Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cupcakes, Chicago-style

Hey everyone, please join me in welcoming Tanya Brothen, The Cupcake Avenger's first ever guest blogger! Creator of the award-winning travel blog Parisian Spring, Tanya took some time out from a recent business trip in Chicago to enjoy some of the finest cupcakes the Windy City has to offer.

I blame Cupcake Avenger. After months of reading about my friend and fellow blogger's love for/obsession with baking (and sampling her wares with reckless abandon), I've officially caught the cupcake bug. They're all I can think about. I lust after them at lunchtime, and dream about Sunday brunch at DC cupcake hotspots. So when I was planning a weekend in Chicago, my first question, naturally, was, "who has the best cupcakes in the city?" With help from Hilary and the gals at @explorechicago I tracked down two locations with websites that made me drool.

First up was Molly's Cupcakes. Located in Chicago's trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood, Molly's is sweet tooth heaven. In addition to regular, center-filled, and build-your-own cupcakes, there are cookies, bars (it's a Midwest thing), and homemade ice cream. Oh, and cheesecake. It took me at least 15 minutes to decide on a center-filled mixed berry cupcake. The blueberry cake, purple frosting and raspberry blueberry filling tasted like an extra decadent blueberry muffin, and although the frosting had an almost unappealing, slimy consistency, I still couldn't get enough. The fun neighborhood and outdoor patio added to Molly's charm.

My cupcake craving not yet sated, I headed over to Sugar Bliss. Less than two blocks from Millennium Park, and near Chicago's elevated transit system, Sugar Bliss has a more tourist-friendly location than Molly's. I was immediately intrigued by such flavors as raspberry lemonade and orange creamsicle. Not able to decide, I took four minis: cinnamon carrot was divine, vanilla milk chocolate a bit dry, red velvet uneventful and raspberry lemonade a tangy-sweet combination that would keep me coming back for more. If only I didn't live halfway across the country. Bonus: Sugar Bliss also has "breakfast cupcakes," which I'm pretty sure is one of the best ideas yet to come out of the cupcakery explosion.

Molly's Cupcakes: 2536 North Clark St., 773-883-7220,

Sugar Bliss: 115 North Wabash, 312-845-9669,

Tanya Brothen is a Minnesota native who began her travel blog, Parisian Spring, after moving to Paris while completing her Master's Degree in International Affairs. She is currently planning her next international excursion to Brussels, Belgium as a Presidential Management Fellow for the U.S. Department of State.

1 comment:

  1. when we were in chicago in may my bf wanted only one thing: to go to molly's. one of his favorite radio personalities, ron bennington, has a cupcake named after him. of course we purchased one of those and two others, one of which was a cookie dough cupcake. out of control tasty! it probably is the first cupcake i've had with a hunk of cookie dough in the middle!