Friday, September 25, 2009

Luscious Layers

Luscious Layers lives just north of the 90/95 on Damen Ave. It's a lonely stretch of Bucktown that you would probably have no cause to visit except that it's the only place in Chicago where you'll find moist, unique cupcakes for $1.

It's a minimalistic place with decadent creations that looks like it were designed by a graphic pop artist. Currently, they're only selling cupcakes on site, which is why only about 1/3 of their display case is full, but they will expand in the coming months.

I couldn't make a decision. All the flavors - the red velvet, malted milk ball, hibiscus raspberry, chai, and white with mojito mousse - looked cool. I mean, this place was really switching it up if red velvet was its most basic offering.

Luckily, there was a platter of minis (see above photo) of each cupcake on display to try free of charge! What a great idea. In the genial employee's words, "it was just like going out for ice cream where you can get that sample spoon of any flavor". So true, so true! Why had no cupcake shop done this before?!

I sampled the white with mojito mousse and it was exactly like a delicious non-alcoholic cupcake mojito: a refreshing mint aftertaste, but creamy and super moist. It was kind of amazing - they really found the distinct flavors in a mojito and translated them into the cupcake language.

In the end, I decided to choose one that I could compare to others - the red velvet - and one that I had never heard of - the malted milk ball. That was my thought process. And when I heard the total for these two cupcakes, I was shocked. I wanted to make sure that he rang in both cupcakes. He told me that there was no mistake, the total really was just over $2. Incredible.

The red velvet was among the best I've had - a moist red/mahogany cake base with a thick and sweet buttercream frosting. A hint of cocoa lingered on my tongue after the first bite, yet the luscious cream washed over it by the finish.

The malted milk ball wasn't as successful of a creation, simply because it did not taste at all like a malted milk ball cupcake. It tasted exactly like a good chocolate/chocolate cupcake. It was just as moist as I would've wanted it and had a good creaminess. For me though, it was too one dimensional - the chocolate flavor completely overpowered the smattering of malted milk ball pieces on top. Even with an exquisitely calibrated palate, you'd be hardpressed to find the malted milk ball taste.

But, for a buck a piece, these cupcakes are a steal. Get them while you can and look forward to their expanding on-site offerings. If the cupcakes are any indication, the baked goods on the way will be yumderful.

Back or Forth? I will be going back.

Luscious Layers - Bucktown - (773)663-1335 - 2315 N. Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 - Public transportation: bus 74.

Red velvet cupcake - $1
Malted milk ball cupcake - $1
White with mojito mousse - FREE!

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