Photographs by Melissa Kolano.
Some of the best cake in Colorado Springs isn’t downtown or on the quaint row of shops in Old Colorado City, but rather off the main streets, nestled in a nondescript beige house on a corner of a residential neighborhood. A slightly dull sign with old English type reads “Little London” on the exterior of the building. Walk inside however, and the place is full of life. A bustling kitchen with over a dozen cakes in the works and many bakers in their element around these artfully crafted desserts.
This place is a Colorado Springs institution, famous for their cakes that are made special-order for each particular event. From weddings, to birthdays to a variety of occasions, they make some of the best cakes around. They aren’t all decorated with your traditional flowery designs either. Much like the creations from hit shows like “Ace of Cakes” and “Cake Boss,” the cakes are whimsical and made to look like anything from a rainbow trout to a football field.
Although they have been creating artful cakes for over 30 years, they received an explosion of publicity after appearing on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” The show is a baking competition that invites some of the countries best bakeries to duke it out and come up with their most creative and delicious cupcake creations. Little London took home the prize with their unique takes, which is ironic considering the bakery did not sell cupcakes prior to their appearance on the show. This new form of celebrity brought tourists into the place looking for cupcakes to try, so they began selling cupcakes in 2012.
Little London is in no way solely a cupcake bakery. It’s hardly set up to sell individual baked goods. The place looks like a living room lavishly decorated instead of ornate decor beautiful cakes line the room. A couch with cake and wedding magazines on the coffee table make it set up for appointments for cake orders. Nonetheless, it is truly a hidden gem for top notch cupcakes.
When I went late in the afternoon, they only had about 8 cupcakes left on a small cake pedestal. What the place lacked in selection it made up for in intriguing flavors. I tried the espresso Kahlua and the strawberry shortcake along with a traditional chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.
I bit into the espresso kahlua cupcake, which was moist and not too sweet. I almost ate the entire thing right there, forgetting to leave room to sample the rest. The strawberry shortcake looks like your average vanilla fare from the outside, but take a bite and the flavor reveals much more. The inside is filled with vibrant pink strawberry buttercream. Biting into it you get the flavor of the vanilla buttercream, vanilla cake and the pop of the strawberry inside, just like strawberry shortcake. The espresso cupcake was delicious but didn’t quite have the same burst of distinct flavor.
Whether you are looking for an elaborately decorated cake for your next special event, or just want to eat some awesome, unique cupcakes, Little London Cake Shoppe is a Colorado Springs classic that it still coming up with innovative flavor combinations.