Classy cupcakes at classic prices from Mickey's Special Affairs | Eat Arkansas

Classy cupcakes at classic prices from Mickey's Special Affairs

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Remember the days before the $4 cupcake? Before places like New York’s Magnolia Bakery or Sprinkles essentially altered the acceptable price for what was once a simple and often overlooked snack food. As the number of cupcake addicts has grown exponentially across the country, it seems that we are even more willing to shell out our hard-earned cash for anything crowned with five inches of buttercream frosting. I’m always willing to pay for quality and I’ve happily dropped upwards of $30 on a dozen cupcakes at exceptional bakeries around the country, but the truth is, I’ve too often overpaid for dry, lifeless, mediocre cupcakes. Most are simply are not worth more than $3 (there are some notable exceptions, of course). I’ve met a good number of people who echo these sentiments, opting to stick with baking at home rather than support their local artisans.

For all you cupcake naysayers, allow me to introduce Mickey’s Special Affairs, a family owned and operated bakery in west Little Rock that has been serving the community for more than 40 years. Mickey’s specializes in creating full-sized cakes, made-to-order for any number of occasions. They meet with their clientele personally on a daily basis in order to create attractive edible centerpieces for special events, parties, and ceremonies. Cupcakes, in this case, may not make up the bulk of the business, but they are definitely available to those who come calling.

As you enter Mickey’s, you will notice a single, small clear plastic display box containing some the baked goods available for purchase that day. However, they also keep a number of cake and frosting flavors behind the closed doors of the kitchen, so you’ll need to ask the staff about additional options they are running that day. Additionally, you have the choice to call ahead and pre-order your cupcakes. Their website lists the large variety of cake flavors and frostings, with which you are able to mix-and-match, creating your ideal assortment of baked goods. Options very from the standard chocolate and vanilla to some of the more intriguing flavors including amaretto, apricot, Italian fruit, Kahlua, and lemon or pineapple cream cheese.

The greatest part about these little beauties is the price. Basic flavors sell for only $0.99 a pop, while the more elaborate flavors will put you back a whopping $1.20. Now that is one heck-of-a-bargain. You aren’t likely to find anything priced that well elsewhere unless you are buying your baked goods at Wal-Mart or the day-old Hostess store. You would expect, at these prices, that the flavor and texture of Mickey’s cakes would fall short of the markā€¦but you would be quite wrong, my friend. I, too, was skeptical of their quality after discovering how inexpensive my purchases were, thinking I had just bought a bag full of bargain-priced garbage. But these cakes are light, moist, and flavorful, everything you could hope for in a respectable cupcake.

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When I visited, I chose three cupcakes and two petit fours. After getting over the initial shock of paying less than $8 for the whole lot, I sat down to sample the spoils of my personal plunder. First came a classic banana-nut cake with cream cheese frosting. The cake was rich and full of sweet banana flavor, chock full of crunchy walnuts, complimented by a thick, creamy layer of tangy frosting. It’s a rather simple dessert, but it was done right. Moving on, I sampled the Italian cream cake spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, with the slightly buttery flavor of chopped pecans incorporated in each bite. Lastly, the strawberry cake was sweet and fruity, but not something I’d tout as the best I’ve ever eaten. Still, I was overall impressed with the outcome of my cupcake selections. I’ve paid three or four times what Mickey’s is charging for a far inferior product.

The petit fours were also impressive. I was particularly enthralled with the white frosted lemon-vanilla petit four. Here a cube of light vanilla cake is infused with lemon juice and baked off. Then a thin layer of simple syrup is spread over the cake, soaking into the cake’s tiny pores, giving it an even moister consistency. Finally, the entire cake is coated in a flawless, smooth layer of white frosting. The rather basic chocolate petit four, with chocolate cake and chocolate fudge icing, was not bad either, but it was not something I’ll be overly anxious to return for.

Walking into Mickey’s Special Affairs is a bit like taking a step back in time, or a ride in the dessert Delorean, to the days before cupcakes were tasty but not yet trendy. I almost felt inclined to inform the friendly folks at Mickey’s how much they could be charging for their baked goods, but I imagine they are well aware of the current goings-on in the cupcake market. They are not attempting to be the latest, greatest bakers on the block. Instead, they are simply providing a service to loyal customers, as like they have been doing for years, without feeling the need to squeeze their patrons for any more than is necessary. I applaud them for their efforts and thank them for helping ease some of the pain my wallet experiences every time I feel the need to sit down and mutilate a half-dozen cupcakes in a single sitting.

Mickey’s Special Affairs
11614 Huron Lane Ste. C
Little Rock
501-221-1989

From the ArkTimes store

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