Michelle Salim likes to pull inspiration from her travels: through Europe, from France to Italy and beyond, all the way to Rosemary Beach on our own Gulf Coast. The latter is where she and her family visited a Smallcakes Cupcakery for the first time—and the second, third, fourth and fifth time. Salim says it was love at first cupcake, and she knew the national franchise would be a perfect fit for Baton Rouge. Though she was recently retired from 30 years in IT, she soon found herself signing papers to open her own Smallcakes.
“Our concept for Baton Rouge is a beautiful, relaxing space for families and fur babies,” Salim says of what sets her Smallcakes shop—only the second in Louisiana—apart from others around the country. “We wanted it to have a European feel with an outdoor cafe, sort of an old world, back-in-the-day vibe where you can come and hang out.”
The space is bright and airy with high ceilings, full of white marble, gold accents, cursive menus and outdoor bistro seating complete with water bowls for dogs. Salim says she drew much of her design inspiration from cafes she visited in Paris.
While the space is certainly inviting, it’s the product that Salim hopes will keep customers coming back. With LCI grad and City Pork alum Anna Gill on board as pastry chef, Smallcakes pulls from more than 300 signature recipes to craft the 12 staple flavors and rotating specials, with offerings such as birthday cake, caramel crunch, sundae, cookies and cream and more. The shop also dishes out from-scratch ice cream infused with cupcake flavors sold in scoops, cones and flights. So far, Gill’s culinary chops have served the store well: With only a few days of business down, Smallcakes has already sold out several times.
One culprit for the booming sales: the Smallcakes Smash. This destined-to-be-viral confection can be made with your choice of cupcake and ice cream. The cupcake is split in half, and two scoops of ice cream are sandwiched in the middle. Salim says as soon as the Smallcakes Smash hit her Instagram, customers were lining up to order one.
Oh, and don’t forget those fur babies—an exclusive to Salim’s Smallcakes location are Zoe’s Pupcakes, mini dog-friendly cupcakes named after Salim’s husband’s beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, Zoe. They’re essentially carrot cake cupcakes made without sour cream or cream cheese and topped with a milk bone, so even your pup can indulge.
Smallcakes is near Shucks! Oyster House at 18135 E. Petroleum Drive, Suite D. It is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.