I’m really not sure when this cupcake craze was started but since moving to Tennessee, I have noticed dozens of bakeries that specialize in just cupcakes. This comes to no surprise to me because I’ve seen this so-called craze on various shows on all the cooking/food-related channels on TV. I have tried various cupcakes from shops around Tennessee but in this review, I will focus only on two locations of the same restaurant: Gigi’s Cupcakes in Franklin, TN and Murfreesboro, TN.
Gigi’s Cupcakes is a franchised boutique that focuses solely on gourmet cupcakes invented by the founder, Gina ‘Gigi’ Butler. The cupcakes are well known for their unique cake mixes with a heaping mound of flavored icings. The first Gigi’s Cupcakes was started in Nashville in February of 2008. With the immediate success & popularity of the cupcakes, Gigi and her ever-expanding franchised locations are now located various cities across 9 states with new locations popping up at a steady rate.
The cupcake menu at Gigi’s is organized by seasons. Their current Fall/Winter menu features 30 different cupcakes all made from Gigi’s own family recipes. A daily menu rotates 10-12 of the 30 cupcakes and these are baked fresh every morning. Since only a set number of these daily cupcakes are available, once they sell out, you’ll have to wait until the next time they are on the menu. Luckily Gigi’s Cupcakes has printed menu you can take with you (or you can check their website) to see when your favorite cupcake will return.
This past weekend, Haley’s mother and sister made a surprise visit to Nashville to see Haley. Because this was a special occasion, I wanted to surprise them all with Gigi’s Cupcakes when they arrived as a special treat. From my work, the Gigi’s Cupcakes in Murfreesboro is the closest. Since it’s rare to have Gigi’s Cupcakes, even for Haley and myself, we went one more time to the location in Franklin on Saturday. The layout between the two restaurants are identical, so it seems there is a static template that all Gigi’s stores abide by. Between the two visits in Murfreesboro and Franklin, we had the following flavors:
- Miss Princess: White cake baked with fresh strawberries, topped with a cream cheese frosting, pink sugar crystals and a pink fondant crown.
- Midnight Magic: Devil’s food cake with dark chocolate chips topped with a white cream cheese or a chocolate buttercream frosting and chocolate chips.
- White Midnight Magic: Dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate chips, topped with a white cream cheese frosting & chocolate chips.
- Hunka Chunka Banana Love: Banana nut cake with dark chocolate chips topped with a banana buttercream frosting dipped in ganache and a banana chip.
- Italian Cream Wedding Cake: Italian cream cake topped with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut.
- Kentucky Bourbon Pie: Bourbon cake with pecans and chocolate chips, a cream cheese frosting with pecans and chocolate chips drizzled in caramel and ganache.
I’ll tell you right now that I’m not a big fan of icing. Gigi’s Cupcakes features icing mounds that are as tall (if not taller) than the actual cake portion itself. Standing at 3 inches, you would think I would hate it but Gigi’s is one of two recipes of icing that I would gladly consume. The other icing that I absolutely adore is Haley’s homemade buttercream icing.
Based on my preference, I liked the Miss Princess and the Italian Cream Wedding Cake the best. On the Miss Princess, the pink cake was light and fluffy with a hint of strawberry flavoring. On the Italian Cream Wedding Cake, the cake was rich and very buttery… reminiscent of a yellow butter cake. Both of the cupcakes were moist and not too sweet. The cream cheese frosting found on both the Miss Princess and Italian Cream was soft, velvety, and smooth.
The other four cupcakes were also delicious, but I’m not a fan of the flavors of chocolate cake, bananas, nuts, or alcohol-hinted cakes (like rum & bourbon cakes). They simply paled in comparison but if you’re an avid fan of any of those, feel free to give them a shot.
The most important thing to note is that the quality of the cupcakes you will receive seems to be consistent across all Gigi’s Cupcakes, whether franchised or owned by Gigi herself. With all the choices offered, you’re sure to find one that you like… but at the cost of $3 per cupcake, you need to think about your decision first. Don’t wait too long though because they are likely to run out by late afternoon (as seen by my visit to both stores on Friday & Saturday.)
|Gigi’s Cupcakes in Franklin
1000 Meridian Blvd, Ste. 112
Franklin, Tennessee 37067
Gigi’s Cupcakes in Murfreesboro
Bill Total: $3 Per Cupcake