We’re big fans of cupcakes at Time Out. Especially when we can buy a baker’s dozen without the guilt. Don’t get us wrong, cake is cake and your doctor’s not going to invert the food pyramid in their favour any time soon, but if you’re going to fall into a display cabinet one way or another, Merry Cupcakes offers a better solution to your sugar craving than most joints.
The owner of this pink and blue frosting shaded house of miniature desserts is Mary Lin – a nutritionist who is pulling all of the stunts your mum used to. Y’know, stray husks in the flour, reduced sugar, and avocado in the chocolate icing to add creaminess without butter. In fact, there’s no butter, or any dairy at all in any of the cakes. Soy milk and Tofutti replace milk and cream cheese, and Nuttelex (nut-based margarine, low in saturated fat) replaces our favourite golden heart clogger.
On the one hand, the dairy-free desserts are less likely to send you peaking off your brain in a haze of sucrose and butterfat, by that same token, they’re less likely to send you crashing into a post-binge fugue. We prefer the more heavily flavoured gear – a rich chocolate-avocado number, or zucchini cake – where cocoa, or spice and heavy vegetable content conceal all evidence of the sometimes waxy taste of Nuttelex. Subtle flavours – vanilla and strawberry are still admirably cakey, but the sleight of hand is easier to spot.
Coffee’s not the strong point here, but nor is it the focus, so while there’s a couple of long communal benches if you want to prop it up with a mint-chocolate morning snack, we prefer to take our dozen somewhere private.