In search of Denver's best cupcakes: A photo diary of one man's journey

By Ryan DeWitt

The inspiration for this venture stemmed from getting burnt out on the city's ice cream/froyo/gelato scene -- specifically from eating far too much of it all. Essentially, I needed something else to appease my sugar and sweets addiction. Enter cupcakes. My thinking was this: Cupcakes have so many variables to take into account -- the cake, frosting and toppings -- that I knew I could eat these for a long time before ever having to try the same one twice.

Denver's cupcake scene completely shocked me. I'd heard about a few different places, but I really had no idea of the number of cupcake joints we had in Denver. The toughest part of this journey was choosing among the vast ocean of options -- between old faithfuls like chocolate-on-vanilla, vanilla-on-chocolate and red velvet vs. more creative cupcakes like Nutella or salted peanut. And then there were all the cereal-laced choices.

The results of my gluttonous efforts are compiled into one handy-dandy essential cupcake guide. Hail frosting!

Heavenly Cakes.jpg
Heavenly Cakes
3559 West 44th Avenue; 303-433-0747
Score: 7/10
Price: $1.75 for a large cupcake

This cupcake was a complete Cinderella story, mostly because I didn't necessarily expect too much from this small, wedding cake-intensive shop, but man did it make me smile. From the first bite to the last, this monster cupcake had a terrific strawberry flavor and the light and fluffy whipped cream topping was the perfect accompaniment.

Living the Sweet Life-1.jpg
Living The Sweet Life
1535 Central Street; 303-477-8088
Score: 5/10
Price: $2.50

Call this the cupcake that couldn't. On the outside, this little guy had all the makings of a delicious cupcake, what with its Funfetti cake frosted with cream cheese and topped with sprinkles. It took me back to my childhood when my hand was getting smacked for sneaking up to my mother's counter and sticking my finger in the batter and double dipping. But this cupcake let me down. The cake itself was dry and somewhat bland and the frosting was far too overpowering. I could only muster up the courage to eat half.

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Lovely Confections
1489 Steele Street; 720-297-3360
Score: 8/10
Price: $3

An organic cupcake! I've never really been the kind of guy who goes out of his way to eat at a place just because it provides organic options. I don't know...sometimes organic stuff just doesn't taste right to me. But man, oh, man did this place prove me wrong. The bakery oozes with passion and flavors, but I ordered a simple vanilla bean cake that was moist and topped with a holy-shit-that's-a-lot-of-chocolate, chocolate frosting. It was outstanding.

Big Fat Cupcake-1.jpg
Big Fat Cupcake
129 Adams Street; 303-322-2253
Score: 8/10
Price: $3.95

Size totally counts. I know they have 'Big' and 'Fat' in the name, but most businesses never really give people great deals -- or do they? In this case, the answer is yes, they do. This behemoth chocolate cupcake, frosted with Oreo-vanilla buttercream and rolled in Oreo cookies, was scrumptious from the first bite to the last.

Location Info

Living the Sweet Life - CLOSED

1535 Central St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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