my cupcake crawl cohorts, SarahBeth and Kim
I had heard about a cupcake crawl back over the summer. I decided back then that I would definitely be doing this for my birthday. I had four places in St. Louis picked out: Jilly's Cupcake Bar, Sarah's Cake Stop (a cupcake truck), The Cup, and Sweet Art Bakery. Normally, I'm a little obsessed (okay, downright anal) about planning an itinerary, but life has been extremely stressful this week, and I'm lucky I get to go at all. We just had to wing it.
My friend Kim came to my house and then we picked up my best friend SarahBeth (my sister was supposed to go, but at the last minute wasn't able to). We made it to St. Louis about noon. We started at Sweet Art, using my trusty OnStar to get us there.
the first bite of the day
I totally did not know what to expect from this place. It's in an area that I'm completely unfamiliar with. I told SarahBeth and Kim we'd check the place out by driving by before marching right on in. As we drove by, we noticed the place was bustling, so we parked and walked back to the bakery. Luckily, it was really nice out. We'd had a major ice storm this week, but that had cleared off for the most part and the temperature was warming into the 30s.
Upon entering the bakery, we had to stand in line -- this place was busy! But, it gave us plenty of time to choose which cupcake we each wanted. There were so many to choose from -- turtle, cookies and cream, carrot cake, vegan double vanilla, the Elvis (peanut butter and banana), the fauxstess (similar to a Hostess cup), and what intrigued me most -- the vanilla caramel goodness.
Normally, I wouldn't pass on chocolate in any form, but I couldn't shake this caramel goodness. Just as I got my cupcake, a table opened up, so I claimed that so we could have a place to sit (like I said, the place was packed). The vanilla caramel goodness did NOT disappoint. The cake was so moist and the icing was divine, lighter than air. I could have eaten buckets of the caramel icing.
Off to a great start, we thought we'd take a detour and get official 'Cupcake Crawl twenty:10' t-shirts made, but had no clue where to go. SarahBeth googled it on her Devour and I called OnStar, but we didn't get anywhere. We headed towards the Galleria, thinking we'd go there, but went ahead and went to Jilly's Cupcake Bar instead.
childhood neighbors I ran into at Jilly's
Interestingly enough, I updated my facebook status to say 'cupcake crawling through St. Louis. Feel free to join us'. Almost immediately, one of my childhood neighbors asked if we'be going to Jilly's. I thought that was a little strange, considering Chris lives in Louisville, Kentucky now.
There was a line practically out the door at Jilly's Cupcake Bar. And, one of the first people we see is Chris, Sr... what!?!? I glanced around the restaurant and saw Chris, his wife Andrea and his sister Jessica. I left my place in line, and went up to them. As I walked up, I overhead Chris say 'she said this was next'. So I chimed in "I'm here!". It was hugs all around. Chris, Jess and I grew up just three doors down from each other before both our family's moved from Woodland Drive in the early 90s.
the chocolate birthday sundae
I haven't seen Chris (or Jess) since high school. We quickly caught up, they were celebrating Chris Sr's birthday, the same day as mine, and I rejoined my friends at the register. Kim had gotten a maple bacon cupcake and SarahBeth had gotten a BeeSting (the ultimate lemon cupcake). I ordered the gingerbread (one of Jilly's December specialties) and got the last one available for the day, AND a chocolate birthday sundae with chocolate icing -- and a candle. My intentions were to blow out the candle and eat the chocolate cupcake, and take the gingerbread home. But, oops, we didn't have a lighter, so I could light the candle. My sister, the smoker, was not with us, but would possibly join us later. So. Going along with 'winging it', I saved the chocolate birthday sundae for later, and ate the gingerbread cupcake.
the gingerbread cupcake that was AMAZING
OH. MY. WORD. This thing was massive. And delicious. It was a gingerbread cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese icing, cream cheese icing, a caramel filling and a gingerbread cookie. The first bite was indulgent. I think I even got some icing up my nose. I really was not going to eat the entire thing. But, I kept nibbling. And nibbling. I did manage to save some of it to bring home. We sat there for quite some time, chatting, gossiping, and letting the sugar settle.
We took a brief break from cupcakes and headed to Chesterfield Mall. I had been trying to follow the cupcake truck on facebook and twitter, but apparently it wasn't out today. So, we would go to Sarah's Cake Stop, the bakery itself instead.
cupcake at Sarah's
Going to Chesterfield Mall would put us close to the bakery and let us walk off some of the calories we had ingested. Now, I don't like crowds and I don't like shopping without a list, but I sacrificed this for my other goal of the day: to get my picture taken with Santa Claus. BUT, once we got into the mall area, the line was too frickin' long. I wasn't standing for an hour with all those screaming kids. We moved on. We window shopped and browsed in a bookstore, but didn't spend too much time at the mall. We had more cupcakes to get to!
Upon arriving at Sarah's, it looked like the place was closed. But, someone walked out just as we parked, so we went on it. I had high hopes for the cupcakes at Sarah's.
the tuxedo... this was my favorite cupcake of the day!
I've been following them for months on Twitter and facebook. The cupcakes were sitting on the counter in a display; there were only four flavors to choose from, adn I went with the chocolate caramel pretzel. It was not that great. I was really disappointed in this cupcake. We didn't linger here. I didn't feel all that welcome or excited to be there.
We headed over to the Cup, over in the Central West End. I had actually been here before, and for that reason, I wasn't overly looking forward to it. I thought I knew what I was getting into here. And, yes, that's true, BUT, I did not expect to find my favorite cupcake of the day. I knew exactly what I wanted when I walked in: the Tuxedo.
my sister joined us for the last one
A dark chocolate cupcake with french vanilla buttercream topped with a mini Oreo cookie. An added bonus: holiday sprinkles. This was absolutely, hands down, my favorite cupcake of the day. The dark chocolate cake was perfect and it was amazing with the french vanilla buttercream. AWE.SOME.
Even though our cupcake crawling was over, our day was not. We crossed the river and headed back to Fairview Heights to do some Christmas shopping and meet up with my sister and her boyfriend -- I still had to blow out that candle! Our timing worked out and we met them for dinner at the Irish pub, the Dandy Inn. I wasn't hungry, too much sugar. I was a little hyper, jittery and chatty. Even though he's been around for a year, Nathan's never seen me like that, but he finally understood what I meant by 'food is my alcohol' -- I don't drink (much, just a few sips here and there or a random shot), and the Irish boy doesn't understand that.
blowin' out the birthday candle
I was totally drunk on sugar.
I did get to blow out the candle on my chocolate birthday sundae, standing in the parking lot of the Dandy Inn. My sister got to be a part of the cupcake crawl afterall.