Once again KC has been a little slow on the uptake for the designer cupcake trend (SPRINKLES!). LA and New York have had these for nearly a decade and suddenly there seems to be an up-shoot of numerous cupcake places here. That’s just fine with me. Cupcake A La Mode was my first and will always have the distinct advantage of being very close to my house, just west of the Plaza and in Park Place at 117th and Nall.
With hot pink walls, lots of lace aprons, and gourmet cupcakes (and their boxes), Cupcake A La Mode gives you the giddy, pampered feeling of a childhood tea party replete with lace dresses and gloves. The extravagant cupcakes and pop-glam décor oozes feminine recreation and a fluffy good time. It’s over the top and loving it. Like the Easy Bake Oven, it’s unapologetically designed and sold for females (Simmer down internal feminist). You may have to have a heavy dose of estrogen to enjoy this place: my partner claims it gives him a headache to be there for a great length of time. This is a problem because it could take 20 minutes to pick from one of their twenty cupcakes.
They only have chocolate or vanilla cupcakes. My three favorites are: “after dinner mint” a chocolate cupcake with mint butter cream icing, “peanut butter kiss” with chocolate and peanut butter icing and Hershey’s Kiss on top, and the “PB&J” a vanilla cupcake with peanut butter in the middle and vanilla icing with raspberry drizzle. I know, right? Sounds fantastically indulgent and luxurious huh? Well, it is. At about $4 a pop, it’s well worth it to indulge in these little treats.
The taste is good, even great, but not the absolute best cupcakes I have ever tasted. I’ve had several that were a bit on the dry side, and the chocolate cupcakes are not as decadently rich as I like, but you know, it doesn’t have to be. Like my Easy Bake Oven as a child, the experience of this activity far surpasses the actual quality of the food produced. I call it the Easy Bake Oven on crack because it should be only for those too young to fall for the gimmick but adults still really enjoy it. It’s Easy Bake Crack because the food is unsubstantial and much more about the selecting and the event than the taste. It’s enough that the cupcakes are beautiful, interesting and tasty. It’s a girl haven. It’s lux and fun because you feel like a little girl enjoying a princess party. Yes, I had those all the time as a child and am thinking about resurrecting that tradition as a 27 year old who would still love to be a princess for a day. And that’s why I love this place.
Two other things you should know. They only sell cupcakes. And coffee, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I wish that they would make other pastries, but alas not yet. The boxes they put the to-go cupcakes in are a major selling point for me. They’re a little personal sized present: hot pink with holders and a see-through lid so you can enjoy the prettiness all the way home.Location: 1209 West 47th Street Kansas City, MO 64112, Park Place 11529 Ash St Leawood, KS 66211 Hours: Plaza location: Sun-Mon Closed, Tues- Sat 10-6, Park Place Location: Mon-Sat 10-7 and Sun 12-5 Price: Moderately priced
I give Cupcake A La Mode 3 “tiaras” out of 5