Sometimes, a cupcake makes you want to purr.
This is an experience I had recently (as in, there are probably still cake crumbs on my shirt) at a place called Dream Cakes Cupcakes in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The retail space is small, tucked in a mall just off of the city's Plaza (downtown area). It is somewhat unassuming when you walk in, and the prices are somewhat hefty--$4.50 per cupcake.
But the cupcakes are serious fatties--I don't like sharing cupcakes (at all) but here's one that I'd consider cutting in half and saving part 2 for later (sort of like...sharing with my future self). Because it's not quite 2 times the size of a regular cupcake, but 1.6 times the size of a regular cupcake.
This picture (from their facebook page) may not portray the size, but it will show you the unusual square-ish shape they have.
Here's the menu.
The menu is pretty immense, about 50 flavors, but only certain ones are available daily. Generally, those will include their two bestsellers, the Chocolate-chocolate cupcake (I forget the name) and the "Armadillo"--the red velvet. I wanted to get the "Santa Fe" - a cornbread cupcake with green chile topped with a honey buttercream--but alas they were out for the day. The friendly man behind the register removed that flavor from the daily menu after he realized this cupcake was not in attendance.
He did give me a frosting shooter to soothe my broken heart.
So I went for my second choice--the "Southern Belle", a pecan cupcake with praline filling topped with cream cheese frosting.
Looking into the Chinese takeout-style container (filled with cupcake!) this is what I saw. The man behind the counter (one of the owners) commented that he thought it was the prettiest of their cupcakes, and I agree that it was quite a looker. I didn't want to shut the lid for fear of disrupting the frosting.
I dug in to the container, using a fork.
And after one bite, I wanted to go back and demand that they stop stuffing their cupcakes with crack, because that's just illegal.
OK, so the cupcakes are not stuffed with crack. But this one had an unmistakably buttery, rich vanilla birthday cake-y flavor, studded with delicious, sweet-salty praline gobs. It was good enough based on these merits, but add the cream cheese frosting and you have a combo that can make CakeSpy swoon.
I'll confess: based on the tiny interior and the prices and location, I had been slightly wary about this place as a tourist trap. But now that I have been, I must say that I am very impressed, and I am looking forward to going back and trying at least a baker's dozen more flavors.
66 E. San Francisco Street, Santa Fe NM; find out more info here.