Cafe Society

Sugar High: Eggnog and snickerdoodle cupcakes from Happy Cakes

With the days of enjoying festive holiday flavors coming to an end, it would be a shame if you missed out on cupcake versions of a few classics: Eggnog and snickerdoodle. Happy Cakes Bakeshop in Highland is known for successfully translating offbeat flavors--Jack & Coke, bacon, kettle corn--into delectable frosting-topped cakes. They've received high accolades from the cupcake queen herself, Martha Stewart, for their Cosmo cupcake, and they continue to be inspired by cocktails, seasonal changes and holidays. "We refresh the menu every few months so there's always something new to try," says co-owner Laura Reynolds.

Warning: those who like an airy cake paired with a light, whipped frosting should head elsewhere.

Happy Cakes differs from the competition by offering a denser cupcake with a coarser crumb. The frosting, too, is thick and holds a concentration of flavor. "We are definitely frosting girls," Reynolds confides. "We are not fans of airy frostings that don't have a rich flavor and leave an odd coating on the inside of your mouth. We enjoy savoring the flavor of the frosting!"

The frosting is definitely where the magic happens with the eggnog cupcake. Touched with bourbon and nutmeg, the creamy spread is unmistakably like it's boozy namesake. The cake also carries the same flavor, but to a lesser degree. Lightly spiced, it's a perfect companion to the decadent frosting.

With the snickerdoodle, the most interesting aspect is the crisped top of the cupcake, which is almost a replica of an actual snickerdoodle. The cinnamon strikes a deep note in the cake and frosting, and while the cupcake isn't as exciting as the eggnog flavor, fans of the cookie will enjoy this new iteration of an old favorite.

If you don't think you'll make it in before Christmas, you might consider holding out until New Year's Eve when the shop rolls out a bevvy of celebratory flavors, including classic Champagne, plus bellini, mimosa and kir royale. We'll raise a toast to that.

Cupcakes, Eggnog and Snickerdoodle: $2.50, except on $2 Tuesdays