By Mason Johnson
We used to have cupcake eating contests between karate classes. I was a teenage blackbelt teaching two classes on Thursdays, one after the other. The mothers liked me and, subsequently, fed me. Hence the cupcake eating contests.
1. I usually won.
2. This adversely affected my karate “skillz.”
3. Despite this experience of competitive cupcake eating, I could not eat more than one of Chicago Cupcake’s cupcakes.
I mean that as a compliment. They’re very good, which is to say, they’re very sweet. So sweet that one at a time is enough. You won’t be able to hop into a shop or bakery to get one of these though. Chicago Cupcake sells their goods exclusively through their website (have ’em shipped across the country, or have ’em delivered for 8 bucks if you’re in Chicago) and, more excitingly, from their food truck, which traverses throughout the city.
You won’t have another cupcake like this anywhere. I guarantee this.
Starting at the bottom, Chicago Cupcake’s cupcakes have crust. Yes. Crust. Going up one layer is the cake, with what the website describes as a “dairy infusion,” which I believe means it’s made with cream cheese. Then there’s the frosting, a buttercream frosting, tailored to each individual cupcake.
I tried the Smores and the Chocolate Covered Banana cupcakes. Their unique construction resembles a cupcake, but is more reminiscent of cheesecake. It’s weird, in that I tend to hate cheesecake, but I loved these cupcakes. The Smores cupcake was particularly up my alley — the graham cracker crust, chocolate cake and buttercream icing that did, in fact, taste like marshmallow gave me one of the best sugar highs of my life. The cool teens runnin’ around these days can keep their new, hip drugs (what the heck are bath salts?), I’ll stick to life and cupcakes to get me high.
Is hard to miss. It’s a truck. It says Chicago Cupcake on the side. If you see it driving down the street, do everything you can to chase it down.
The truck mostly seems to stick to the downtown Chicago area, stopping on popular corners like, say, Madison and Wacker. You can check out their Truck Stops page, but the most reliable way to find them seems to be their Twitter. Their Twitter isn’t only there to announce where they’ll be, they often seem to interact with their followers, so if you have a comment for ‘em, or a suggested cupcake flavor, you have a direct line to the man in charge.
I met the man in charge, Brendan Bolger, by the way. It was on one of those 100 degree days a couple weeks ago. Despite this weather, despite the fact that the cupcake truck doesn’t even have air conditioning, this man was out on the streets serving people sweet treats. So, for the love of everything holy, buy this man’s cupcakes so he can get an extra air conditioner or fill a bathtub full of ice to bathe in or something. I’m sure he’d appreciate it.
Mason Johnson, CBS Chicago