Currently, there are three cupcake stores in Knoxville - The Cupcakery, Cities Cupcake, and Magpies. As far as I know, Magpies has been around the longest while the other two only recently opened. Both The Cupcakery and Cities are just down the road from us, Magpies is across town. The Cupcakery is a chain, but I think the other two are local shops. Why am I writing about all this? Well, Jeremy and I recently decided to taste test all three stores to see which one we like the best. Previously, we had only been eating at Cities, since it's close by, but after hearing about the others from friends, we decided to try all and report.
This wasn't a very good study - there were only two of us, the tastings weren't blind, and it was done over a period of time. But it was a lot of fun. Here are the results:
Cities Cupcake - a variety of flavors, both for cakes and frostings. All the cupcakes have a city theme - the Charleston cupcake is coconut flavor, New Orleans is red velvet, etc. Cute idea. The cake there is light, fluffy, and has good flavor. The frosting is not overly sweet, but compliments the cake well. Also, once a week they sell "salty" cupcakes. We have sampled two - the Milwaukee, which had a beer batter "cake" with a cream cheese "frosting" and the Santa Fe, with jalepeno cornbread and ranch-spiced cream cheese. Both were very good.
The Cupcakery - there were less choices here, I felt. Basically only a few cakes and a few frostings and then they mixed and matched. The store had a very trendy vibe to it - they had shirts and baby onesies for sale. The cake was dense and moist, much heavier than that of cities. The frosting was pretty good, although I felt that the cream cheese frosting on Jeremy's cupcake was a little sweet. He liked it.
Magpies - we got there a half hour before they closed so they didn't have much of a selection out so I'm not sure what all they sell. They are a trendy place to go here - located where all the hipsters live. They also sell boxes of mini cupcakes. We bought a dozen mixed - 4 key lime, 4 chocolate peanut butter, and 4 chocolate with cream cheese frosting. The cake here is also very dense and moist. I felt the frosting was too sweet but since we were eating mini cupcakes it wasn't too bad. Had I bought a full sized cupcake it would have been too sweet for me to finish.
Overall, all three were good. It's pretty much just a personal preference if you like dense moist cake or light and fluffy cake. We're probably going to keep going to Cities for most of our cupcakes needs as it is closest, a local place, and we both like their light and fluffy cake.