Guest Post: Second-Favorite Bakery in the Kansas City Suburbs | Smallcakes: A Cupcakery | Overland Park and Olathe, Kansas

We are excited to share this guest post from fellow cupcake addict Kim of kimberlyloc.com. Every Tuesday for the month of November, check out Kim’s guest posts as she names her top five favorite cupcakeries the Kansas City suburbs. Visit kimberlyloc.com every Tuesday in November to see our top five picks for our favorite cupcake shops in Baltimore City.

I live way too close to some really great cupcakeries. It takes a lot of willpower to not frequent them every single night, but this past weekend, I visited Smallcakes three days in a row to try some new flavors from my second-favorite cupcakery in the Kansas City suburbs.

And of course, on each of those three visits (two to the Overland Park location and one to the Olathe location), the same girl helped me — and recognized me — each time.

Busted.

But that’s not a bad thing. As one of the most popular cupcakeries in the area, Smallcakes loves its fans and regularly celebrates them with free cupcake giveaways via Facebook and Twitter.

Smallcakes usually has a phrase of the day, advertised via social networks, for people to whisper to the cupcake counter worker, usually reserved for the first 10 customers of the day, for a free cupcake.

While I’ve never been able to make it in time to win one of these, I have unlocked a free cupcake via Foursquare; that coupled with Smallcakes’ always-evolving, delicious menu keeps me coming back for more. (Check out some of my past favorites from Smallcakes.)


(Photo Courtesy of KimberlyLoc.com)

Smallcakes isn’t a fancy cupcakery. The Overland Park and Olathe shops are strikingly simple — cupcakes, chairs and tables, pink and brown decor — and filled with pretty, familiar cupcakes in the display case. Red Velvet, Lemon and Vanilla-n-Chocolate anchor the everyday cupcake lineup. Creative creations, such as Pumpkin, Caramel Apple and Hostess, catch your eye.


(Why have pumpkin pie when you can have pumpkin cupcakes? The cake was moist yet fluffy and the frosting had a balanced sweetness to it. Photo Courtesy of KimberlyLoc.com)


(The best thing about autumn is the arrival of caramel apple everything in candy and dessert shops. Caramel apple cupcakes are a little easier on your teeth — light caramel frosting doesn’t get stuck! I loved the bit of apple on top of this cupcake as well as the delicious caramel frosting and peanuts. The cake was great — very light and fluffy — and I could have easily had seconds of this one! Photo Courtesy of KimberlyLoc.com)


(I tend to stay away from Hostess-inspired cupcakes (ew), but the description and look of this one was too good to pass up: Rich chocolate cake filled with buttercream and topped with fudge icing and a squiggle of buttercream. Yes please. Photo Courtesy of KimberlyLoc.com)


(The hostess cupcake let me down in the filling department, but everything else about it was fantastic. Moist cake, rich frosting, pinch of buttercream — but to me, a Hostess-inspired cupcake should be all about the filling! Photo Courtesy of KimberlyLoc.com)

In addition to catching your eye with gorgeous, creative cupcakes, something else that may pique your interest is Smallcakes’ claim to fame. Cupcakery owner Jeff Martin appeared on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” and “The View,” where Whoopi Goldberg named his cupcakes some of her favorites. Besides those two big breaks, Smallcakes saw 15 more minutes of fame during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, where celebrities (and probably pseudo-celebs like Snooki) got to taste Smallcakes’ Hot Fudge Sundae (one of my faves!), Cookies-n-Cream and Red Velvet cupcakes.

Smallcakes has three locations within the Kansas City metro area: Overland Park, Kansas; Olathe, Kansas; and Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The most exciting thing about this shop’s success is it’s national expansion. For Atlanta-area cupcake lovers, visit Smallcakes in the Buckhead area. For Baltimore-area cupcake lovers, what are you waiting for? Bring Smallcakes to your ‘hood! :)

Check back next Tuesday for the final installment of my top five favorite cupcakeries in the KC suburbs…see who I chose for the coveted No. 1 spot, which narrowly beat Smallcakes!

