Cupcakes, like all baby versions of things, are smaller, cuter, and more tempting to nibble on. Indulge your maternal nibbling instincts with today's Groupon. For $9, you get six gourmet cupcakes (an $18 value) from Sweets Bakeshop in St. Paul. The bakeshop is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sweets Bakeshop's couture cupcakes are largely the creation of pastry chef Krista Steinbach, whose dedication to baking extended to her deployment in Iraq as part of the Minnesota Army National Guard, where she devised a way to bake fresh bread filled with cinnamon and sugar. That resourcefulness has carried over to her bakery, where she conjures a veritable United Nations of daily flavors—as well as weekly specialties such as the banana-split cupcake and a mouthful of vanilla, caramel, pineapple, and strawberry flavors, all of which come drizzled with chocolate ganache—from natural, local ingredients, such as butter from Hope Creamery and organic, free-range eggs from Larry Schulz Organic Farm. City Pages considers her kettle-corn cupcake (a dense cornmeal cake with a crispy top crowned with honey buttercream and candied corn) one of the 100 Favorite Dishes of 2010. Other cupped cakes like Dreamsicle, tiramisu, and cookie dough take their flavor cues from larger, more-dominant desserts, while the unconventional Vanilla Breakfast cupcake comes stuffed with bacon and topped with sweet maple buttercream to offset the salty meat. And the Feisty Goat—caramel-and-pecan-filled chocolate cake with creamy goat-cheese frosting—is infinitely preferable to eating a tin can. Flavors change on a daily basis, so call at least 24 hours ahead of time to confirm your selections and place your order.
Sweets Bakeshop's atmosphere would look good enough to eat even without the colorful displays of artfully decorated cakes and cupcakes (artistic icing courtesy of Krista's friend Ly Lo). Pale walls hug polished wood floors, while natural light streams through the storefront window, catching the crystal facets in an overhead chandelier. An attention to detail characterizes this baked-goods bazaar, which pays off with every mouthful of joy-inducing cupcake. Everyone can buy one of today's Groupon, so tell your friends about it, then charge them a finder's fee of one cupcake.
- Though they also produce brownies, blondies, and hard-to-find French-style macarons [sic] (the ones shaped like little pastel hamburgers), Steinbach and Lo specialize in cupcakes, which they've found to be a good medium for experimenting with flavors and embellishments...But Sweets' more inventive flavors are the true standouts. – Rachel Hutton, City Pages
- Small though it is, Sweets Bakeshop is packed full of beautiful things – all of which are edible. Artfully arranged cupcake displays show off Lo’s decorating prowess...The cupcakes may be beautiful, but I assure you not even a topping made of gold could have stopped me from biting in. The flavor combinations are truly inspired...how often do you find a dessert that's as beautiful as it is tasty? – Jamie Thomas, Metro
- ...incredible macaroons and cupcakes. They vary their macaroon selection daily, so I was able try the mango, mocha, turtle, and salted caramel. All were delightfully rich and true to their flavor. – Emma O., Yelp
Cupcake Caramel by Sweets Bakeshop
From autumnal cupcakes topped with Halloween embellishments to colorful stacks of french macarons awarded Best of the Twin Cities by Minnesota Monthly, the meticulously designed treats at Cupcake Caramel by Sweets Bakeshop come from all-natural ingredients. Bakers carefully top pumpkin spice cake with sweet cream buttercream frosting to create this month's seasonal cupcakes, or drizzle caramel atop year-round favorites. Caramel cream and chocolate ganache pour into cupcakes and macarons alike, the latter of which spring from the oven in six different flavors daily. The confectionary team tailors orders of specific events, tinting colors to fit a particular party theme or presidential concession speech.