When it comes to cupcakes, I don’t mess around—no matter how cute they look. I’ve tasted quite a few lately, thanks to the myriad bakeries that have cropped up around the Cities, and, well, meh. Most of them were inexcusably dry and tooth-achingly sweet. Don’t even get me started on the shortening I detected in some icing. And then there’s Sweet Retreat. The new bubblegum-pink bakery and coffee shop at 50th and France in Edina reminds me of an old-school ice cream parlor, complete with striped awning, little round tables, and wrought-iron stools. These darling details would mean nothing if it weren’t for the cupcakes. Oh the cupcakes. Perfect pillows of buttery, rich, delicate goodness topped with fluffy, buttercream frosting hand-mixed using the ratio of fat to sugar that God intended. They’re the best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. (For the record: I’ve been to NYC’s famed Magnolia Bakery, and Sweet Retreat’s cupcakes are a million times better.) You can choose from nearly a dozen kinds, including the best-selling Red Velvet, the kid-friendly S’mores, and my favorite: Coconut. For special occasions, Sweet Retreat seals boxes with clever stickers (He’s Dumb. Eat a Cupcake). For Mother’s Day, the bakery is taking orders for whimsical, and very edible, cupcake bouquets ($34). To sweeten the deal, they deliver—in a pink VW bug no less. It’s enough to make cupcake eaters out of us all.
5013 France Ave. S., Edina