Hello. My name is Rachael Martínez. You look delicious. Prepare to be eaten.
Sprinkles (). Flirty Cupcakes (). Phoebe’s Cupcakes (). Bleeding Heart Bakery ().
10 days later… (similar to 28 Days Later… without all the zombies)
After a week and a half of no cupcakes, I was going through serious withdrawals. My pants didn’t seem so tight and I cinched my belt down a notch. Something was missing from my life. I ran my slightly less stubby finger down my Excel spreadsheet and landed on Swirlz Cupcakes. It was fate.
Now, what really happened… My PICC posted a link on my Facebook wall to a picture of a Mocha Hazelnut cupcake created by you-know-who, Swirlz Cupcakes. I suggested 10am Friday morning before work, and she more or less responded, “As you wish.”
On Friday morning, I was giddy like a school girl. I buttoned my cardigan and scrubbed my face till it shone like my Mary Janes. Boarding the CTA bus (not as charming as a yellow school bus), I gave the driver a big toothed grin. What can I say—cupcakes make people happy. I arrived at 9:55am—my PICC was already there, and the store was open before its advertised 10am opening. It’s as if they knew we were coming.
We were greeted by two cheerful girls and a freshly baked assortment of cupcake goodness. The store seats about six people and has a slightly disorganized wall of merchandise, but that doesn’t detract from the shelves of brightly colored cupcakes, the center of attention. I ordered a carrot cake for our boss (we’re suck-ups) and a Twixie (to be described…). For my third cupcake (I like odd numbers), I told the girl to give me her all-time favorite, which happened to be the gluten-free banana nutella. “Gluten-free?” you ask. “INCONCEIVABLE!” you exclaim. Let me explain.
Swirlz Cupcakes is known for having gluten-free versions of multiple flavors (e.g., gluten-free red velvet, etc.), some which aren’t even available as normal flavors. I find this to be a smart move on their part seeing as nowadays many people are on a strict gluten-free diet. No one should be deprived of cupcakes. To get the full effect of Swirlz Cupcakes, I put myself in someone else’s shoes and ordered a gluten-free version of their banana nutella flavor. Let me tell you, I did not regret this decision. The cupcake was beautifully decorated with three different layers of frosting—thick nutella, creamy nutella buttercream, and a dash of yellow buttercream frosting—as well as a slice of dried banana drizzled with chocolate. Then, the whole thing was topped with a pinch of yellow sprinkles. If being pretty wasn’t already enough, the cake was perfectly flavored of bananas. The key is to take an all-encompassing bite of cake and three frostings. The proportion of each frosting to the cake is phenomenal. The best part is that had I not known ahead of time, I would have never guessed it was gluten-free.
Second up, Twixie—chocolate cake topped with shortbread and buttercream frosting along with a dash of chocolate frosting. It was complete with a couple striped candy straws, crystal sprinkles, and swirls of caramel. Twix bars being my husband’s favorite candy bar, I thought I’d bring this one home to share. Being capable of sharing my precious cupcakes with my husband tells me this is “wuv, tru wuv.” Having been blown away by the gluten-free banana nutella cupcake, I had high expectations for Twixie. The flavors (chocolate, shortbread, buttercream, and caramel) complemented each other relatively well, but the cake was semi-dry. I suppose if that’s my only complaint, then it’s not much of a complaint at all. At the very least, I give them props for the creativity behind this creation and would be willing to head back to give their Drumstick cupcake a taste.
For those of you on a gluten-free diet (and those of you who want to give it a shot), this is the place for you. Just remember, take a look at their website before you stop in, because some flavors are only offered on certain days of the week. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on their gluten-free banana nutella. That would be tragic.
Since the invention of the gluten-free cupcake, there have been many that were rated the most delicious, the most non-gluten-free tasting. This one left them all behind. The End.