Smallcakes: A Cupcakery
Smallcakes: A Cupcakery
Smallcakes Cupcake & Creamery
3054 N Greenview Ave.
There are certain foods in life that can't help but make people happy. Or at least, can't help but fill me with happiness. Donuts for example...pizza, big juicy berries, pasta, macarons, cupcakes. Cupcakes are definitely one. The thing about cupcakes is they can be totally self indulgent. You can get one, a small piece of happiness, just for you, and that's OK. It's not selfish because it's a cupcake, and their very being is a personal size cake! Or you can pick up a bunch to share the happiness around. And either decision is always a great one.
With its bright colors and sugar filled atmosphere, franchise Smallcakes is a happy place. Besides bright cupcakes in fun and unique flavors, they also have ice cream, shakes, and cookies. (There's also a little doggie cupcake available for that special pooch in your life!) There are locations in Naperville, South Naperville, and Lakeview, which also happens to be in my 'hood. I am immediately greeted by manager Brittany, whose T-shirt proclaims "Real Men Eat Cupcakes." I couldn't agree more.
"Today I'm going to make you a Cupcake Smash," she says. Cupcake smash? I have no idea what that is, but please, tell me more! "It's a cupcake cut in half with ice cream in the middle like a shake."
Uh...YES PLEASE. But before I dig in on the treats, I ask Brittany a few interview questions:
Those cupcakes looks so delicious! In your opinion, what makes Smallcakes really stand out among other cupcake shops?
Everything here is made fresh here in the morning. We make all of our items from scratch: cupcakes, ice cream, cookies. We have a new flavor everyday!
Is that a doggie cupcake with the milk bone? It’s so cute!
Yes! It's our carrot cake with a peanut butter frosting, and the mini milk bone on top! Technically humans can eat it too!
I didn’t know you had cookies as well!
We use them in our ice cream sandwiches. We also have cupcake milkshakes, and the cupcake smash, which is the cupcake with ice cream in the middle.
What are some of the flavors that have stood out, or some of your favorites?
Rainbow sherbert was one of my favorites. Kentucky bourbon was another, s'mores, and cannoli. Those had a mini cannoli on top!
If you were a cupcake flavor, what would you be and why?
I'd be red velvet, it's a classic times ten and super fresh!
What are some of the strangest custom orders you’ve had here at Smallcakes?
Well nothing too crazy, but we did have a mother whose daughter liked the cotton candy cupcake so much, we made some of the cotton candy frosting to-go for her to put on her birthday cake.
What is your favorite thing about working at Smallcakes?
It's exciting to see how happy people are to see cupcakes, we're well-known here in Lakeview. Cupcakes make people happy!
Yes, the definitely do! Any last words?
Real men eat cupcakes!
My friend and I then try two of the Cupcake Smashes: hot fudge cupcake with cake batter ice cream, and the fruity pebbles cupcake with strawberry ice cream. My friend laughs at how wide my eyes get as Brittany sets them on the table: these things are huge! And mine! All mine...! Oh, right I'm supposed to be sharing.
The ice cream is very creamy, and I particularly like the fresh taste of the strawberry. The Hot Fudge Sundae cupcake is super decadent, and the cupcake is soft and moist. Cake batter is one of my favorite ice cream flavors, so I surprise myself by liking the Fruity Pebbles Smash the best. Maybe because it reminds me of putting back bowls of Fruity Pebbles as a kid and then running around the house in a sugar-induced rush like a maniac. Although it's hard to pick out exactly what flavors you want in your smash, I really like that there are so many options. When you're in the mood for something colorful, sweet, and completely indulgent, these would be a really fun choice! They definitely make the little kid in me smile with happiness. :)
I am unable to finish an entire Smash. For me, personally, I guess these would be better for sharing after all. Brittany laughs and informs me she's seen little kids eat an entire Smash in one sitting. (And then run around the shop in a sugar-induced rush like a little maniac.)
On to the cupcakes! We bring home a box of various flavors to give a try. The majority of them kept for two days, by the way. By day two (of what was left) the Wedding Cake flavor was dry, but other than that they still tasted pretty good.
The first note I have is that these cupcakes are SWEET! They are very, VERY sweet. I put down my fork in sugar filled defeat until my friend points out that normal people do not attempt to taste an entire box in one go. ...Right. Haha.
Some flavor notes:
Pink Vanilla: My favorite and probably the simplest of the cupcakes in the box. I am a huge vanilla cake fan, and this cupcake was great. I think I was also partial to the large dollop of pink buttercream with the sugar sparkles, so cute! Very good.
Pink Chocolate: Same as pink vanilla frosting wise, again the cake batter is moist and delicious. I am more of a vanilla person myself, but I think any chocolate cake fan would be happy with these!
Lemon Drop: The lemon zest brought out a nice highlight in the flavor. I love lemon anything and this was the only cupcake I ate it its entirety.
Caramel Crunch: I had a love hate with this flavor. I loved it because it was so, so good, and I love chocolate-pretzel anything. However it was also SO, so sweet, almost too much for me. I could only eat a bite or two before giving up.
Carrot Cake: This is the same flavor as the doggie cupcake! I like the cream cheese frosting. this cupcake is definitely more dense and heavy than the others, but was also one of my favorites.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake: This was one of the flavor specials and also a favorite. I really liked how light and fluffy this cupcake seemed, the pineapple flavor was sunny and delicious.
Thank you Smallcakes for letting me stop by!