One of my weaknesses is/are was/were cupcakes, but I haven’t had a good cupcake since I spent summers with my grandparents in Somerville Massachusetts as a kiddo. My grandparents were kind, generous and I was an easy kid to have around. My Grandma was a good cook, but she never baked; except on holidays – the pies were terrific.
Two indulgences she did once-in-a-while were ice cream or cupcakes. A trip up Winter Hill to the baker and the grocer and Grandma would return with that white bakery box tied with string with six cupcakes. There was enough for me, Grandma and Grandpa. I remember so well the fragrance (yes. Fragrance.) when the box was opened and at kid height my nose was right there. They were frosted with white – vanilla, pink- strawberry and brown – chocolate, light brown – mocha. The cake was made of a sponge that was light moist and melted in my mouth. You get the picture. The frosting was skillfully applied with the same swirled movement on the outer edge and to my child eyes, they looked smelled so perfect along with their sugar perfume. They were like jewels in a box. Ah, would I ever find such dainties again?
Today I can report that the cupcake trend is in full swing and I have sampled a few, but the recent wedding called for cake. As fate and style would have it, the lovely bride wanted to serve cupcakes at her wedding. I heard that brides were doing this cupcake thing. I even went to a bakery to try cupcakes with the bride-to-be, but they rated only okay. The bride tasted Sweet Bebe Cupcakes in South St. Paul when someone from work brought them in for fun. They have an array of remarkable delights.
This cupcake emporium is in a quiet neighborhood in South Saint Paul. Richard and I made the trip over to the other side of the Mississippi on Saturday. (Follow-up on the wedding cupcakes of the previous Saturday seemed to be on my mind all week.) We walked into a very tidy and small neighborhood storefront, where a friendly young woman welcomed us and asked what we would like. I could see through to the kitchen where there was conversation and business happening behind the scenes. The choices were in two small cases. Decisions. We had to pick quickly, two people came in together right behind us. They came from Miami for a baby shower and had read about Sweet Bebe Cakes on Yelp.
I mentioned my little blog and asked her name. Lauren is one of the owner’s daughters. Owners Lisa and Donna have been friends since they were nine years old. Lauren tells us.
As we sat down to eat our choices, her Mom, Lisa came out of the back kitchen. Lauren told her Mom that I wanted to write about the cupcakes and that I had been at the Coe-West wedding. Lisa has traveled the Midwest and points west and east to sample cupcakes. She is a true artiste who worries about disappointing her customers.
Lisa is a very friendly and generous owner, who offered us a sample of her favorite cupcake, the Classic Drumstick. This is a take off on the ice cream treat of vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone; which is dipped in chocolate and chopped peanuts. (Would you turn down a free cupcake? Heck no.) This is a totally rich cupcake. Richard and I split it. (My favorite is the Carmel Sea Salt Cupcake.) Lisa reeled off some of their specialties, when she reached Root Beer Float my eyes went wide because I have a recipe for that cupcake that I wanted to try for ages. Richard and I looked at each other, because we have been looking for something to make with root beer flavor. Hmmm. Have to try that one.
Sweet Bebe Cakes started officially in September of 2011 and since that time has sold 150,000 cupcakes. Lisa and Sharon are constantly updating their repertoire of flavors.
http://sweetbebecakes.com/ “You know you want one.” and “We bake everything from scratch in small batches every day,” are the mottos on their site.
Orders are taken online, for those who are not so near. Cupcake party anyone? They deliver.