My absolute favorite indulgence is cupcakes. Even more so than ice cream, which used to be my one and only until this cultural cupcake craze took over in recent years.
Eating a cupcake (or two) is justified, especially when I’ve gone for a 5-mile training run as I did today
I love them because it’s a little bit of nutritionally forbidden goodness in a (usually) compact package. It’s not a huge slice of cake or pie, accompanied by a mountain of whipped cream. It’s not a cookie that’s the circumference of your head. It’s just the right size of yummy.
There are some places that do make cupcakes huge. Here in Denver, there’s even a place called Big Fat Cupcake. But my go-to place for the best cupcakes in town is Happy Cakes, in the Highlands neighborhood northwest of downtown.
Wouldn’t you agree? Really, any day is a good day.
What’s great about Happy Cakes is the creativity on their menu. They baked up a Cosmopolitan cupcake with vodka-infused cranberry cake and lime buttercream that became a favorite of Martha Stewart’s. The bakery offers six standing flavors, but the rest of the menu changes every day. Gluten-free choices are available every day with vegan flavors three days a week. Every Thursday, they have a mystery flavor (today was Tagalongs, a flavor based on the chocolate peanut butter Girl Scout cookie).
Here’s the well-stocked sprinkles shelves at the bakery…
And some of the regular varieties, chocolate on vanilla and vanilla on vanilla.
I asked one of the staff, Carly, to convince me to try the daily gluten-free special, Mexican chocolate, one of my favorite all-time treats. Normally, I dislike anything gluten-free. And since I’m not allergic to it or feel any loss in vitality if I take it out of my diet, I will have all the wheat-based bread, pasta and anything else to my heart’s content. But this was one gluten-free treat that lived up to my very tough taste expectations. The dark chocolate cake imparted a slight heat (cinnamon and cayenne, perhaps?) and melded perfectly with the chocolate buttercream. I’m definitely going to get this one again, when I have the chance.
Happy Cakes also creates and sells cookies. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m going to buy some with my cupcake stash soon.
…and more to take care of that sweet tooth.
Here’s my purchase…which is now 3/4 quarters gone, thanks to my hungry kids arriving from school…and of course, me:
Clockwise from the top left: Mexican chocolate, stuffed French toast, red velvet, and chocolate salted caramel. RAS gets the last one.
If you come to Denver, this is a must-stop if you love desserts!