Cupcake bakery, monthly specialty cupcakes, made fresh daily, catering services
Find yourself craving that confectionary delight and childhood sugar bomb, the cupcake? Are you tired of babysitting your nieces and nephews just to steal their leftover birthday cupcakes? It’s okay. You’ve come to the right place. Baby Cakes at 108 E. Missouri Ave. in Kansas City’s historic River Market area can sate the cupcake-craze buzzing around your skull.
When Baby Cakes opened in 2006, America’s renewed love affair with the cupcake was in full swing. “The dessert became a cultural and economic phenomenon over the last decade,” write Emily Malthy and Sarah Needleman in The Wall Street Journal, “with gourmet cupcake shops proliferating across the country.” Tired of managing restaurants, owner, Laura Caron, turned to wholesaling high-end chocolates as Frou Frou Sweets then quickly felt the need for a retail space for the business. A friend from Seattle suggested she add cupcakes. “I was skeptical,” Caron says. “Baking wasn’t even a hobby of mine.” But the River Market area beckoned to her. “It’s [the River Market] almost like Mayberry,” Caron told The Kansas City Business Journal, “Everybody knows what’s going on, and they spread the word.” Word of mouth can get mouths in the door, but it’s Caron’s delicious cupcakes that have turned Baby Cakes from a new addition to a River Market staple.
You’ll find chocolate, red velvet, vanilla, carrot, strawberry, and lemon cupcakes year-round at Baby Cakes, but don’t miss out on the monthly specialty cakes. Caron whips up pineapple with cream cheese frosting and a banana cupcake with buttercream frosting as April’s specialty cupcakes. The pineapple cupcake was light and moist, heavily endowed with sweet pineapple flavor and completed with the dense, yet deliciously sweet cream cheese frosting. The banana cupcake, on the other hand, had a heavier, more compact cake, something you’d expect from banana bread. To offset the heaviness of the cake, Caron uses a light and fluffy buttercream frosting. You’ll swoon over these beautiful sugar grenades.
Caron and Baby Cakes certainly fit into the do-it-yourself, made-from-scratch ethic found in a lot of River Market eateries. As the Baby Cakes website boasts, the cupcakes are made fresh daily, on site. Only real butter, cream cheese and organic vanilla extract are used in the frostings. Baby Cakes is the only cupcake shop in Kansas City that can make these claims. It’s also the only cupcake shop in a shotgun-style brick building taking up property that was once an alley. Sitting between the Blue Line at 529 Walnut Street and Yathabhuta Yoga at 110 E. Missouri Avenue, it’s easy to see how someone decided to fill in an alleyway with another brick building. When Caron took over the building, it was filled with the musty smell of used books. She and Paul Bickimer spent three months converting the former bookstore into the cupcake shop that thousands around Kansas City have enjoyed since 2006.
Baby Cakes can cater your wedding or special event, but it is also a perfect compliment to a busy day of fruit and veggie shopping at the City Market; and the cupcakes make a tasty topper after lunch at any River Market eatery. But the thing Caron enjoys most is interacting with her customers. “Everyone comes in here in such a good mood,” she tells me. “I guess it’s hard to be surly when you’re surrounded by sweets.” Who needs Xanax or Prozac when you’ve got Baby Cakes?