Anyone who’s ever walked past Sugarswirlz Cupcakery, Cardiff, will understand how difficult it is to resist a look inside after seeing its sugar-loaded shop-front. Its big glass windows are filled with elaborate displays, laden with just about every type of cupcake you could ever think of, each sitting neatly on a cake stand. From the age-old red velvet and carrot cake, to contemporary giant cupcakes and even a ladies’ stiletto -Sugarswirlz clearly understand the importance of making a good first impression.
Having launched in 2010, Sugarswirlz claim to be, “the original cupcake bakery (or ‘cupcakery’) in Wales”. Shop founder, Sally Dodd, combines her grandmother’s traditional sponge recipe with a few culinary secrets of her own, using only the best organic and fair-trade ingredients to create truly eye-catching cupcakes, all by hand.
The cupcakery made national news last year when a mother came in with her two young sons and trashed the shop, smashing up displays and throwing cupcakes. She went on to assault staff before fleeing with her children, leaving behind a trail of damage worth £400 and sparking a police investigation (read the full story here). The reason for her sudden outburst? The shop had sold out of her favourite flavour of cupcake, the Sweet Tooth-Fairy. Made of an assortment of flavoured frostings topped with candy floss, this aptly-named cupcake is a popular choice amongst customers.
I finally gave in to my urge this week and decided to find out what all the fuss is about. Formerly based in Dominions Arcade, the cupcakery is now situated in flash new premises in Queen’s Arcade, opposite Millie’s Cookies (let the rivalry commence!) Stepping inside, I am met with the indulgent smell of cakes baking – a very warm welcome, indeed! I make a beeline for the precious cupcakes that I have heard so much about, piled up on top of each other on cake stands in their many different varieties, encased in glass display cabinets like the Crown jewels.
After reading the story about the mad mum, I know exactly which flavour I want before I even get to the shop. But when the assistant tells me they don’t have any Sweet Tooth-Fairy cupcakes left, I don’t throw a fit – why would I, when I have so many other mouthwatering flavours to choose from? I eventually opt for ‘The Mr Big’ New York Cheesecake – classic vanilla sponge topped with a cream cheese frosting, coloured sprinkles, and chocolate flake.
|‘The Mr Big’ New York Cheesecake|
Now, I’ve never tasted New York Cheesecake before, but if it’s anything like this cupcake, I wouldn’t mind giving it a go. Not sure where to start , I begin with devouring the chocolate flake on top, before moving on to the frosting. A duck-egg blue in colour, it’s sinfully sweet and definitely not one for the calorie-conscious. Experiencing a slight sugar rush, I take a bite of the sponge. It tastes traditional – light, moist, eggy, and noticeably fresh.
At £2.20 a pop, these cupcakes are a little on the pricey side, but believe me, they’re worth it. If you’ve got several mouths to feed, why not splash out on the affectionately-named, ‘One for the girls’ (a selection of six cupcakes) or ‘Workmates’ (a dozen)?
Having finally satisfied my urge to try a Sugarswirlz cupcake, my only regret is not doing it sooner. I can definitely see what all the fuss is about now, and I can see myself becoming a bit crazy for these cupcakes – although I won’t be pulling any mad-mum moves!
Unfortunately, Sugarswirlz Cupcakery has now closed down.