The Loop's Sugar Bliss calls itself a "cake boutique," a subtle yet bold proclamation that a.) They can do better than a grocery-store brand cupcake and b.) Cake boutiques are infinitely more enjoyable than fashion boutiques. Together with the Gold Coast's More Cupcakes and Lincoln Park's Swirlz Cupcakes, Sugar Bliss represents a growing trend of bakeries that recognize the public's growing love affair with cupcakes that look pretty and taste prettier.
Basically, unless you're looking for a "low-fat" cupcake (does such a thing exist?), there's something here for any sugar lover. Ten cupcakes are some sort of variant of chocolate, including chocolate caramel, chocolate coconut, or chocolate toffee, each composed of dark chocolate cake, topped with either buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Other options are just as blissful, like the bourbon vanilla cake that makes up the Orange Creamscile cupcake, or the Banana Banana cake, topped with chunks of fruit (ideally of banana). Each cupcake looks artfully made, and many resemble pudgy flowers, complete with creamy petals. Regular-sized cupcakes are $3.50 ($40 for a dozen), but a $1.50 mini-version of each is offered for those looking for a low-cost, less-filling alternative. There's also a "frosting shot" for $1 apiece, which is where "blissful" turns into "sinful."
While all the cupcakes are available for delivery, the company has a small store in the Loop that in due time will be a popular post-Magnificent Mile shopping stop. With very little décor, the shop does have a few stools that overlook Wabash, but the store's mostly a tiny space to gawk at cupcakes. Which, in a way, is a lot like gawking at jewelry, except cupcakes go down a heckuva lot sweeter.
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert