Sweets Bakeshop: cute boutique cupcakes

By Jenny Ledig

Hailing from the land of D.C. Cupcake, I take the dessert very seriously. While the cupcake trend is full-blown in DMV (District, Maryland, Virginia) it’s only beginning to take off in the Twin Cities. On a recent trip to Izzy’s, I was drawn to the adorable storefront of Sweets Bakeshop down the block. Unfortunately, they were closed, but I resolved to return within the week.Sweets is cute from the outside, but even more charming when you step inside. There are impeccably done displays of cupcakes, French macarons, and wedding cakes spread throughout the boutique bakery. It’s upscale (there’s a chandelier in the center of the store) without being too pretentious (whimsical paper windmills adorn the walls.)

The goods at Sweets may seem pretty pricy, but the bakery uses local, organic products whenever possible (like their locally sourced eggs and butter,) so at least you know you’re getting a high quality treat. There are cupcakes, $3 for one and $33 for a dozen, mini cupcakes, $1.50 each and $17 for twelve. Additionally, there are macarons to choose from that go for $1.50 each. If I only had $1.50, I would definitely go for the mini cupcake.

Liz Watson, ’13, and I tried a salted caramel macaron and a mint basil macaron, and though I appreciated the delicate

texture and interesting combinations, upon sampling the

cookies, I wasn’t thrilled with paying $1.50. Maybe there are flavors that would be more up my alley, but those jut didn’t do it for me.

The cupcakes are nicely presented but error on the side of minimalism. Everyday there are nine flavors offered: six are offered daily and three flavors appear once a week. You can count on triple chocolate, very vanilla, peanut butter cup, black & white, kettle corn and a flavor of the week to be there when you go. On Mondays, when we went, there are baklava, Irish coffee, and mojito cupcakes.

Liz tried a mini version of the black & white cupcake, which she was impressed with. She enjoyed the chocolate cake part, but especially the rich and decadent butter cream frosting. Almost all the cupcakes are topped with buttercream, which Liz noted is a little less sweet than store-bought frosting, but certainly more tasty.

We both sampled the triple chocolate cupcake, which was superb. I loved the gooey chocolate ganache filling inside and the balance of the flavors. Although a chocolate lover, sometimes chocolate pastries and desserts can be overpowering; however, this is not the case at Sweets.

Intrigued by their kettle corn cupcake and after hearing it’s what they are famous for, I couldn’t resist trying the flavor. For those of you trying to satisfy a mega-sweet-tooth, this savory cupcake may not be the option for you. Liz and I really enjoyed the denser texture of the cornmeal cupcake, the honey buttercream frosting, and little piece of candied corn on top.

More savory options would be breakfast, which has vanilla cake, a salty maple and bacon filling topped with sweet maple buttercream or feisty goat, a chocolate cupcake with a caramel pecan filling and a goat and mascarpone frosting. Other notable flavors are grapefruit sprinkler, a cupcake infused with sparkling wine and a grapefruit frosting, and spicy chocolate, a chocolate cupcake topped with a habanero chocolate buttercream, or smores, a graham cracker cake, the ever popular chocolate ganache filling, and toasted meringue pouf to top it off.

Despite the wide variety of flavors, there was a glaring omission – the classic yellow cake chocolate frosting combo.

While overall I enjoyed my visit to Sweets, I wish it were more accommodating to those who want to sit and enjoy their cupcake. While there are a few high-top tables, there weren’t any accompanying chairs. Considering the overall inviting ambiance of the shop, it’s surprising that there aren’t any seating options, save a single bench. It would be a great alternative to the coffee shop study spot or meet-up locale if only there were a few seats.

The bakery is expanding and has a grand opening of their Minneapolis location, 4747 Nicollet Ave, this Saturday, April 9th.

Liz, a great baker herself, offered high praise; “I thoroughly enjoyed the cupcakes. I thought it was worth the price and I would definitely go back.” I agree, it’s nice to have a high quality cupcake store in the neighborhood, just keep in mind that this is currently designed as a grab-and-go place, so don’t expect to sit down and stay a while, (not that your treats would go uneaten that long!)

2042 Marshall Avenue

Saint Paul, MN 55104

Open daily: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.