Swirlz Cupcakes

Happy cupcake?  If only it were so.

Happy cupcake? If only it were so.

I’ve been to Swirlz Cupcakes several times in our quest for the best cupcakes in Chicago, but hadn’t checked on their progress in a while. I’m both pleased and disappointed to report that they’ve remained consistent in what they deliver.

Bridget & I always try our baseline cupcake we when go to a bakery – vanilla with vanilla frosting. Specialty cupcakes are too variable to compare as are the approaches to chocolate cupcakes. The last time we had Swirlz’s vanilla-vanilla, it was over-baked. It hasn’t changed. Cupcakes shouldn’t be crunchy & the promise of “happy” shouldn’t be written on them unless it’s a true statement. Their buttercream frosting is very light with a nice mouthfeel, but it’s also light on flavor. There’s no bang and I don’t crave it afterward.

As before, their specialty cupcakes were more interesting. The red velvet cake was not too dense and sufficiently moist. I wish they had used cream cheese frosting over the entire cupcake because it too was excellent. However, they garnished the cupcake with more of the bland buttercream. It looked pretty, but left me disappointed when I didn’t get a consistent hit of cream cheese flavor.

Their key lime cupcake was the best we had. They used a different cake mixture, not quite vanilla & not quite citrus, but baked perfectly with a nice center of key lime filling. The key lime frosting reminded me of every key lime pie I’d ever had.


Will we keep Swirlz on our list of cupcake contenders? Maybe. There’s some new competition in that neighborhood and Swirlz will need to improve their basic offerings in order to compare. Been to Swirlz? Let us know what you think!

Swirlz Cupcakes
705 W. Belden Ave.
Chicago, IL

The red velvet cupcake was delicious.

The red velvet cupcake was delicious.

On-line buzz about Swirlz Cupcakes:
Food in Mouth
No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner

Got photos of Chicago cupcake contenders? Add them to the We Love Chicago Cupcakes Flickr group!

  1. Samantha left a comment on July 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Swirlz also has a gluten free cupcake selection available daily! I wasn’t totally crazy about the icing, but when it comes to finding a gluten free cupcake, I really haven’t found any better!

  2. Tammy left a comment on July 5, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I’m not a big judge of gluten-free cupcakes, but have you tried Bleeding Heart Bakery? I’m told by those who eat gluten-free, that these are also quite good. I’d be interested in a side-by-side comparison.

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