Mad Hatter Cupcakes
Mad About Vanilla – Vanilla Cake, Vanilla Filling, Vanilla Frosting
Snickerdoodle – Cinnamon and Vanilla Cake, Vanilla Frosting, Cinnamon Sugar
Wascally Wabbit – Carrot Cake, Orange Filling, Cream Cheese Frosting
Classic Red Velvet – Red Velvet Cake, Vanilla Filling, Cream Cheese Frosting
Located on Grand Canyon Parkway though not particularly easy to spot from the street it was the good word of mouth from a trusted source that led me to Page Pszanowski’s Mad Hatter Cupcakes and putting a made-to-order spin on the tried-and-true trend the results were nearly as smile inducing as the cutesy décor. Small and narrow with a few seats stashed beneath the Wonderland inspired theme a visit to Mad Hatter begins with greetings from the smiling staff and with several cakes, fillings, frostings, and toppings from which to build the options expand by exponentials; each sizable cake dressed while you wait for a mere $3 with discounts for orders of a half-dozen or more. Opting to stick with “Mad About Favorite Flavors” rather than getting too creative it was to a quartet of cakes that my order led and beginning with the most simple of options I was immediately impressed as natural aromatics flooded the palate first from smooth vanilla and then with poignant cinnamon, both beneath soft buttercream and a decorative cookie. Moving next to a duo of favorites it was unfortunately in the carrot cake that the bakers would stumble as a citrus center did nothing for the underspiced cake but with thick cream cheese frosting applied liberally as a saving grace the tasting quickly recovered with rich red velvet, the ample cocoa notes finding a suitable foil in vanilla top notes and a tangy finish all the better alongside a cup of good coffee.
THREE AND A HALF STARS: Presenting a creative approach to a ‘tried’ trend Mad Hatter offers a bit of whimsy and plenty of personalization to those so inclined. Clearly excelling in the basics while falling a bit flat in the carrot cake I’d be intrigued to taste the banana or coffee options to see if they trend more natural than the decidedly artificial orange but for those looking for a classic the Red Velvet and Vanilla here are bigger and $1 cheaper than those at Sprinkles without the hassles of The Strip.
RECOMMENDED: Classic flavors shine and both buttercream and cream cheese are reference standard.
AVOID: Carrot Cake was too light, both in texture and in spicing.
TIP: Open at ten o’clock seven-days a week and baking fresh throughout the day those interested in something smaller or larger such as mini-cupcakes or more ornate event-cakes should call in advance as a wide variety of styles and prices are available.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor