Not because I no longer love cupcakes: I still adore them. Not because I made a massive new year’s resolution to cut out sweets (I always do this. It never sticks.). Not because I want to eat healthier and lose weight in 2013 (although both are true). No, the cupcake tour is over because I have lost the desire to go questing for new and different cupcakes.
I have found cupcake nirvana. Cupcake bliss. Cupcake Valhalla. And there is just no reason for me to ever go anywhere else or try any other cupcakes – at least while here in Columbus.
The first time I set foot in Koko’s was this past summer during our crazed packing and moving weekend. I had heard there was a great new cupcake place in Gahanna, owned and operated by the same team who had owned Sugar Inc. Cupcakes in Dublin. Oh, the irony – I had longed for a great cupcakery on the northeast side the entire seven years we lived there, and here one opened just as we were moving away from Gahanna to points farther north. I figured I had to try these babies before we moved (although in truth, I do still work just five minutes from Koko’s so all is not lost).
I had my best friend from high school and one of our older nieces in town, so the girls and I scooped up Zoe and headed out for cupcakes and bubble tea. What a fun (though alas, rushed) evening that was – a mecca of sweet cupcake goodness and slurpalicious bubble tea in the midst of sweaty and stressful packing, loading, cleaning and unloading. How happy I was to try Koko’s and find a cupcake oasis in the middle of all that craziness! As I raved on Yelp soon after the visit, Koko’s is the perfect spot for a girls’ getaway.
That evening, we tried the Koko’s Lemon Drop, Green Tea Almond, Red Velvet and Wildberry Lavender cupcakes, along with a White Chocolate Raspberry number. All of the flavors blew my mind. Each of the cupcakes was uniquely dense and moist, a result of Ava’s organic ingredients and talented baking skills. The paper cupcake wrappers peel off effortlessly. Cupcakes are eaten neatly, without a precious crumb falling. And the frosting isn’t sickly sweet or artificially hued, but rather a softly flavored whipped cream colored with all natural ingredients. They are truly cupcake perfection.
I’ve since been back to Koko’s a couple of times, keeping myself out of there on a weekly or even daily basis only by sheer force of willpower and personal discipline. In my most recent visit, I sampled the flavors Dulce de Leche Caramel, Horchata (based on one of my favorite beverages, a rice milk and cinnamon concoction available at better Mexican restaurants), Earl Grey with Bergamot, and Chocolate Covered Strawberry. Wait up, I hear you saying. Rewind a minute – did you just say Earl Grey with Bergamot is an actual cupcake flavor?! Why yes, friends – at Koko’s it is. And a more dainty, subtly flavored, delicious cupcake you’d be hard pressed to find.
As if all this cupcake goodness wasn’t enough, Koko’s also specializes in artisanal teas, including wonderful fragrant latte teas and exotic Asian bubble teas. The shop is easy on the eyes as well, finding its home in a beautifully decorated, quaint little gingerbread house with separate rooms for the candy shop, cupcake parlor and adorable sitting room where you can relax and enjoy your purchases. I simply cannot imagine a more pleasurable tea and cupcakes experience than a visit to Koko’s. I give it my absolute highest recommendation.
I’ll have a hard time going back to super-sweet, over-frosted, artificially colored and flavored cupcakes after tasting the natural, organic and delicately flavored masterpieces at Koko’s. If you visit, won’t you let Ava know that Lara-Mom sent you? I’m sort of hoping she’ll adopt me as her personal blogger and pay me in cupcakes. Hey, a girl can dream.
What do you think – have you tried Koko’s? If not, what’s your favorite cupcake in Columbus? I’d love to hear in the comments below.