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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

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In Dining

The Tosa is a devil's food cupcake topped with caramel butter cream topped with chopped pecans, kosher salt and raw sugar.

Milwaukee Cupcake Company makes one tasty little cake


There's no question any more that the delicate cupcake has swooped in like a tasty little dirt devil to become the new darling of the dessert world.

The new-found love affair with the dainty little cake began gaining national momentum a few years ago as cupcake-centric bakeries exploded along the coasts. Here in Milwaukee, the birth of Sandy Ploy's Iron Cupcake Challenge (which has since spread to an international level) fostered our own delicious reunion with the nostalgic treat from our childhood.

The swift resurgence, of course, begs the question: how and why did cupcakes ever fade from fashion? Because the thing about cupcakes is that they are irresistibly adorable -- food in art form that are sometimes almost too pretty to eat ... almost.

Take The Tosa, one of the locally inspired offerings at the new Milwaukee Cupcake Company, which opened May 15 at 316 N. Milwaukee St. in the Third Ward. Technically, it's a devil's food cupcake topped with caramel butter cream topped with chopped pecans, kosher salt and raw sugar. But from a visual standpoint, it reads as pure decadent bliss. Tastes like it, too.

And herein lies the only foreseeable problem with the new cupcake shop, which is positioned quaintly in a corner section of the building that houses Coquette Cafe, My Dwelling LLC and Petaluna Flowers & Gifts. Each of the 11 varieties on daily display look equally temping, making flavor decisions something of a daunting task.

We have co-owners Debbie Gale, Lynn Kobussen and Karen Neuser to thank for that. Gale, the long-time baking enthusiast, uses nothing but pure ingredients, including Wisconsin butter, Callebaut Belgian cocoa and chocolate and real Madagascar vanilla.

Kobussen and Neuser lend their skills to detail and design, ensuring that The Riverwest -- cookies and cream topped with an Oreo -- is flawless and independently distinctive from the The East Sider, a dark chocolate lover's dream.

Regularly sized cupcakes go for $2.50 ($30 for a dozen), while the mini cupcakes go for $1.25 ($14 a dozen). Either size is perfect for weddings and other parties and events where aesthetics is equal to taste.

Milwaukee Cupcake Company is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and also offers coffee, Rishi tea and soda. Currently, the small shop works as a grab-and-go as there are no tables at which to sit an enjoy your purchases, but the owners promise seating is soon on its way.


Talkbacks

lovemilwaukee81 | June 10, 2010 at 2:51 p.m. (report)

I've been here twice now and each time I've been here the cupcakes are dry. Had high hopes but they've failed me twice. But I'll give it one more shot since they are new in the Third Ward and then I'm done. The cupcakes are better at C. Adam's Bakery.

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TosaJim | May 21, 2010 at 12:54 p.m. (report)

Brew.cityzen...you were right...I'm not their targeted demographic....I didn't mean to be rude....enjoy the day.

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Brew.Cityzen | May 21, 2010 at 10:22 a.m. (report)

Tosa Jim, I didn't have to guess that you don't like Starbucks either. As I said, you're clearly not the target demographic here.

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TosaJim | May 20, 2010 at 10:03 p.m. (report)

Brew.cityzen .....you spent $2.50 for a less than satisfying cupcake....doesn't that make you ignorant? And guess what?....I don't like Starbucks either.... :)

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CarolV | May 19, 2010 at 5:24 p.m. (report)

Sounds neat! I'm totally planning a special outing with my kids for a scrumptious treat some Saturday soon when the soccer schedule allows :)

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