Cupcake crawl

Do cherry-topped cupcakes count as fruit for breakfast?

Our youngest daughter Lizabeth left for NYC this morning, where she’ll start acting studies at Pace University next week. Before leaving, she had to choose from several freshman orientation activities to enjoy once she’s there. The list of options included Broadway shows, a cupcake crawl, a pizza crawl and more.

It seems whenever we travel together, we stumble on the local cupcake joint. Our next stop is usually the closest store that carries big jugs of milk. That way we can cupcake for days. Most recently it was Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, where I’m told some tourists took solace as Irene approached NYC.

Our first cupcake adventure closer to home came last year — when we discovered miniature cupcakes with sparkling frosting at Essence Bakery in Tempe, a longtime favorite for all things fresh and baked — where butter and cream are celebrated, never vilified.

While running some morning errands, I stumbled on a new cupcake joint in the Scottsdale Seville shopping center — best known in our family as “that place across from the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.” I made an homage to the forts, carousel and trains my children enjoyed as wee ones, but not before doing my own cupcake crawl.

The folks at “21 Cakes” were plenty friendly, and the display case was brimming with tasty, and tasteful, fare. Another cupcake joint closer to our house tends to overdo it in the decoration department, painting frosting to look a bit like auto detailing.

But “21 Cakes” offerings, especially those with a lovely rose motif, are elegant. I sampled a miniature breakfast cupcake with a subtle flavor that made the traditional cinnamon crumble topping shine. And I alerted a pair of moms pushing strollers nearby to the bubblegum cupcakes inside.

Look for this sign near the new Wildflower Bread Company in Scottsdale…

If you must start your morning with shots, at least make it the frosting variety…

Look for the lovely silver tray bearing samplings of miniature cupcakes…

Your kids will enjoy watching owner Linda Hauze Schneider work her magic…

This makes a cute little area for joining a few friends in a bit of frosting frivolity…

Look for this lovely rose motif on cupcakes and cakes (can I eat the blurry ones?)…

For those of you wondering why a cupcake joint qualifies as an arts gallery…

Something tells me this cupcake will make you a hit at any children’s party…

Yes, it is possible to enjoy a few cupcakes and still keep those girlish figures…

Lizabeth would have been mortified, of course — so it’s best perhaps that we sometimes explore the world of cupcakes, and other things, alone. Still, I’m hoping she’ll make some new cupcake finds in and around NYC before I fly out to visit. Something tells me my “21 Cakes” favorites won’t travel all that well.

— Lynn

Note: Selections at “21 Cakes” vary, but you can always call ahead to place a custom order. Learn more about their frosting shots, petite cakes and other offerings at or on Facebook.

Coming up: Peevish in Prescott

All photos copyright Lynn Trimble


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