Tammy Green

Mar 212011
Crêpes à Latte | Yellow Cupcake w/Strawberry Frosting

Yellow Cake with Strawberry Frosting

I keep finding cupcakes in unexpected locations. The latest find is at Crêpes à Latte, just off the Irving Park Brown Line stop. This little café bakes all their own goods daily. I’ve only tried one, but I’m impressed enough to go back.

The yellow cake was moist, sweet and didn’t need frosting. However, I’m glad it did because the strawberry frosting was perfect — without the metallic hint you can find in fruity frostings. My only complaint? Too many sprinkles add crunch, not interest.

Cupcakes are $2.49. Flavors vary.

Crêpes à Latte Crêpes à Latte
1840 West Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60613-2406
(773) 549-4444

Mar 102011

Cake Pops

Cake Pops

Starbucks turned 40 on Tuesday, and to celebrate they’ve released a line of new afternoon snacks to go along with their limited-edition anniversary Tribute Blend.

Miniature carrot cake and peanut butter cupcakes can be had for less than 200 calories each. In fact, all their treats — cake pops, whoopie pies, lemon squares, and salty caramel squares — are easy on the waistline.

They’re all delicious, but I especially like the birthday cake-flavored cake pops. The center is doughy with a nibble-y coating of frosting and sprinkles that tastes exactly like birthday cake. You don’t need a whole slice of cake after lunch, and this won’t ruin dinner later.

To extend the birthday fun, Starbucks is offering these snacks for free on March 10-12 from 2-5 p.m. with purchase of a beverage. If you can’t get there on those dates, they’re not that expensive — $1.50 each or two for $2.50. If you’re looking for a reason to pop into Starbucks, they make it hard to say no.

Free samples provided courtesy of Starbucks.

Feb 282011
Cinnamon & Sugar | Sprinkles

Cinnamon & Sugar cupcake from Sprinkles

I stopped into Sprinkles (50 East Walton) this weekend with a friend, and she ordered a Cinnamon & Sugar cupcake. We got into a raging debate about whether this was actually a cupcake. She argued that it was on the menu, so it must be. I argued that it didn’t have frosting, so it was a muffin.

What say you?

Feb 142011
Sweet Miss Givings Cupcake Truck

SMG cupcake truck in front of Columbia College.

There are several cupcake trucks on the streets of Chicago, but Sweet Miss Givings is the only one running with a mission. The operation provides job training for people in need and profits go to benefit the formerly homeless and HIV/AIDS-impacted men, women and children of Chicago House. Great reasons for tracking down their location via Twitter (@SMGfoodtruck), right? Want even better reason? The cupcakes taste fantastic.

If you need more proof, listen as “Mobile Muffin Manager” Tony Mills shares a bit of his life on the truck and his favorite cupcake:

Don’t have time to track down the cupcake truck? Sweet Miss Givings cupcakes are also available at the French Market (131 North Clinton between Washington and Randolph). The carrot cupcakes are fantastic, but so are the devil’s food, yellow cake, and coconut flavors. Get a mini-twelve pack and try all four for $12. Individual cupcakes are $3 a piece.

Carrot Cupcake | Sweet Miss Givings

A close-up of that delicious carrot cupcake!

Feb 032011
Sprinkles | Lemon & Cherry Cupcakes

Nothing says romance quite like a cupcake.

Plan to stay downtown with your cupid this February 14? If so, Fairfield Inn (216 East Ontario) is offering a $14 gift card (one per room) for guests to use at Sprinkles Cupcakes (50 East Walton). If you don’t feel like adding a little sugar to your Valentine’s Day, the gift card will keep and is good at Sprinkles Cupcakes locations nationwide.

Feb 022011

Two cupcake deals passed through my inbox this fine, snowy morning. The first is from Yumcakes via Gilt City. Buy two dozen cupcakes with three different flavor selections for the bargain price of $36. See details here.

The second is your choice of a dozen chocolate-dipped strawberries, heart-shaped cookies or Valentine’s themed cupcakes from Tipsycake for $18 via CBS Local. See details here.

Lots of sweet deals out there!

Jan 282011
Sweet Ride | Cupcake Trio

Cupcakes are sold in sets of three.

I had the opportunity to hang out with Lupita Kuri, owner of Sweet Ride, as she took her van out for her first weekend of business. She was still finding a rhythm with parking, equipment and sharing menu choices, but the cupcakes were ready for prime time.

I asked Kuri why she decided to enter an increasingly crowded cupcake truck field, and she replied there was an opportunity to make her cupcake truck mark with an emphasis on quality, sustainability and community. When she bakes, she only uses cage-free chicken eggs and tries to use organic ingredients whenever possible. The packaging and utensils are made with sustainable and recycled materials. With every bag of puppy treats sold, a percentage goes to local animal shelters and organizations supporting animal welfare. However, she can’t seem to resist giving puppies free treats.

Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies flavors: Sweetie Pie or Whoop It Good

Most importantly, the cupcakes taste as good as they look. Kuri loaded me up with both her Chocolate Lovers box filled with a trio of Dark Chocolate, Black/White & Red Velvet cupcakes; and her Signature Sweets box with Sweet Potato, Red Velvet & Vanilla Bean cupcakes. $5 for a variety box of three miniatures. The Red Velvet is a worthy repeat in those mixes — it will keep both chocoholics and cream cheese frosting fanatics very happy. I recommend eating the cupcakes the same day they were baked since the smaller cupcakes tend to dry out faster. It shouldn’t be a problem.

You can also get a cupcake fix in the form of Whoopie Pies — chocolate with a marshmallow cream filling or red velvet tops with whipped cream cheese. If you want something smaller, try a Cupcakepop — a tiny frosted cupcake served on a stick. $3 each. I liked these delicious and novel ways to get my cupcake fix.

Sweet Ride

In order to get your cupcake fix, look for Sweet Ride on weekends. You can get route and time details on her Web Site, Twitter account, or via Facebook.

Note: Samples were provided free of charge for this review.