Where Locals Go

Sugar & Frosting

Review by Frank Geslani   |   Photos by Lorraine Haan-Stewart

Reports of the cupcakeâs demise are greatly exaggerated. First it was cake balls, then the French macaroon, then pie, then old school candy, then fancy doughnutsâbut try as the media might to coronate a ânewâ cupcake in our hearts and minds, the good old cupcake still has a hold on our sweet teeth.

Many of us fell for Whatâs Up Cupcake in Old Town Keller. Its cottage setting on a semi-residential lane had the kind of irresistible mom-and-pop charm that hardly needed cupcakes to draw us in, but draw us in they did.  Their imaginative takes on the mini treats made us long for childhood.  Then suddenly, it was gone, replaced byâ¦another cupcake place?

Keller chowhounds surely went through bouts of confusion, perhaps even a tinge of outrage, but any period of loss was fleeting. Once people came in to check out the new kid in town, it was quickly evident that delicious things were afootâand that some of Whatâs Up Cupcakeâs DNA still lives on within the paper liners.

Owner and head pastry chef, Melody Fitzgerald, had already been making custom cakes independently for Whatâs Upâs owners.  Just as she prepared to part ways and expand her business into a larger kitchen, the owners offered to sell Fitzgerald the shop.  She had hoped to find a location with the same cozy, homey appeal, so taking over the space was a no-brainer.

Another no-brainer, keeping some of the beloved flavors that made Whatâs Up Cupcake such a local darling, including the popular cookies-and-cream and sâmores cupcakes. Sugar and frosting has a selection of nine cupcake flavors that change daily, including lemon cheesecake, mint chocolate chip, andâwhen in seasonâstrawberry shortcake.  Seasonality seems to figure prominently into the bake shopâs long term vision. Fitzgerald gave us a preview of what flavors might pop up this autumn and through the holiday seasonâpumpkin pie, caramel apple, chocolate peppermint and, our holiday favorite, gingerbread.  

Part of Sugar and Frostingâs appeal is the element of surprise, though weâve earmarked a few early favorites that we hope make frequent appearances on the cupcake board.  Turtle caramel fudge is a gooey, nutty, chocolaty package with a magical mix of homemade goodness and a trained chefâs finesse. Almond-flavored wedding cake is elegantly rich, with a restrained sweetness and a hint of salt for perfect balance.

Fitzgerald finds inspiration for her cakes in unlikely places, including pie and gelato flavors.  Fortunately, she has the goods to back up even her most offbeat concoctions. She earned her stripes working as a pastry chef in Maineâs Goose Cave Lodge.  It was there that she got to showcase her talents for the mother of all culinary icons, Julia Child.  Fitzgerald created a cake for the grande dameâs 88th birthday, a tantalizing chocolate cake with chocolate mousse covered in chocolate ganache and bruleed bananas. Julia was happy. Iâm happy just describing it.  We can all be happy knowing our cake needs are in the capable hands of someone who can clearly handle the pressure.        

Youâll find much more than cupcakes, particularly fanciful sugar cookies and cake pops. This full service bakery has an impressive portfolio of expertly designed cakes, but Fitzgerald knows all too well that cupcakes will continue to be her bread and butter, or rather, her sugar and frosting. The press may declare that cupcakes are dead, but we say, âLong live the cupcake!â

126 Taylor Street    |    Keller 76248    |    (817) 562-2500    |    www.sugarandfrosting.com