What are some of your favorite creative cupcake flavors? What do you think about local cupcakeries expanding and offering franchises? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

- Review by Guest Crusader, Kim of kimberlyloc.com

Guest Post: Fifth-Favorite Bakery in the Kansas City Suburbs | Best Regards Bakery | Overland Park, Kansas

We are excited to share this guest post from fellow cupcake addict Kim of Kimberlyloc.com. Every Tuesday for the month of November, check out Kim’s guest posts as she names her top five favorite cupcakeries the Kansas City suburbs. Visit Kimberlyloc.com every Tuesday in November to see our top five picks for our favorite cupcake shops in Baltimore City.

Kansas City is known as the “City of Fountains,” but pretty soon, KC and the surrounding suburbs could become know as the “City of Cupcakeries.”

When the Cupcake Crusaders and I decided to guest post about our favorite cupcakeries in our respective areas, I bit off more than I could chew. My Kansas City cupcake hit list grew to more than 20 bakeries, mobile units and traditional cupcakeries that I knew I would need a little more time (and some bigger elastic waist pants) to eat my way through all this frosting and cake.

Because I live in the KC suburbs (hello, Overland Park!), I thought it’d make sense to name my top five suburban cupcakes to narrow it down a bit.

The basis of my very-scientific methodology stems from reviewing only cupcake shops that call the suburbs of Overland Park, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe and Prairie Village, Kansas, home. That means that if the shop’s original location is in Kansas City proper, and then opened up another shop outside of KC, the cupcakery was denoted as “Kansas City” and was not included in this lineup.

Number five in my lineup, Best Regards Bakery in Overland Park, Kansas, is tucked away at 119th and Glenwood, just west of the massive Cheesecake Factory and Whole Foods Market.

A traditional bakery serving fresh-made breads, breakfast pastries, cookies and cupcakes, Best Regards’ main focus isn’t on its cupcakes — which is a shame, because the little cakes I tried were tasty, but there’s a little bit of room for improvement that could really take this local bakery to the next level in the competitive Kansas City-area cupcake market.

Though Best Regards offers about 10 different cupcake flavors a day, I chose to sample a few traditional flavors — chocolate decadence and red velvet — in addition to the rockstar raspberry limoncello that made Best Regards’ own “Top 5 Goodies” list.

At the shop, I dug in to the chocolate decadence cupcake, a chocolate cake topped with a dreamy chocolate frosting made from high-quality European cocoa and a few chocolate chips.


(Chocolate Decadence. Photo courtesy Kimberlyloc.com)

For a frosting fanatic like myself, I can attest to the deliciousness of the icing on this cupcake. It was smooth, velvety and rich — yet not overpowering — and really made the chocolate decadence cupcake a gem. The cake, however, was a tad bit dry. Nothing that a glass of milk couldn’t help, but I think the amazing frosting on this cake seriously made me consider Best Regards Bakery for my top five list.

The next cupcake I sampled, the time-honored red velvet, had a reverse problem from the chocolate decadence cupcake. While the cake was extremely moist, the frosting was so sugary sweet (and I’m addicted to sugar) that it was just too overpowering for even my taste buds to handle.


(Red Velvet. Photo courtesy Kimberlyloc.com)

I’d be willing to give this red velvet another shot if the sugar content of the frosting tones down so that the cream cheese can really shine through — and those sprinkles can stay, too.

After sampling two just-fine cupcakes with minor, easily fixable issues, I moved on to the much-anticipated raspberry limoncello cupcake. This sweet and sour cupcake reminds me of sunny summer days and fresh fruit from the farmer’s market.


(Raspberry Limoncello. Photo courtesy Kimberlyloc.com)

If the frosting from the chocolate decadence cupcake is what made me put Best Regards into my “to consider” slot, the raspberry limoncello cupcake is what secured the bakery a slot on my top five list.

The combination of perfectly moist tangy, tart lemon cake with a dollop of slightly sweet raspberry frosting had me smacking my lips and scraping the bottom of the cupcake wrapper for every last bit. The lemony cake, made with real lemon juice, tasted like summer. I imagined fresh-squeezed lemonade and sugar cubes when I bit into this cupcake. The raspberry frosting added a subtle sweetness to really balance out the tart cake. Bonus points for the dash of glitter on the frosting

How do you judge the perfect cupcake? Are you a frosting freak? A cake connoisseur? Tell me what makes or breaks a cupcake and a bakery in the comments section.