Buying cupcakes is like spending money to watch a heavyweight championship match on pay-per-view. You ponder your decision, feel a little remorse at forking over so much cash and then it's over before you know it. And like boxing, the rankings always seem to change depending on who's doing the talking.
With cupcake contenders proliferating here in town, Fat City decided to pit two heavyweights against each other -- BabyCakes in the River Market and Cupcakes A La Mode just west of the Plaza (a second Cupcakes A La Mode is slated to open in Leawood's Park Place in early February). I took the Neapolitan approach, selecting a chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cupcake from each store -- inadvertently discovering that my limit on cupcakes is somewhere between two and three.
Cupcakes A La Mode -- 3 cupcakes, $9.70 with tax.
These are big cupcakes, closer to cake than cup. These bakers only make two cake flavors -- chocolate and vanilla -- but that doesn't stop them from selling some wild varieties, including Raspberry Lemonade, PB&J and Marshmallow Fondue.
The French Vanilla Ooo Lah Lah (top left -- vanilla cake with french
vanilla buttercream icing) reminded me of angel food cake with a glaze
shower typically reserved for donuts. The Chocolate Obsession (chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream icing) was a moist, dense explosion of flavor with a sweet pop of icing. The Love Doctor (chocolate cake, chocolate chunky strawberry icing and a chocolate-dipped strawberry on top) called to mind the filling in Russell Stover's chocolate candy -- it was the baked-goods version of a strawberry-filled chocolate.