For my last birthday my bff Mariann bought me a gift card for Swirlz Cupcakes in Chicago. We used it back in October and I'm finally blogging about it now. When I first read about Swirlz at Food in Mouth ages ago I got super excited about checking them out. My excitement waned a bit after visiting the super awesome Molly's Cupcakes, I figured Swirlz just wouldn't be able to measure up. Well Swirlz definitely exceeded my expectations. Where Molly's Cupcakes are decadent and rich, cupcakes from Swirlz are delicate and well-balanced.
The menu at Swirlz changes daily. Reviewing my pictures, we must have gone on a Friday. Because Friday's specials are Banana Nutella, Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, and Carrot! We also had the Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cupcake, which I never would have guessed was gluten-free. It was just as chocolatey and peanut buttery as a "normal" cupcake.
My favorite cupcake of the day turned out to be Banana Nutella. This surprised me a little because it's not a flavor I would normally choose. In fact, I think Mariann or Ginny picked it out. The cupcake itself was like the lightest, freshest banana bread I'd ever eaten. It was obvious Swirlz used real bananas in the batter because you could see banana bits in the cake. The Nutella buttercream was nutty and chocolatey and the perfect match to the banana cake.
The other two cupcakes we chose, Carrot and Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, were also fantastic. I love carrot cake so whenever we get cupcakes I almost always pick the carrot cake cupcake. Like the Banana Nutella cupcake, you could see little pieces of carrot throughout the cupcake. The frosting was dense and deliciously cream-cheesy. The Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake also had a cream cheese frosting but the cupcake felt richer and more dessert-like than the others because of the extra layer of chocolate between the frosting and cake. Swirlz was giving out samples of this flavor when we walked in and we liked the sample so much we couldn't resist the full size version as well. And it was worth it. The raspberry added a nice tart fruity-ness that really complemented the chocolate and cheesecake flavors.
Have I mentioned yet how pretty Swirlz cupcakes are? Seriously, they're gorgeous. Pretty much all of the cupcakes at Swirlz are decorated with piped buttercream, with a smaller swirl of frosting in a complementary color and then a garnish on top to tell you what flavor the cupcake is. They were all so pretty I wanted to try every flavor.
The store is smaller than Molly's Cupcakes but just as cute. The cupcake display is so inviting and the store is nicely decorated, they even have Swirlz branded bottled water. There are a few small tables inside, but if it's busy it probably gets cramped quickly. Outside there is a nice seating area, close enough to Lincoln Avenue to people watch, but quiet enough to be private.
705 W. Belden Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
Website + Menu