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: Third-Favorite Bakery in the Kansas City Suburbs | Sugar Rush | 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.

While I live within walking distance of three cupcakeries, I do spend a lot of time a few miles down the street at my boyfriend’s (aka “the teacher man”) place. His apartment straddles the Overland Park/Olathe, Kansas, line, so it’s not uncommon for me to sometimes hungrily roam about the Olathe strip malls in search of food.

During one recent hunting and gathering session, I found Sugar Rush and was eager to see what the new shop had to offer.


(Sugar Rush is located at 138th and Black Bob in Olathe, Kansas. Photo Courtesy KimberlyLoc.com)

When I walked in, the perfectly frosted cupcakes greeted me. Each cupcake was labeled with an adorably handwritten nameplate, and I was impressed by how many flavor options were available. I chatted with the girl behind the counter and chose four cupcakes to take home and share with the teacher man.


(I ooooed and awwwed over the cupcake display at Sugar Rush. Photo Courtesy KimberlyLoc.com)

Because I’m a die-hard chocoholic, I couldn’t resist trying the Sugar Rush’s triple chocolate cupcake. Rich chocolate cake and milk chocolate frosting topped with chocolate chips made for a triple threat to my taste buds…and boy did my taste buds like it!


(Sugar Rush’s triple chocolate cupcake packs a 1-2-3 punch — in a good way! Photo Courtesy KimberlyLoc.com)

This cupcake rocked. If you’re a chocolate lover, get this cupcake! It’s not overpowering — the different layers of chocolate, from the luscious dark chocolate cake to the smooth, milky chocolate frosting and bits of chocolate chips, give your mouth different flavor sensations instead of chocolate overload. Just make sure you have a tall glass of milk to wash it down.

In between sips of milk (you know, to cleanse the palate), I tested the other cupcakes. I alternated between chocolate-heavy and other cupcakes (yes, in my world, there is “chocolate” and “other” flavors!) so I could fairly judge the chocolates and not go into sugar shock. To balance out the decadence of the triple chocolate, I moved on to the snickerdoodle cupcake, the perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar.


(Swirls of cinnamon and sugar make Sugar Rush’s snickerdoodle cupcake a delight. Photo Courtesy KimberlyLoc.com)

As you can see, this snickerdoodle cupcake is loaded with frosting — which is a bonus to me — but what I think even non-frosting fanatics could like about this cupcake is that the icing is faintly flavored. Yes, the cinnamon and sugar shine through, but it’s not so sickly sweet that you just can’t eat it. It’s a perfect match to the moist, flavorful cinnamon cake and, just to be honest, I’d like to have this for breakfast as often as possible!

If cupcakes for breakfast just aren’t an option (fine!), then how about a cupcake inspired by one of my favorite snacks? I had to get a peanut butter cup cupcake from Sugar Rush because peanut butter and chocolate goes together way better than peanut butter and jelly.


(Nothing beats a cupcake with a piece of candy on top! Photo Courtesy KimberlyLoc.com)

Chocolate cake, whipped peanut butter frosting and a Reese’s on top made this cupcake heavenly. The cake was perfect like the triple chocolate’s. I liked the fluffy consistency of this frosting — how’d they get peanut butter to seem so airy instead of sticky? If you’re a pb&c kind of gal or gent, get this cupcake.

So with three spot-on reviews so far, and no criticism about the cake or frosting, why is Sugar Rush at No. 3 on the list?

Blame the carrot cake.


(Carrot cake is a classic — but this one just didn’t do it for me. Photo Courtesy KimberlyLoc.com)

The girl behind the counter told me that the carrot cake cupcake were great and also lasted a little longer than the other cupcakes (I was taste-testing over the weekend and worried that I’d need to save a cupcake to taste for later, which I didn’t), so I decided to try it.

When I first dove in to the carrot cake cupcake, I was pleasantly surprised by the smooth cream cheese frosting and light carrot flavor. But, something was off about the cake.

Most carrot cakes I’ve had have never had an issue with dryness — and Sugar Rush even said that the carrot cake cupcakes typically last longer — so this just didn’t add up to me. I had a few more bites of cake only, and even throughout the middle of the cake, it was just not as moist as it could have been.

While there is obviously room for improvement here that could eventually catapult Sugar Rush to the top, I think that the one common thread between my No. 2 and No. 1 picks (coming in the next two weeks) is that they are both consistently delicious in all their flavors. Sugar Rush is new, small and family-run, so I think it’s a great accomplishment to begin turning heads so quickly in the competitive KC cupcake business. I’ll definitely be back to get another sampling of the 20-something flavors offered…and yes, I’ll take another test run with the carrot cake.

What classic cupcakes do you always expect consistency from? What makes or breaks it to you when it comes to choosing your favorite cupcakeries? Tell me what you think in the comments section.