I managed to survive Thanksgiving. Not only survive it, I crushed it. I fried three turkeys with my brother, Big Al, had some alone time with a pan of my mother’s dressing, stared in the face of multiple casseroles, threw the football, and most importantly walked away from the desserts. Well, save a sliver of buttermilk pie and a couple of pralines. I could have done worse, right?
Sweets just aren’t what Thanksgiving is about at my house. In the MacDonald family sweets are for Christmas. So this issue I decided it was time to focus my attention on nothing but sweets right here in the middle of the holiday season. And if you are looking to put yourself in that pre-yuletide sugar coma then look no further than West Mobile’s Flour Girls Bakery.
Hillcrest and Airport is a much better intersection since these gals came along. It’s a full service bakery full of friendly female faces focusing on cakes as their bread and butter, but walking in and seeing the display counter will have you believing the place is a cupcake operation.
The almighty cupcake is a hot item right now. Who would have thought 10 years ago there would be television shows devoted to the confection? I certainly didn’t see it coming. People are passionate about them, everything ranging from normal chocolate to exotic designer styles like margarita. Flour Girls doesn’t delve into anything too weird, they just take a handful of classy flavors and do them well.
I couldn’t help myself when I saw them lined up on the shelf. I’d always wanted to say it, so I did. “I’ll take one of everything.”
That meant a perfect dozen ($18). Though I was hoping for a baker’s dozen, I got exactly 12. What I would have done with the thirteenth cupcake, I don’t know. Twelve of these rich bad boys were more than enough for me to handle, and I only sampled the flavors. Just let me run down the list. Red velvet cake, butter cream, Italian cream, wedding cake, strawberry, German chocolate, lemon, lemon raspberry, butter cream with chocolate icing, chocolate with chocolate icing, pumpkin and apple pie. Wipe your chin. You are drooling.
Assisting me in my selections for this experiment are employees Tameka and Caryn. Tameka says she is fond of the strawberry, while Caryn says the apple pie is to die for. I know I cannot eat all of these things in one afternoon and live to tell about it, but these girls wouldn’t steer me wrong. Strawberry cake is downright delicious with that icing covering the top. Apple pie may be my favorite of these two, though.
Already wedding cake seemed pretty tame. It tastes exactly like a wedding cake, if you are into that sort of thing. An excellent wedding cake, but a bit mild for this experiment. Red velvet is another that isn’t too exotic, but is a proven best seller. Who can resist a plain butter cream every now and again, or the Italian cream with the nuts inside and atop the icing?
The butter cream with the chocolate icing is even better, but maybe at a slight disadvantage to the chocolate with chocolate icing. Then things got real.
By the time I reached for a sliver of German chocolate I thought I was going to have to bow out. The sugar was getting to me, but I couldn’t resist. This one was a beaut, with the punch and flavor of a much larger cake.
Pumpkin was in the running for the top spot. It had a filling that was light, but it carried that pumpkin pie spice effortlessly. This was one of the best, along with apple pie.
Lemon was great, and I’m a fan of lemon-filled donuts from Shipley’s (the greatest donut shop in the world) but I will tell you what is better. Lemon raspberry. A raspberry filled cake with the lemon icing made this one my favorite of all the cupcakes. Maybe better suited for summer, I admit I was eating this on an 80 degree December day. But the lightness and tartness of the lemon makes you feel as if you are eating something that isn’t so bad for you. Palate trickery, I tell you.
But I wasn’t done. Something called Georgia Cornbread was like a blondie but a little lighter than normal, like airy with nuts. Very good and not too sweet. The brownie was a brownie. No complaints here. The lemon square, no surprise was my favorite of the three ($1 each).
So I was drowning in a sea of sugar, but there was one more item on the menu I couldn’t resist. French macaroons ($.85 each) were my favorite of the day. I knew I had to have them when fellow foodie Nathan Friedlander raved about them. Chocolate, mocha, almond, raspberry, lemon and pistachio are the options. I of course got one of each, except pistachio. I bought two pistachio. You will not be disappointed with any of the flavors these light and fluffy bite-sized treats carry, but I know myself well. The pistachio was by far my favorite. It was the best thing I had from the entire shop. Well done, ladies.
And to think this isn’t even what Flour Girls is about. Dessert cakes, specialty cakes, wedding cakes, king cakes, cheese cakes, that’s a lot more than just cupcakes. They also claim to make cookies (no shape cookies) but were completely out of them on this day. A likely story. I asked Miss Caryn if they could make thumbprint cookies, like M&M Bakeshop. She says they can. She didn’t say they would. I’ll be waiting for that phone call.
Go ahead and get that sweet tooth in gear. Order a cake or stop by and grab a mixed dozen. There were no disappointments on this sugary adventure, but I’m done. No more for a while. Email me your ideas for reviewing a great salad bar for our next issue.
Flour Girls Bakery
740 Hillcrest Rd
Mobile, AL 36695