brings them to the restaurant. You can see them on display at the take-out counter when you walk in. All I can say is WOW - this woman has turned me into a fan of coconut. Definitely try the coconut cupcake, slightly heated. SO incredibly good!
I'd also like to recommend Daniel's Bakery in Brighton Center but unfortunately they have not been open recently. Word on the street is that the owner experienced some health problems over the summer and ownership may change hands, albeit with the same family recipes. Let's hope they come back soon!
Toscanini's also sold cupcakes at one point. I tried them almost a year ago as I was very curious about what a $3 cupcake would taste like. I probably would have been better off getting ice cream, the cupcake just wasn't melt-in-your-mouth fabulous. Obviously things may have changed in the past year.
For a more detailed local round-up, check out this article in the Boston Globe:
Check out the Cupcake!
While tracking down links and images for this post, I ran across the cutest, most cupcake-obsessed blog ever and had to share. These ladies, without a doubt, know their cupcakes.
Cupcakes Take the Cake
Coming soon: a review of a couple of the many bakeries in Chelsea Market in NYC!