So, what was I doing in Hey Little Cupcake - well I was trying out their cakes (and why did you think I was there?) as they've just released the East Coast collection; a set of seven unique flavours inspired by the owner of Hey Little Cupcake's travel throughout the states.
The East Coast Collection - and some pink
Taking influence from a trip up the East Coast, Sarah and the Hey Little Cupcake gang took existing sweet treats and baked goods that are synonymous with places along the route and creatively re-imagined them as cupcakes - pies, tarts and cheesecakes have been cupcaked - and strangely they actually work.
As much as I am a glutton (I put my hand up and admit I can eat 13 crepes in a row) I can't eat seven cupcakes - especially as the Hey Little Cupcakes are quite large (what my mother would term a muffin). Instead I chose the four that sounded most intriguing and scoffed those instead. I'd like to say I had help, but no, I ate them all by myself and didn't even regret it. I even ate the frosting. And I enjoyed them.
My favourite was the Key Lime Pie - light, zesty, sharp and with a buttery biscuit base adding an additional texture contrast. Brilliant. Another wonderfully light cake was the New York Cheesecake; I had thought this would be heavy (as they bake a bit of cheesecake IN the cupcake batter, no I don't know how they achieve that) and overly sweet - but it was all lightness, slight creaminess and a good hint of vanilla without feeling like I was licking soap.
My haulA little heavier and way more decadent was the Brooklyn black out; a full on chocolate cupcake, with hints of espresso and chocolate frosting - you'd think cocoa overload, but chocolate is my one weakness (well with coffee, cheese, cake, wine...). Struggling, but determined not to be beaten, I finished the binge off with the Boston Cream Pie - sweet vanilla sponge with a custard filling and a custardy frosty; all cut through with an ultra bitter dark chocolate ganache that rescues what could be a sickly sweet cake and balances out the flavours.
Yes the place is full of sweet things, cakes and pinkness - but it's balanced like the cakes themselves. The pink is balanced with a profusion of clean lines and white walls, interspersed with eye catching photography from Sarah's travels (it's obvious she doesn't have an eye just for cakes). The staff aren't giggly girls, just down to earth types with a passion for baking and making people's days a little brighter. Even their clientele isn't just girly girls - there were plenty of boys when I went in (and not just the ones forced to stop by with their girlfriends).
See it's not SO pink after all
Hey Little Cupcake is a expression of Sarah's passion and this shows. The cakes don't just look great, they taste fab, all the flavours are balanced, they're not too sweet and there's a big dollop of flair and creativity mixed in to boot. Not surprising seeing as Sarah has ten years of a very successful advertising career behind her and was so dedicated that during the initial pop up opening 18 months ago she was doing 14 hours days, 7 days a week. It's paid off, the shop is busy and what's more she's got the smarts to have big plans for the future and her little cakes, rather than being part of the bandwagon, Hey Little Cupcake the trail leader.
You can get a flavour a day from the East Coast collection all this week - but as a special treat on Friday and Saturday the whole collection will be in the store - so don't miss out!
The flavours are:
Monday: Florida Key Lime Pie. Digestive base with a lime sponge and lime cream frosting
Tuesday: Boston Cream Pie. Vanilla sponge, custard filling and custard buttercream with dark choc ganache
Wednesday: Lady Baltimore Cake. Cherry and raisin sponge topped with meringue frosting and pecans
Thursday: Mississippi Mud Pie. Oreo cookie base, Yorkie pudding filled sponge, topped with chocolate buttercream, fresh cream and chocolate sprinkles.
Friday: New York Cheesecake. Digestive base with vanilla cheesecake sponge topped vanilla cream cheese
Saturday: Brooklyn Blackout. Espresso and dark chocolate sponge filled with a chocolate fudge filling, topped with chocolate buttercream, dark chocolate ganache and chocolate sprinkles.
Sunday: Kentucky Jam Cake. Cinnamon sponge filled with raspberry jam topped with caramel buttercream, cinnamon sprinkles and toffee sauce.
Ps Hey Little Cupcake also run cookery classes, jam making, make wedding cakes, make BIG cakes, do gift certificates and have gluten free cakes in the store every day.
Hey Little Cupcake, Little Quay Street, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3HF - 0161 832 0260 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Twitter
Please note I was given my cakes for free, but didn't have to write anything nice. KI just really liked the cake and thought Sarah was an inspirational person to talk to.