Cupcakes have had a heck of a run these last few years. In Austin, and everywhere else, cupcakeries have sprouted up in downtown hipster storefronts, airstream trailers and suburban strip malls.
My cupcake odyssey took me out of Grubbus, into a stint blogging for Sweet Tempered Bakery in South Austin, through the heartbreak of their closure a few months back, and, now, finally, back to Grubbus, and back with a hell of a new favorite cupcake in these waning days of the fad: The Sugar Mama's Bakeshop Black and Tan. Available Fridays.
Sugar Mama's gets just about everything right. It's a little place, tucked into South First Street between Mary and Johanna. Black and white tiles and an eccentric mix of the vintage and the Ikea frame two glass displays dominated with a constantly changing array of the most luscious cupcakes, cookies, pies and bars I've encountered. It's an engaging spot, and there are a couple of small tables, but this is essentially a get-it-and-go operation. So presentation is off the chart, and the cashier I chatted with talked about growing up running around Sweetish Hill while her mom baked cakes (foodie cred!) but the real kicker here is the taste: Moist, buttery, sweet cakes with frosting good enough to eat with a spoon.
A word of warning - despite the proliferation of bakeries in Austin, and despite the slow deflation of the cupcake craze - this place is popular enough that it sells out of the good stuff early - I'd recommend going early if you can.