When it’s cold everyone looks for comfort: comfort food, cuddly blankets, childhood memories and hot cocoa. There’s something relaxing about classic food and remembering when you were a kid and snow was fun, not a whole chore. Molly’s Cupcakes in Lincoln Park captures this childhood fun and comfort with their sweet cakes and playful atmosphere.
Molly’s Cupcakes was created by founder and owner Johnny in honor of his third-grade teacher. She would bake her students’ cupcakes for their birthdays. In addition to whipping up delicious cupcakes, they donate a portion of profits to schools in the community.
Their selection of cupcakes shows you the diversity they offer, but their specialty is center-filled cupcakes. They won Cupcake Wars during Season One on the Food Network with a lemon kiwi cupcake. The Ron Bennington is one of the most popular cupcakes at the shop, named after radio personality and comedian of the same name, but Chicago Magazine has named their red velvet the best in Chicago.
With all those options it was hard to choose just one, so this taste test takes on two comforting cupcakes, The Cookie Monster and Cookies-n-Cream.
The Cookie Monster
This cupcake is a chocolate chip cake topped with vanilla buttercream and filled with cookie dough. Paired with Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster on the sign it was hard to overlook this filled delight. At first it seemed the bite-size chocolate chip cookie atop this cupcake was all that made it a “cookie monster.” But when you finally got to the cookie dough in the center, it was magical. The creamy, soft frosting combined with moist cake and classic chocolate chip cookie dough was like a child’s dream. If only you could ensure there was cookie dough in every bite.
This cupcake is a chocolate cake topped with a chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream and filled with chocolate. Their vanilla buttercream is a classic, creamy and not too sweet, so it paired perfectly with the chocolate cake. The disappointing aspect to this cupcake though was how much chocolate was incorporated. Cookies and cream very often refers to an oreo-like flavor, so there should be a lot of chocolate, but this felt like it was lacking in the cream department of overall taste. Perhaps if they had filled it with vanilla frosting it would fit its name more accurately.
Molly’s Cupcakes compliments the playful feeling of their cupcakes with vintage metal lunchboxes above the barista station, a sprinkle station to add assorted sprinkles to your cupcake creation, pop hits playing over the speakers and classic board games like Connect Four for customers to play. If that wasn’t enough comfort in one location, you can sit on their oversized swings while enjoying your cupcake and even add a coffee or latte to keep you warm on a winter’s day.