What's up, cupcake?
May 9, 2019
The all-American cupcake, the butterfly cake's larger and showier cousin, has been a trend in the UK for several years with all sorts of varieties and lots of bright colours filling our supermarket and bakery shelves. Love them or hate them, cupcakes are here to stay.
So, if we can't beat them, then join them, which is what Mrs Mac's Sweet Treats in Woburn Sands has done.
Mrs Mac's looks like something straight out of the mind of chocolate factory proprietor Willy Wonka. The only thing missing was dozens of children with their noses pressed up against the glass. I considered doing that myself, but thought it was a sure fire way of finding myself being ushered away from the shop.
Following a morning of swing dancing at Woburn Sands Market, during which my eyes regularly wandered to the pink and purple shop front across the road with its enticing window display, I decided to treat myself (and TG, but mostly myself) to a couple of Mrs Mac's finest delicacies, so made my way over.
Mrs Mac's is the creation of sisters Emma and Sam, who developed a love of baking from a young age through their mother. Sadly, she passed away in 2015 and it provided the impetus for the sisters to open their own shop.
As well as cupcakes, the shop sells brownies and macarons among other things and also fulfils cake orders. Many of the cupcakes are based on existing chocolate bars and biscuits with lots of buttercream and some inventive designs. The only problem was with so many cakes, and only one stomach (two if you count TG's) how was one to choose?
In the end I purchased two mint Aero cupcakes, one Jammie Dodger and a Lotus Biscoff (also known as 'hairdresser biscuits') themed cupcake. I beat a hasty retreat in case I ended up emptying my bank account.
On arrival home, the kettle was swiftly filled and switched on. There was no messing about. It was time for business - cupcake business.
First up was the Biscoff cupcake. Biscoff has in recent years expanded beyond the hair salons and into the mainstream with jars of spread based on the biscuit available in supermarkets across the country and Krispy Kreme making a doughnut based on it (tooth achingly sweet). It is a taste sensation, so it makes sense for Biscoff to provide the inspiration for cupcakes too.
The cupcake looked a delicious picture, adorned with buttercream, a biscuit and biscuit crumbs. All the cupcakes were lovely to look at without being over-the-top when it came to decoration. I was slightly envious at the quality of the piping work as I'm someone who usually just slaps on the buttercream with a smearing action.
The texture of the cake was excellent - nice crumb, but with a bit of moisture too. Flavour-wise, the topping was very sweet, a little too sweet for my taste, but that's down to personal preference. The cake itself was a lot less sweet, but in a good way. I had a bit of a baking powder after taste and texture on the end of my tongue with the Biscoff cake though, which was unfortunate given the flavour was otherwise good.
TG had the Jammie Dodger cupcake so I can't comment on the flavour, but again, I liked the design with plenty of buttercream, a drizzle of raspberry and a cute miniature Jammie Dodger nestling on the top.
Now we come to my favourite - the mint Aero cupcake. Out of all the ones I tried, surprisingly this was the least sweet but it was all the better for it. We're big fans of chocolate mint in our house, which is why I bought two so there wouldn't be any fighting over who would have it (me, obviously.)
The pipework was smooth with a two-tone effect, something which requires a lot of skill. Biting into the cake, the chocolate flavour was excellent and the mint really came through - just like eating a mint Aero in cake form, which is obviously the point. Delicious.
Cost wise, the cupcakes are £2.50 each, which some might find a little steep, but the price reflects the time taken and effort made to create something special, which must always be considered when you buy something. Independent shops selling handmade items made with loving care seem to be rare these days (although that is slowly changing) so are worth frequenting, even if you only visit them on occasion or when budget allows.
If you do decide to treat yourself, Mrs Mac's can be found at 45 High Street, in Woburn Sands. Visit the website at www.mrsmacssweettreats.co.uk