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Chicago Cupcake Tours
God bless America! Only a country as great as ours could invent something as awesome as the cupcake! The first mention of the cupcake can be traced as far back as 1796, when a recipe notation of "a cake to be baked in small cups" was written in American Cookery by Amelia Simms. Regular cakes used to be baked in hearth ovens which ran very hot and tended to burn the outside of the cake but leave the inside raw. Good old American ingenuity brought forth smaller cakes that were baked in cups and therefore called “cup”cakes.
Cupcakes have exploded in popularity recently and it seems that you can find one nearly everywhere now. But who’s doing it best? Our childhood memories are probably from Hostess, but now that you’ve grown up it’s about time your cupcakes do the same. From the folks who brought you Chicago Chocolate Tours comes Chicago Cupcake Tours. This tour consists of local bakeries that handcraft these portable cakes instead of mass producing them in a factory assembly line.
I was fortunate enough to join the tour on a Thursday during the Gold Caost route. We met our tour guide at the 900 shops (900 Michigan Ave) and walked a short distance to Sarah’s Pastries and Candies for our first tasty bite. Do you like chocolate or vanilla cupcakes? If you answered both then you will love the supermoist black and white cupcake from Sarah’s Pastries and Candies. The best part was the icing! Not soo sugary and gloppy but rather delicate and smooth, it complimented the cupcake without overpowering it.
Next stop was back to the 900 shops where Lincoln Park’s Swirlz cupcakes makes a special trip to the guests of the cupcake tour. Two amazing mini’s were sampled and they were definitely my favorite of the afternoon. First was a heavenly red velvet topped with a cream cheese Italian butter cream and dipped in dark chocolate, yum! Even better was the chocolate cupcake with strawberry Italian butter cream. The butter cream tasted like strawberries and whip cream and was almost marshmallow like in texture!
Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafters was next for a taste of a Belgian cupcake. The least sweet of the tour, the cake had a pound cake quality and was filled with almond paste and topped with sliced almonds. The folks at Hendrickx also let us sample some awesome cakes and breads and in turn caused me to make a purchase on the way out.
Last stop was More Cupcakes for a taste of the chocolate chocolate cupcake. For those who believe that the only thing better than chocolate is more chocolate, this is the cupcake for you. We were also sent home with their signature More cupcake that is their take on the Hostess cupcake, just with better ingredients!
There is a tour on Tuesdays as well as the tour on Thursday that I took. The Tuesday Tour stops at Sarah's Pastries and Candies, Macy's, Toni Patisserie, Flirty Cupcakes, and III Forks. Both walking tours are about 2 hours and are $50 per person. These tours are a fun way to not only explore and learn about cupcakes but meet new people and get a architectual tour along the way. For more information on the cupcake tours log onto http://www.chicagochocolatetours.com/cupcake-tours