We're not ones to scour the city looking for the world's greatest cupcakes.
We don't even like them.
But on a whim, we recently took a different route home from the office and found ourselves at NE 69th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Most locals know the intersection for the restaurant Uva 69. However, tucked behind it is a tiny cake shop called the Baking Girl.
It's been there more than a year, but we'd never noticed it. It wasn't until we walked in to scope it out that we discovered the Baking Girl carries the best damn vegan cupcakes, like, ever.
Because our visit was impromptu, we didn't go in and order a custom cake like most customers of the Baking Girl do. But had we, the process would have been simple.
There is no fixed price when it comes to cakes because each order is treated independently. The customizing process includes flavors such as classic vanilla, vanilla rum, chocolate, red velvet, and carrot. As for the fillings, expect vanilla buttercream, chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache, cream cheese, cookies 'n' cream, dulce de leche, and brigadeiro, a Brazilian-style chocolate filling.
"I grew up watching my grandmother bake -- from cakes to cookies to pies... everything made with the best, freshest ingredients," says owner and cake designer Chanda Carroll. A transplant from Rio de Janeiro, she takes immense pride in using high-quality ingredients. "Every cake is made as if it were for my own children."
The goods at the Baking Girl don't stop at cakes. In addition to the shop's specialty, cookies, the aforementioned vegan cupcakes (they're vegan because Carroll likes the texture better), and cake-pops are also readily available.
The cupcakes are so popular that even Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima pops in from time to time to get her cupcake fix. Girl's gotta eat.
All pricing varies on custom design, but the base rates for cakes, for example, is $4.50 per serving for a basic fondant-covered cake. Standard-size cupcakes start at $2.50 apiece and mini cupcakes at $1.50. Cookies start at $3.50 and cake-pops at $2.50.
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Don't be alarmed by the base rate. The Baking Girl isn't out to gouge customers. Friendly, flour-covered faces welcome you when you walk in, and they make it a point to work with every kind of budget.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.