Stepping off a bus and finding Luscious Layers is not the easiest task, but once locating this newly opened independent bake shop in North Bucktown, you'll be happy you did. Co-owned by a husband-and-wife creative duo, the bakery showcases specialty made cupcakes, cakes and cookies. After a few years operating a bakery service, the owners were able to open and design their own interior shop for production and commercial sales.
When you step into the space, you'll find a large, business style room with a conference table and executive chairs (a little daunting if you were looking for a run-of-the-mill bakery). Placed atop the table are photo albums and binders, scrapbooks of hundreds of cake and cupcake designs, tailored to any occasion. Cakes are made to order, animal shapes are a fun alternative and priced by the piece ($3.25-$5.25 per serving, depending topping: buttercream vs. fondant iced). Sheet cakes and rounds cost between $6 and $180 (this would be the 100-serving sheet cake).
To the far right of the space you'll find a small pastry case and transaction counter. The website is updated daily, promoting pastry items, a smart way to attract a new audience or pull locals into the store. Cupcakes sold in the case are $1 each ($2 if you are ordering in bulk). I left with a hot pink pastry box containing five cupcakes (including a small sample) and a $5.51 total. For no other reason than this, Luscious Layers might be the best cupcake manufacturer in the city.
Try the mocha peppermint or coconut almond for delicious starters, and stay to chat with the owners, warmly willing to help with selections and share their story.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Sondra Morin