Lovin' Cupcakes and Cannolies
182 Main Street
Nashua, New Hampshire
Cupcakes have become the newest fad. They are easier to carry and eat than a piece of cake, faster (and more cost effective) to make than a whole cake, and, overall, just the right size to get a face full of flavor. Being the foodee that I am, I have been watching "Cupcake Wars" on the Food Network for 2 seasons now... So when I found a cupcake shop local to me, I was happy!
Lovin' Cupcakes and Cannolies is, without a doubt, the best cupcake shop I have been to.
We've been going to the shop for over six months now and have yet to have a bad experience.
Our favorites are the French Canadian Vanilla (a classic vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting), the Jillian’s Birthday Cake (a Boston Cream Pie style cupcake) and anything using berries (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry with various flavor combinations). Of course, there are literally dozens of other flavors... including the Grandma’s Cannoli Cupcake - a cupcake which tastes just like a cannoli, while still remaining light!
Lovin' Cupcakes and Cannolies has a few standard flavors which they bake (on site) every day. They also usually have 3 or 4 other flavors which they make, either as the whim strikes them or because someone has requested/ordered a specific flavor for the day (after all, if you're baking enough for a dozen on order, you might as well make a whole batch.)
One interesting set is the "After Dark" series of cupcakes. All the cupcakes in this series are based on alcoholic drinks - some of them with actual alcohol baked into them, others with just the flavor profile of the drink. While all of them are good, some of them are exceptional; the Raspberry Spumante, the Mudslide and the Nadeau’s Beach House Mojito, are definitely the big hits in our house.
Of course, from the name, you realize that Lovin' Cupcakes and Cannolies has more than just cupcakes. They also have some of the best cannolies that I have had, outside of the North End. Unlike the cupcakes, the cannoli shells are not baked on site, but are shipped in, daily, from an Italian bakery. In full size and mini, plain or chocolate covered, the shells are just part of the yummy goodness. The folks there do make the filling themselves, using marscapone, ricotta and a third cheese which they would not tell me (secret ingredient, donchaknow).
No bakery would be complete without something to drink, and Lovin' Cupcakes and Cannolies does not disappoint. They carry some amazing tea flavors from The Cozy Tea Cart (loose tea - they make the tea bags per order) and King David Coffee (regular and French vanilla).
Finally, the facilities and the people.
Lovin' Cupcakes and Cannolies is located on Main Street in downtown Nashua, (directly across from Martha's Exchange). Parking can sometimes be a bear, but a short walk is no real hardship with a prize like these cupcakes at the end. The bakery has a few tables to sit and eat, if you can't wait to dig in to your treats. The place is clean and bright, with the products prominently displayed in a nice glass case and the oven is just behind the counter - if you get there are the right time, you can smell the next batch!
The owners and their staff are always friendly and willing to take the time to talk with their customers. We are always greeted on entering - even when extremely busy, the employees take a moment to acknowledge us and, while we have become regulars, when we came in for the second and third times, they did recognize us - and when I ordered my wife's birthday cupcakes over the phone, they were able to place me after a few minutes of conversation.
If I have any complaints, it would have to be that I wish they were slightly less expensive. Granted, you do get what you pay for and I have no qualms about dropping a few bucks for some really good cupcakes. Although, if they were cheaper, I'd probably buy more of them and add another hundred pounds... so maybe the price is just right, now that I think about it. Seriously, though, while not outrageous, the prices might seem high to someone who just walked in off the street.
Overall, Lovin' Cupcakes and Cannolies gets an A+ from me. Although there are a few shops which have now opened closer to my home - I would rather take the trip up to Nashua to get my cupcakes and cannolies.