Rob Mockard, owner of Evanston’s only “cupcakery” Tiny Dog Cupcakes, would be delighted to talk you through the dozen different varieties of cupcakes he has to offer. He’s very proud of each of them, and for good reason. Along with friends and employees, Rob spent over four months before opening in November of 2010 perfecting his recipes, tweaking flavors, and hunting for the most authentic ingredients he could find. “We ate cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” Rob says with a wry grin. One taste of a Tiny Dog cupcake, and it becomes immediately apparent that the hard work paid off.
From the delightfully simple Vanilla-Vanilla, to the over-the-top decadence of the “TinyDog” Chocolate Mocha, there’s something for everyone who steps into the modern yet playful storefront at 616 Davis St. in Evanston’s bustling downtown corridor. Along with classic standards such as the Red Velvety topped with smooth-as-silk cream cheese frosting, and the Vanilla-Fudge that comes crowned with a swirl of rich ganache, Tiny Dog Cupcakes also offers seasonal choices like the Dark Chocolate Minty for winter, and the Lemon-Lemon and Raspberry Swirl, which will pair wonderfully with an icy glass of minty tea come springtime. “We wanted to offer recipes that our customers were already familiar with, then crank them up a notch,” says the owner. This is evidenced in the Barking Blueberry cupcake, the shop’s signature vanilla cupcake batter dotted with fresh blueberries, covered in a cream cheese and homemade blueberry jam frosting, then topped with even more fresh blueberries.
The adorable Jack Russell Terrier which graces the Tiny Dog logo acts as a metaphor for the owner’s philanthropic mission: “Tiny Dogs are not afraid to take on things bigger than themselves! We are just one tiny cupcake shop in a great big world. But just because we are tiny doesn’t mean we can’t think big. Like being a good neighbor and helping others less fortunate than ourselves.” Guided by this perspective, The store is committed to partnering with local vendors whenever possible, and using real ingredients: butter, sugar, and flavorings. Also, Tiny Dog Cupcakes will donate a percentage of their profits to a charity which the Evanston community will vote for. Read more about it here: tinydogcupcakes.com/mission
Once they’ve settled in a bit, Tiny Dog plans to include lower calorie options for those who prefer their treats guilt-free. And conscious of gluten-free eaters, Tiny Dog offers a flourless chocolate cupcake with dark chocolate mousse frosting… Pure heaven! Order a rich, creamy mug of Le Colombe Coffee or the La Panache hot chocolate to sip along with your cupcake, and be prepared to stay awhile. Big tastes really do come in Tiny Dog packages!
Until next time, happy eating!