Southern Belle – Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting
Bugsy – Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Kir Royale – Raspberry Cake with Champagne Frosting
El Rolo – Rich Chocolate Cake piped with Dulce de Leche with Chocolate Ganache
Zoolander – Zucchini Cake with pecans, chocolate chips, pineapple and Cream Cheese Frosting
Sweet & Salty – Caramel Cake with Swirled Cream Cheese Frosting, Caramel, Himalayan Pink Salt
Formerly with several locations spread across the valley but recently supplanted on the Strip by Corner Cakes it was a brief meeting that brought me to Lake Meade Boulevard’s “The Cupcakery” and with smiling staff serving up several novel interpretations of their eponymous treat it seems unthinkable to me that anyone would eschew such a place in favor of its abhorrent substitute. Featuring no less than eighteen varieties on my Saturday visit with all selections made in-house of largely organic ingredients, pure butter, and no preservatives each $3.25 creation of owner Pamela Jenkins begins with an impressively moist base featuring light sweetness and a supple crumb before building upward to a variety of frostings, the majority cream cheese, ready to serve the sweet tooth but never to overwhelm – the result a series of balanced bites with subtlety and nuance at the fore, In many ways overwhelming in options given cakes both traditional and trendy it was with the dainty Kir Royale that my tasting began and progressing light to heavy it was next the appropriately titled “Sweet & Salty” that wowed, the pink crystals a textural masterstroke and veritable palate cleanser to slightly under-spiced carrot cake and the inspired chocolate freckled Zoolander instantly rousing memories of Autumn in Ohio. Tasting bites throughout the afternoon interspersed with sips of La Colombe’s Corsica it was perhaps an effect of my coffee predilections that my final two tastes of The Cupcakery would prove most memorable and as good as the prototypical Red Velvet was in delivering light cocoa beneath aggressive tang it was the seasonal “El Rolo” that stole the spotlight, an Amedei-like smokiness to the dark chocolate proving an ample foil to intensely sweet liquid caramel.
FOUR STARS: Excellent quality cupcakes in unique flavors with an eye on balance, texture, and ingredients.
RECOMMENDED: Chocolate anything.
AVOID: Carrot Cake – it is not bad, but in a city where great carrot cakes exist you’d be better off with the Zoolander to satisfy vegetal interests.
TIP: They offer samples at the register and cupcakes on par with Sprinkles for $1 less.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor