There are a lot of cupcake shops dotted across North America, but I doubt many of them are as good as The Cupcake Lounge in Ottawa.
Owner Claudia Arizmendi, born in Mexico, started baking cupcakes more than 10 years ago and my gosh she bakes a beautiful cupcake. The Cupcake Lounge serves 50 different flavours of cupcakes including all the classic cupcakes, like chocolate chocolate, red velvet and vanilla. On the side wall a giant blackboard outlines which cupcakes they offer on which days, with interesting flavours such as carrot cake, apple dulce de leche, lemon coconut and maple.
Here our favourites are the chocolate chocolate and a special cinnamon bun cupcake that has apples in it and is so delicious. They use no preservatives, no artificial colours or transfats. All the cupcakes are made right there in the shop in an open kitchen visible from the counter where you can watch them taking cupcakes out of the oven, carefully scooping icing onto each cooled cake and spreading it out evenly. The cupcakes taste fantastic, aren’t too sweet and have just the perfect ratio of icing to cake.
I also noticed that they had a hot chocolate on their board of offerings, so naturally I asked them if it was any good. “Everything we make is good! The Hot chocolate is real dark cocoa powder”. I ordered one, and they were right – it was good. They use Zuma’s 100% Fairtrade Dark Chocolate, 33% dark roast cocoa beans from Santo Domingo with fair trade sugar from Paraguay. It was served in a paper cup, which I forgave, not just because I enjoyed it, but also because this isn’t a café. There are a few tables inside for those who can’t wait to eat their cupcake and a small table outside where we sat ourselves down, enjoyed our treats and watched the locals go by.
Verdict: You would think that the combination of a hot chocolate and a cupcake would be equal to a week’s worth of sugar. At The Cupcake Lounge it doesn’t feel that way. I recommend both…at the same time… and often. The Cupcake Lounge, 6 Byward Market Square, Ottawa, Canada