Sweet buttercream: Four Red Deer bakeries

I propose a buttercream-off – like a dance-off with frosting – between Red Deer’s cupcake shops. All for fun and charity and where I somehow get to eat about fifty heaping spoonfuls of sweet buttercream. Well, there’s my big idea for the day.

Lots of buttercream

First thing you’ll notice about the babycakes cupcakery is the very funky green and modern store. Then you’ll get totally distracted by sprinkles and tiny made-from-scratch cakes piped high with oodles of buttercream icing. You have some tough choices to make: strawberry red velvet Diva, Grandma Lil’s double chocolate, Peppermint Patty, mocha, creamsicle or pumpkin cream cheese? Oh heck, better just get two of each.

Sugar art

The Cuppitycakes Bakeshop creates cupcake-sized art with words, shapes, faces and sometimes whole animals. They bake for corporations, weddings and birthdays and apparently, can recreate any character out of sugar (check out the Muppets ones at the bottom of the gallery – adorable). Call to order a dozen or way more – they make you vegan ones – with your favourite thing on them (in our house: trains, race cars and popsicles).

Fresh bread

Word is that Tasty Bakery is the best place in the city to buy bread and they have at least 15 kinds. This old school bakery also sells fresh paninis, cheese sticks, cinnamon buns, cookies and pizza shells. All that baking must smell really nice on a cold morning.

Gluten free baking

Our final sweet stop on this magical bakery tour is the Totally Gluten Free Bakery and Café in Lacombe. Valerie is a mom of eight kids and six of them can’t eat cereal grains, so let’s just say she’s an expert (and possibly a superhuman). They sell all kinds of gluten-free food from the bakery and café and they ship it specialty stores and bakeries all over the region. They’re always peanut-free and vegan by request and you can order birthday cupcakes, because cupcakes. She also answers questions and comments on their busy Totally Gluten Free Facebook page.