Where to find Kansas City’s best cupcakes

What I learned from visiting three different Kansas City bakeries.


The entrance to McLain’s Bakery, the third of three bakeries reviewed. photo by Sophy Silva

I wanted to try out three different bakeries in the Kansas City area, to see which one had the best cupcakes. Since I never get to eat cupcakes, I was quite curious to see if there were any noticeable differences between different places.

My first stop was Dolce Bakery in Prairie Village. When I first walked in, I noticed how homey the place looked. It also smelled just like fresh baked goods, which I did not expect to be so strong. I almost got distracted by all of the cookies and pastries that were at the counter, and I ended up having to force myself to only buy cupcakes.

The cupcakes were the size of golf balls, so I was skeptical about buying them for the price of $2.75. However, they were totally worth it. The Chocolate Blackout cupcake really did live up to its name, and it was definitely my favorite. I never knew that something so small could have such an intense flavor, and I will definitely be coming back again. I enjoyed this place and would have to give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

After I went to Dolce Bakery, I decided to head over to SmallCakes at Crown Center. The shop was also rather small, with only a few chairs and tables in sight. It was very brightly colored and mostly with shades pink, blue and brown all over the walls. The cupcakes here were about the size of a small orange, and around $4 each. Many people I knew praised SmallCakes, so I was expecting something even better than Dolce’s cupcakes.

However, my experience was a little bit different. The coconut and vanilla cupcake that I tried first was a little bit dry and was not as flavorful as I anticipated. The other cupcakes were better, except for the chocolate with the chocolate icing. The icing was a little bit too thick, and it was also too dark for my taste. I would not say my experience was terrible, but I would have to say that SmallCakes is a tad overrated. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

I was feeling done with tasting cupcakes over and over again, but I eventually dragged myself over to McLain’s Bakery. The building looked small from the outside, but it was much larger inside. There were not as many cupcakes left, since it was about to close. The hours were very weird, and it closed at 1 p.m. on weekends. My friends always got other baked goods from here, so I hoped for the best as I purchased my cupcakes.

The cupcakes were amazing, and I just noticed that they also had glitter on them. The cream cheese icing was definitely the best part, and it was not too thick or sweet. They were also not to pricey, and I was surprised at how fresh they were for being some of the last ones. I would have to give McLain’s a 4 our of 5 stars, mainly because of their weird hours.

In the end, it was a difficult decision to make on which bakery had the best cupcakes. I would have to say that Dolce Bakery was my favorite of the three.  I definitely recommend coming here if you want a quick treat.