Creme Cupcake is sweet alright, but it isn’t all sprinkles and whipped topping (though, there is a lot of that). The bakery, which is settling into its new home on 28th Street from its old digs on South Union Street, has more of an edge.
After your next evening event, you may find yourself craving a rich brownie with a unique cocktail or a sweet slice of cake with a spiked Spanish coffee. And after a taste at Creme Cupcake and Dessert Lounge, heading to the neighborhood dive for a pitcher may seem a little underwhelming.
Creme Cupcake was opened by Christina Moffatt, 33, in early 2011, after she spent months baking for fun and friends in her spare time. It was a risky decision to leave her full-time job with RDG Planning & Design to bake gourmet treats, but the timing was right and she jumped at the chance. Now two years later, she has expanded her menu to include traditional breakfast bakery staples and unique desserts, plus a full-service bar.
We stopped in on opening day earlier this month, mouths watering for a soft cupcake and other desserts. At 2 p.m., the line was still stretched to the door, which was, according to Moffatt and her staff, the story of the day. The cupcakes were sold out, but the coffee cake, brownies and scones looked delicious, so we tried one of each.
Simply order at the counter, wait for your treat, then take a seat (coffee, water and tea are self-serve at the end of the bar). The coffee cake was full of flavor and the perfect consistency between crumbly and dense — we vowed to return early one morning and make it breakfast. The brownie was a decadent block of chocolate laced with caramel and fudge drizzles. The scone was light and crisp.
All menu items, Topped Doughnuts (from Ankeny), cupcakes, muffins, cheesecakes, crispy rice bars, cakes and more, are $3 or less, individually priced. They’re cheaper by the dozen, so make your office happy (and save yourself a little cash) and show up with a boxful.
The ambience is enough to make customers want to linger. A warm color scheme of orange and brown is inviting and cozy, with large windows, decorative pendant lighting and a full bar behind the bakery counter beckoning with just about every top-shelf booze you can think of. We perched at one of several high-top tables, but booths and low tables line the windows looking out to 28th Street.
Bottom line: Save your calories for Creme Cupcake. The bar menu is intriguing enough to make us plan a night out (Irish Whiskey Mousse, Vanilla Peach Cobbler cocktail or Striking Strawberry Shortcake, anyone?), and the breakfast menu is enough to make us want to get up early the next day.
Find it: 543 28th St.
Hours: Bakery hours are 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Dessert lounge hours are 5:30-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5:30 p.m.- midnight Friday and Saturday.
Info: 554-9007, cremecupcake.com