Cynics may be predicting the end of the cupcake era, but the craze undeniably recognizes a dessert-goer's instinct toward the small, the cute and the adventurous. What may allow the cupcake to persevere in the face of detractors is its mutable personality. Frozen, savory, boozy or meaty: It's all been done with room for more.
More of a cake truffle than a cupcake, Lollicakes are little balls of cake and frosting mixed together and dipped into chocolate. Nestled in a mini dark chocolate "wrapper" and mounted on a stick, they're the ultimate in portable cupcakery.
Kerry Haygood saw a version of the tiny cupcake pops on Martha Stewart a few years ago, and knew she could put her own spin on them. The former special education teacher had recently quit her job to help take care of her young granddaughter and starting her own baking venture seemed like a fun project. Lollicake Bakeshop soon followed. Haygood doesn't have an art background -- "Oh, no!" she laughs, when asked -- but looking at the intricate decorating handwork, the question isn't out of place. She admits to being a perfectionist, and has even kicked helpers--including family--off of projects for not meeting her standards.
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She must be doing something right, because the Lollicakes are beautiful. The designs run the gamut from refined to outrageous -- as simple as a few swirls or as detailed as Hello Kitty. Haygood enjoys customizing the Lollicakes and playing around with different fillings and flavors. We sampled a classic red velvet and two liquored-up flavors: Chocolate Guinness Stout, and Jack & Coke.
The sugar crystals on the outside give the Lollicakes a little crunch. Under the soft chocolate shell, the cake mixture is moist and flavorful. The red velvet cake uses cream cheese frosting as a binder; as the shop's signature flavor it's an easy crowd-pleaser. The drunken Lollicakes are a perfect pairing of booze and cake. While your standard cupcake might be too dry to really convey a distinct alcoholic note, the wetter filling in the cake truffles are an ideal medium. The Jack & Coke starts with a chocolate Coca-Cola cake that's infused with Jack Daniels whiskey, while the Chocolate Guinness Stout gets a similar treatment with Guinness and a frosting that involves a healthy dose of Bailey's Irish Cream. Both are decadent and bite-size, which makes it more difficult to overindulge. While Haygood's ultimate dream is to open a storefront, for now Lollicakes can be found at The Bagel Bakery and Cupcake Shoppe (12720 Colorado Boulevard); delivery can be arranged for larger orders. The sticks are a fun design element, lending themselves well to bouquets and centerpieces.
Haygood believes the possibilities for Lollicakes are just starting to emerge. If there's something custom you'd like done, don't hesitate to ask. You can keep an eye on the Lollicake blog for seasonal specialties and creative new twists.