DINING: Frosting is tops at Holy Cow, Cupcakes!

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Dining - A&E

Mmm. Cupcakes.

Given that nearly universal sentiment, I suspected that volunteers would come out of the woodwork when it came time to evaluate the offerings at this week’s exclamatory eatery: Holy Cow, Cupcakes! (545 S. Rangeline Road, 571-1500). I was not disappointed.

Located adjacent to a Crystal Flash gas station just south of Carmel’s Art & Design District, the bakery—or is it cupcakery?—doesn’t put on airs. There’s a simple display case, a cash register capable of processing credit cards, and a kitchen that probably saw its fair share of burrito warm-ups in a previous life.

Daily special variations at Holy Cow, Cupcakes! include such oddities as pumpkin and mocha. (IBJ Photo/Karly Tearney)

Even the menu is understated. Holy Cow features five “everyday” flavors, the stuff you might find in an indulgent parent’s kitchen on any given afternoon: chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, chocolate/vanilla, vanilla/chocolate, vanilla/vanilla and red velvet. Owner Karen von Kamecke Sutton also offers up two specialty flavors each day.

Although tempted by Friday’s Oreo and margarita and Saturday’s maple bacon and chocolate chip cookie dough, we picked a Wednesday: pumpkin and mocha. Our first surprise was the size. Holy Cow’s cupcakes ($2.50 each, $12 for six and $24 for 12) aren’t those supersized, feed-a-village concoctions that should come with a health warning. These are traditional, feed-the-need-for-sweet goodies you can indulge in with minimal guilt. And you know what? Most of us were fine with that.

Which brings us to the other revelation—at least to me. People can be pretty darn picky about their cupcakes. My half-dozen helpers provided a range of reactions, both critical and complimentary. Our consensus opinion (if you can call it that): The star of Holy Cow’s show is its frosting.

Oh, that frosting … (pause for drool cleanup). Chocolate, vanilla, cream cheese—the details didn’t make a difference in this case. The frosting was fabulous. It was sweet without being cloying, fluffy but still substantial. Creamy. Flavorful.

Cupcake-wise, the pumpkin was the most popular among our taste-testers, who praised the mild spice and moist texture that made it stand out. The mocha and red velvet cupcakes also won kudos for moisture, though our panelists complained that most of the mocha flavor came from the icing, not the cake itself.

As for the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, they were OK, but nothing much different than we could whip up at home. Now if they’d had a bit more frosting, that might be another matter.•

—Andrea Muirragui Davis


Second in our month-long series of reviews of eateries with exclamation points in their names.



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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now