Kicking Ass and Taking Cakes
Ah, the cupcake trend has reached sleepy Somerville at last. I stopped in Kickass Cupcakes (open since September - I've been dragging) in Davis Square today and was charmed by the cheery staff and the scent of vanilla frosting permeating the air.
I've always liked cupcakes, but I have to admit I haven't quite gotten all the fuss over them in recent years. Sure, they are cute, and yes, I like cake, but aren't cupcakes just ... small cakes? When Katie Holmes declared that her only pregnancy craving was cupcakes, I thought, Oh please! How precious can you be? You just wanted cake, like any other ravenous, sweet-craving pregnant woman. Calling it "cupcakes" doesn't make you any daintier. (This is just one of many instances in which Katie bugs, of course.)
But stepping into Kickass Cupcakes opened my eyes to something beyond the celebrity cupcake hype. When a cake is shrunk down to munchkin size, it gives both the baker and the cupcake consumer the license to try something different, something that might be too much in a full-sized confection, but is a temptingly sweet diversion when limited to two bites. Kickass Cupcakes embraces this opportunity. Care to sample, for instance ... the Mojito Cupcake, perchance?
The Lucky Cupcake plays on the individual serving size of the cupcake, with a paper fortune strip curling out of each frosting top.
The Berry Crumbly isn't really a cupcake at all, but a shrunken-down version of the berry crumble.
And taking cupcake whimsy to new heights, they even offer "petcakes" (my name), with a biscuit-topped carob cupcake for dogs:
and catnip-and-cheese for kitty, topped with a goldfish cracker:
I walked into Kickass Cupcakes feeling cynical. (Yes, cynical about cupcakes. What's my problem?) But true to its sassy name (I was ready to be annoyed by that, too), this little bakery totally won me over with its creativity and sense of humor. I walked out with a sampler of four different cupcake flavors.
The Kickass block of Highland Ave. is turning into a mini baking district, too, with a storefront for the Maine-based sourdough bread bakery When Pigs Fly just two doors down.