January 4, 2012

cupcake taste test | clock tower bakery | overland park, kansas

Clock Tower Bakery in downtown Overland Park, Kansas, is a sweet little bakery that carries more than just cupcakes. The teacher man and I have visited the shop for lunch and snacks on several occasions and dined on flaky croissants, delicious tamales (though they no longer carry them), local coffee and one of my favorites, lamb and goat cheese pizza. (Check my Facebook page to see a picture of the pizza!)

When I was conducting my highly scientific research to figure out my favorite cupcakes in the suburbs, I was finally able to sample some of Clock Tower’s cupcakes. Though the bakery didn’t make my top 5 list (competition was fierce!), Clock Tower does produce some just-fine cupcakes in traditional flavors and no-fuss designs.

I chose to try lemon, vanilla and red velvet cupcakes from the six-cupcake lineup that also includes pumpkin, chocolate and carrot. All cupcakes are $2.25, except for the chocolate, which is $2.75. My hunch is that, because lemon, vanilla and red velvet were the only ones left on the day I visited, the pumpkin, chocolate and carrot cupcakes must be really good. Either that or I just came on a day where only a select number of flavors were available.

lemon cupcake clock tower bakery overland park

{The lemon cupcake from Clock Tower Bakery wasn't lemony enough for my tastes.}

I love lemon cupcakes. Though I almost-always crave rich, decadent desserts, lemon is one of those flavors that always makes me happy. I like splashes of juicy, tangy flavor, but the lemon cupcake from Clock Tower didn’t deliver on that desire. It was lemony, but was more understated and sweet for my eccentric tastebuds.

vanilla cupcake clock tower bakery overland park kansas

{Clock Tower's vanilla cupcake is pretty...vanilla.}

I rarely choose vanilla-on-vanilla cupackes. I’m just not a vanilla girl, unless there’s at least a ribbon of chocolate in it. I tried Clock Tower’s vanilla cupcake anyway, and it kind of helped me reassert these feelings. The cake was dry and the frosting didn’t make up for it at all. It was just…boring. But vanilla is used to that kind of criticism, right?

red velvet cupcake clock tower bakery overland park kansas

{I liked that the red velvet cupcake had a bit more color to it, thanks to red sprinkles.}

Red velvet is almost always an anchor in any respectable cupcakery or bakery. Clock Tower Bakery got this cupcake right. The cake was moist yet fluffy, and the frosting had a smooth, creamy consistency. I’d get this cupcake again, but I’m pretty curious to see how the pumpkin, chocolate and carrot cupcakes compare.

So far, I’m 1/3 on Clock Tower’s cupcakes, so I’m hoping the flavors I haven’t tried make up for my lack of excitement over the lemon and the vanilla. Regardless, I’ll still frequent this adorable bakery because even if all the cupcakes aren’t knockouts, the food and other pastries are fresh and delicious. Plus, the staff is extremely sweet and the open-kitchen design makes it fun to see all the bakers hard at work to make something that will please even the pickiest of palates.

Have you ever tried Clock Tower Bakery’s cupcakes? Do you visit a quaint, local bakery that makes lots of good stuff, even if cupcakes aren’t its shining star? Tell me what you  know in the comments section.

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