Let others eat cupcakes. Lisa Olin and pastry chef Elizabeth Belkind of dessert-scene newcomer Cake Monkey are making scrumptious minicakes instead. These are multilayered, substantial, moist cake and creamy frosting–laden delights, big as a chubby toddler's thigh, in flavors like raspberry red velvet; dark-chocolate mint; banana with toffee crunch; and lemon custard with huckleberry preserves. They are almost too pretty to eat, but they are certainly impossible to resist. The same is true for Olin and Belkind's “grown-up” versions of classic childhood treats like Ho Hos, Little Debbies, S'mores and Snowballs. In the Cake Monkey oeuvre, the cardboard dry Pop-Tart is re-envisioned as a toasty “Pop Pie.” Their elegant, foil-wrapped Black & White Cakewich — a chocolate-cake sandwich filled with vanilla cream and Valrhona crunchy pearls — is what a Hostess cupcake wishes it tasted like. Their pièce de résistance is the 'Nuff Said, otherwise known as “The Devil,” a chocolate crumble cookie with homemade marshmallow, pecans, caramel and sea salt. Satan himself employs it for the taking of stubborn souls. PLEASE NOTE: You must call and place your order before heading over to Cake Monkey’s Burbank location.

—Gendy Alimurung

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