Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gigi's Cupcakes Hits Chicagoland!

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If you're all about sweets, you'll love this post! Two weeks ago, the popular cupcake shop, Gigi's Cupcakes, opened up their first store in Illinois, just north of Chicago in the suburb of Wilmette. I had the opportunity to visit before their grand opening to not only have my fill of cupcakes, but to meet Gigi herself!


Gigi's Cupcakes was all started by a wonderful woman,Gina Butler. Her story is a remarkable one and so inspirational! You can read it here. I also loved watching her on the tv show, Undercover Boss, where she disguised herself and worked a few jobs within her company along side employees. Through that experience, she learned not only about the technical work but the people behind her brand. Now, to see her in person and spend some time at her new store was such a treat!

The Wilmette/Chicago store is owned by the Yaccino family and it was great to spend time with Christine Yaccino who decided to open up a franchise here in the Midwest. Her reason? To have others feel the warmth and happiness she felt when she stepped foot into Gigi's Cupcakes for the first time while in Tampa, FL.

To kick off the sweet evening, we started with a tasting of cupcakes. The first one was this Strawberry Shortcake - white cake baked with fresh strawberries, topped with a strawberry buttercream frosting and red sugar crystals.

Next is Scarlett's Red Velvet. A deep red velvet cake with a vanilla filling is topped with a cream cheese frosting and decorated with red sugar crystals and a white chocolate heart. 

It's fall so why not incorporate some apples! This Apple Pie Cupcake was fantastic with its moist apple cake filled with Gigi’s apple pie filling, cinnamon cream cheese frosting, rimmed with pie crust and topped with apple pie filling.

The most popular cupcake is next - the Wedding Cake.This is a white cake topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting and sprinkled with white nonpareils.

Another great thing about Gigi's Cupcakes is that they offer gluten free cupcakes too! This Triple Chocolate Torte is popular with everyone and is gluten free. It's a rich, dark chocolate cake with a brownie texture, baked without flour, topped with a chocolate ganache rose and powdered sugar.

Available both in regular and gluten free versions, this Pumpkin Spice Latte cupcake was adorable! A pumpkin cake is topped with their famous vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and delicately sprinkled with a creamy caramel drizzle.

After our tasting, we then went back into the bakery to learn how to create the signature Gigi's Cupcakes frosting 'swirl'... which was much harder than you think!

And after we thought we were done eating, Gina brought out a platter of her cheesecake cupcakes! They were heavenly and so good...

So if you're in the Chicagoland area and need an amazing sugar fix, definitely pop into Gigi's Cupcakes! For those elsewhere, you can hit up any of the 95 stores within 23 states!

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