If you bake them, they will come.
Well, I can’t guarantee they will come, but I know I will. I’m like that cartoon character who smells food and floats on the scent trail to find a pie sitting on a country kitchen windowsill. I’ve always said my sense of smell is by far my most acute sense. I don’t want to brag or anything, but I’ve got a nose like a hound dog. It has served me well.
Recently, we followed the scent trail out to Naperville to visit our friends Tori and Logan, and to see what charming Naperville has to offer (e.g., cupcakes and other things). Tori and Logan scouted out a cupcakery beforehand, as if they even needed to. My nose would have led us there.
Before stopping at Sugar Monkey Cupcakes, we traversed downtown Naperville and I was surprised at the wide selection of stores ranging from well-known (Barnes & Noble) to quaint (Country Curtains). Books, curtains, and cupcakes. What more do you need in life?
Sugar Monkey Cupcakes is located in an adorable two story white house with pink window shutters and a little brown awning. They pride themselves on cupcakes made from simple ingredients and no preservatives. Before you go in, make sure you check their website for the daily flavors. They offer their Vanilla, Chocolate, Red Velvet, Cookies & Cream, and S’more cupcakes every day but offer a variety of other flavors on different days of the week. We came on a Saturday. Ah, bless you Saturday flavors.
Inside, their walls are bold white, pink, and brown stripes, and a there are a couple of tables with brightly colored tiled tops. At the time, both were occupied, a good sign. On this special Saturday, we got two of their everyday flavors—S’mores and Cookies & Cream—as well as two of their Saturday flavors—Cotton Candy and Blueberry Cheesecake.
The Cookies & Cream cupcake was a relatively moist Oreo-filled vanilla cake, topped with frosting and an Oreo piece. The kicker is that the frosting tastes like it’s made out of the cream found in the middle of Oreos. Did you ever play that “game” where one person holds one side of the Oreo and your “friend” holds the other side, then you each twist your side in opposite directions to see who ends up with the cream? I say “game” because it’s not much of one. I say “friend” because anyone who wants to take Oreo cream away from me is no friend of mine. I say, play this with enemies! I’m sure you could make this “game” more interesting by having the winner toss a glass of milk in the loser’s face. Nah, I’d enjoy that too much. Cue Maniac by Michael Sembello and have a bucket of milk handy.
The S’more cupcake consisted of a decadent chocolate cake with marshmallow filling and chocolate frosting topped with graham cracker crumbs. As Logan so accurately stated, “The cake tastes like a Hershey bar.” I bet Sugar Monkey Cupcakes is high-fiving over that one. Usually, I’d ask for s’more, but the richness of this particular cupcake makes it a great one to share. Don’t even be asking me to share an actual s’more at the campfire. You will be denied.
Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack… and COTTON CANDY! Cotton candy should not be restricted to county fairs. For the first time in my cupcake adventures, I spotted a Cotton Candy cupcake and I giggled with delight. Just to clarify, this is not the first time I’ve giggled with delight. That happens often, almost as much as chortling. A super moist and chewy vanilla cake formed the base of this creation and the cotton candy-flavored icing sent it into the outfield bleachers. Home run! The icing even had a bit of the typical cotton candy grainy texture. I’m talkin’ the good kind of grainy.
My favorite of all was the Blueberry Cheesecake cupcake which was (surprise) a blueberry cheesecake cupcake complete with a lemon cream cheese frosting. The cake was incredibly dense and laden with blueberries, not dry like a muffin can be. The tart lemon frosting perfectly complemented the sweet blueberries and thick cake. Thank you, sir, may I have another? There’s something about combining blueberries and lemons that creates fireworks in my mouth.
Sugar Monkey Cupcakes is a cute cupcakery in nice Naperville that has tasty treats. Not sure if Naperville has a minor league baseball team, but if they do, grab a Cotton Candy cupcake and go see a game.
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.