Food review: The cupcake trend might be over, but it doesn’t matter for Kittie’s Cakes’ sweet treats

  • Photo by Tim Johnson
By
From the June 20, 2013 edition

An eye catching “K” marks the spot for Kittie’s Cakes — and what a smart and stylish spot that is… and needed to be, business-wise.

Kittie’s is a dessert bakery a block away from off-the-charts Pistacia Vera, and one of Kittie’s specialties is past-their-trending-expiration-date cupcakes, meaning this new operation really had to: 1) bring an “A” game, both technically and creatively, so it would 2) be taken seriously.

It did and it is.

The brainy brainchild of former LPGA pro golfer Mollie Fankhauser and her partner Kelly Fankhauser (and Mollie’s one-time caddy), Kittie’s makes cupcakes so good that even someone like me — who usually doesn’t give a crap about cupcakes — will actively seek them out. While these irresistible, scratch-cooked and inventive cupcakes (they’re mini-sized and cost $2.25) are the most visible and available of Kittie’s treats, the place also whips up made-to-order and specially designed seven-layer ($45) and two-tier cakes ($65) as well as daily goodies such as buttery jam-filled biscuits ($3) and playful — but seriously upgraded — versions of Little Debbie-style oatmeal cream pies ($2.75).

These photo-and-splurge-worthy indulgences are created in the open kitchen that takes up most of Kittie’s narrow and confined, but orderly and Brooklyn-artsy (if Ohio-honoring) space. Seamlessly mixing a contemporary look with vintage flourishes and beautiful wood with cobalt and sky blue paint, Kittie’s has just a few seats from which to enjoy its confections with, say, a Stumptown coffee — which Kittie’s sells in seasonably chilled, beer-bottle-like “stubbies.” So for now, this hip, meticulously realized and cleverly branded bakery is more geared for grab-and-go customers.

I’ve liked everything I’ve tried, but at the top of my list are these taste-like-actual-cake cupcakes: Chocolate “Chip” — the titular quotes for this dark and rich chocolate buttercream-iced little bit of brilliance denote its potato chip content, as they punctuate its moist, stiff and dense shortbread-like cake base; “Hot” Chocolate — the lovely and silky, if seriously spicy, chocolate ganache center is a pleasant surprise when biting into this chocolate beauty with crushed red hot candies sprinkled on top; Cookies and Cream — the characteristic twist for this winner is Oreo cookies baked inside its white cake and rimmed around its vanilla bean buttercream frosting.