I Dream of Pastries

22 May

I wish Fort Worth had a bona fide patisserie, complete with cupcakes and French macarons, tarts and cookies. I dream of red velvet cheesecake from New York’s Magnolia Bakery and peanut and caramel chocolate tarts from New Orleans’ Sucre.  I have yet to find a true patisserie here, but I have found an abundance of adorable bakeries with cupcake lined pastry cases. Over the past few months, I’ve made it my unofficial mission to try each of these sweet Cowtown cupcake shops on my lunch breaks.

The Cupcakery is what spawned my interest in the Fort Worth sweet shops, as it opened just a few blocks from my office downtown. I’ve found that most of the bakeries I have visited close late in the afternoon or as soon as they sell out. One perk of The Cupcakery is that they are open late, so you can stop in after work, after dinner, or while enjoying a night out on the town. They also offer miniature cupcakes in case you want just a sweet bite or would rather taste a couple than eat just one. The cupcakes at this bakery are pretty, but sometimes dry. You can tell when they are fresh and when they have been sitting there awhile. My favorite cupcake from The Cupcakery was the Harry Potter inspired, butterscotch flavored, Butterbeer cupcake. Other notables were the carrot cake and the chocolate peanut butter. While pretty in pink, beware of the strawberry – don’t judge a cupcake by its color.

J. Rae’s is a sweet boutique on Foch Street in the West 7th district. The first thing I noticed was that most, if not all, of their cupcakes were decorated with edible glitter. I chose the shimmery German chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth. Moist, flavorful, and glitzy: What more could one want from a cupcake? J. Rae’s also makes iced cookies and cake balls.

La Bella Cupcakes is off of North Main near the Stockyards. They have simple daily offerings; three different cakes: red velvet, chocolate and vanilla, and four icings:  strawberry, cream cheese, vanilla, and chocolate.  The cake is light and airy and each cupcake is topped with a small sugar flower. I tried the chocolate cupcake with strawberry frosting. I’d be interested in trying their tiramisu cupcake or some of the other “Top Shelf Flavor”s that are listed on their website.

Leah’s Sweet Treats is a fairly new bakery on Camp Bowie. I found this place by accident two weeks after they opened. The woman I presumed to be Leah told me she had to stop taking orders more than a month out within the first week of full-time operation! I bit into the cupcake I bought and instantly knew why. They might take the moistest cupcake in town award. They also have unique flavors like chocolate covered cherry and cookies and cream. Because of my wonderful first experience, I went back again to pick up a few cupcakes for a friend’s birthday. The second time around, the moistness and the flavor were still superb, but I was less than impressed with the presentation.

One evening I was having some girlfriends over to share some wine and decided to pick up some cupcakes from the Cupcake Cottage for the small gathering. I opted for a dozen mini cupcakes because there was such a variety to choose from including banana, wedding cake, and chocolate. My girlfriends thought the cupcakes were a great addition to the night. The small house-turned-bakery builds their daily menu around custom orders so their flavor offerings vary from day-to-day.   I’d advise going early in the day as the selection is slim by lunchtime.

Auntie Am’s Sweet Stop is a mobile bakery in Fort Worth’s newest food truck park, Cowtown Chow Down. They offer “create your own cupcakes” where you choose the cake flavor, a filling, and a frosting. Plus, everything is made on site! While the cupcakes are the largest I’ve encountered, the presentation was about what you’d expect from a truck. However, I went on day two of Auntie Am’s new business venture, so I look forward to going back to find out if the buttercream is a bit less melty. After finding out the truck was owned by a former co-worker’s friend, I exchanged the “work” of hand writing their menu on the truck’s window for a delicious creation of my own: a red velvet cupcake with chocolate frosting.

Stir Crazy Baked Goods is set to be open sometime this month off of South Main. Currently you can find their goods at Avoca Coffee Shop on Magnolia. Look for an update once it opens!

What’s your favorite bakery? Know of any patisseries I may have missed in the Fort Worth area? Leave a comment!

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