Alexandra Duncan

Science Fiction. Fantasy. Feminism.


A few weeks ago, I got together with my friend Stephanie for a day of writing, critiquing, and book swapping. While I was visiting, her husband brought home some tiny strawberry cupcakes from Short Street Cakes, a bakery that just happens to be within walking distance of my house.

I think we all see where this is going.

strawberry short street cupcake

I don't know if I'm doing these  cupcakes justice when I say they were the best cupcakes I've ever eaten. The icing actually melted in my mouth, and even the cake part was delicious. Most cupcakes are simply a vehicle for the icing on top, but these had pieces of fresh strawberry baked into the cake, and the tops peeking over the pretty paper cups were ever so slightly caramelized and crispy. They weren't simply the best cupcakes ever, they were far and away the best pastries I've ever eaten.

The strawberry cupcakes might be my favorite, but that's not all they can do. Here's a random sample of their offerings from earlier today:
Adorable! And tasty.
Maple-bacon madness!
A lovely, full-sized Short Street Cake

The bakery itself is housed in a tiny shop with a charmingly mismatched assortment of cafe and diner tables, pastry cabinets and vintage chairs. Aprons hang in its wide, sunny windows, looking out on the Haywood Street traffic. White-painted bookshelves line the walls next to the pastry case. In short, it is as adorable as its cupcakes.

Since discovering this magical cupcake wonderland right around the corner from my house, I've started evangelizing for its baked goods. I took my mother and sister there when they came to visit, bought some vegan cupcakes for a friend's birthday, and occasionally have popped in to buy some for myself and Jeremy.

Short Street's owner, Jodi Rhoden, has a book that just came out called Cake Ladies, which includes recipes and profiles of women bakers throughout the South. The local release party will be today, Sunday, Oct. 16th, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Malaprop's Bookstore. If you're in the area and read this post in time, you should go!

Of course, the only downside to living so close to a wonderful bakery is that I think I may be spending more time with the other new addition to our house, Mr. Elliptical Machine. But it's totally, completely worth it.

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