Having consumed some of the world’s most recognized brands of cupcakes such as Billy’s and Magnolia, we’ve been warily skeptical of any new cupcake shop in Bangkok due to the handful of sub-par cupcake shops that have risen in the past. Which is why we were absolutely thrilled after a recent visit to Sparkles, nestled across the street from the Bangkok International Prep School on Sukhumvit Soi 53, after being inundated with people applauding its cupcake legitimacy.
For you readers with OCD, we’ll sum up the Sparkles bakery for you in two words: ‘Delicious, go.’
Eating cupcakes is an old and exciting tradition in America that was once reserved for Kindergarden classrooms to celebrate birthdays (or for the trouble-makers in class to use as hockey-pucks). Almost a decade ago, cupcakes became en vogue and heated debate amongst foodie circles on who made the best cupcake ensued. In our opinion, one of the reasons the cupcake craze took off in the US and now internationally is because just about every one can afford a well crafted, finely baked cupcake, unlike some of the other food-items that rile up foodies and their wallets, such as Matsutake Mushrooms.
So we were only half-surprised that Khun Sophie, owner of Sparkles, is Thai-American from Southern California, a place that takes their cupcake consumption seriously.
The hardest thing to get right when making cupcakes is the cake itself. The key is to have the cake remain moist and dense, yet a bit crumbly. Sparkles cupcakes are so delicious that the moisture feels like the cake itself expands in your mouth, really bringing out the flavor. When we asked Sophie her secret she calmly replied that her cupcakes are completely organic with no chemicals, preservatives, shortening, palm oil, margarine, trans fat, corn syrup, glucose or bleached flour or sugar.
“If it’s something that I wouldn’t eat, I’d never serve it to someone else,” said Sophie. “My philosophy has always been that one great treat is better than 10 bad ones, so I try to make my cupcakes gourmet. I use real Madagascar vanilla pods, real lemons; my food is all natural. My cakes are not trendy because I don’t use chemicals.” Its too bad Bangkok doesn’t have a Whole Foods, because their merchandisers would be bangin’ on Sparkle’s door.
Since opening last year, Sophie has won the trust and palettes of a huge foreign contingency in and around the Thong Lor area through her innovative and delicious cupcakes, such as last year’s foie gras cupcake. In fact, her customers trust her so much they started requesting other items to see if her skills were transferrable to other desserts. Where they transferrable? Lets just say Sparkles cheesecakes and tarts are now among her top sellers.
KohSpot tried the Almadine Garnet (raspberry chocolate), Orange Diamond (chocolate, orange and Cointreau) and Lemon Poppy seed cake, and all were mouth-watering, particularly the raspberry. We have a suspicion that you can’t go wrong at this place regardless of your cupcake selection. Each cupcake costs 75 baht.
Location: 2/6 Sukhumvit Soi 53, a few steps from the Thong Lor BTS.
Mass transit: BTS Thong Lor
Hours: 9 am-7 pm Monday to Saturday, 10 am-6 pm Sunday