A shop located in Downtown Fayetteville induces a sugar rush before customers even step foot in the door.
Fat Bottom Girl’s opened in Hot Springs in 2011, after branching from its less edible sister store Bathhouse Soapery, when the current owner Mackenzie Simon’s parents decided they wanted to create something similar to Bathhouse Soapery but with food, Simon said. In 2014, the cupcake shop appeared on Season 2, Episode 18 of Cupcake Wars. Fat Bottom Girl’s opened up its second location in Fayetteville in May.
Simon bought the store from her parents in 2015, but because of how small the Hot Springs location was she could not sell more than cupcakes so she opened the Pour Some Sugar on Me Sweet Shoppe which sold candy, macarons, ice cream and cotton candy. When she bought the location in the downtown square where she planned to open the second Fat Bottom Girl Cupcake’s location, she wanted to combine the two shops, Simon said.
“I wanted the Fayetteville location to be a love child of the cupcake shop and the Pour Some Sugar on Me Sweet Shop,” Simon said.
The shop has a bubbly, and very personable atmosphere. With a hot pink interior, it stands out from the rest of historical buildings along the square. The staff are both friendly, and knowledgeable about their assortment of desserts.
“It’s a cupcake shop, it’s the happiest place in the world,” Simon said.
Fat Bottom Girl’s has a large variety of desserts, from 32 ice cream flavors, including dairy-free sherbets, 300 different types of candies including malt balls, espresso beans, gummies, 60 types of cotton candy, chocolate cordials, smoothies and flavored monin syrups.
These candies and ice cream, while great, are only average in comparison to the shop’s main attraction, the cupcakes, which cost $3.50.
If Fat Bottom Girl’s goal is to create the perfect cupcake, then they have accomplished it. The cupcakes, which have a label with a pin-up ‘Fat Bottom Girl’ with a description of the cupcake, have a cake base that could is both delicate and fluffy. The icing on all their cupcakes is so soft, buttery and foam-like that it could give Oreo cream a run for its money. The flavors are subtle, such as on my favorite the lemon ooey gooey buttercake cupcake. The flavor of the lemon only accentuates the buttercake, and compliments the cream-cheese frosting with lemon drizzle.
Although many of the cupcakes are similar in flavor, they are, for the most part, delightful. The Crème Brulee cupcake which is a vanilla bean cupcake with torched sugar for example tastes similar to the ooey-gooey buttercake cupcake, which has a vanilla bottom with cheesecake batter, they are both different and have unique flavors.
Fat Bottom Girl’s boasts that its best cupcake is the Salted Caramel cupcake, which balances the delicate sweetness of the caramel with salt and has a madagascar vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. Its second best-seller is the lemon lavender cupcake, which sports a stunning color combination, but a brash taste which is similar to soap.
The lemon lavender cupcake is the only cupcake I have disliked from Fat Bottom Girl Cupcakes. The lavender frosting, while thick, fluffy and sweet, tasted reminiscent to laundry detergent. I enjoyed the lemon cake bottom after scraping away the purple frosting, but the aftertaste stayed in my mouth for hours.
Not everyone has had the same experience though. Many people enjoy the cupcake while some have a strong distaste for it, said Harry Glaeser, a baker for Fat Bottom Girl’s.
“Some people will think it tastes like soap while others will think ‘no way,’” Glaeser said.
With its wide variety of candies, Fat Bottom Girl’s also makes sure to offer vegan alternatives. Vegan cupcakes, like their non-vegan cousins, are also delicious albeit a little more moist because of how dense they are. The icing on the vegan cupcakes compares to that of regular cakes as they are less fluffy, and more buttery than the icing on the cupcakes, Glaeser said.
Jessi Amason, a senior at the UofA, frequented the Hot Springs location twice a month when she attended Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, a residential high school. Her favorite cupcake is the lemon lavender, for both the presentation of the cupcake and the uniqueness of the concept of combining the flavors of lemon and lavender.
Fat Bottom Girl’s differentiates itself from other cupcake shops with its southern girl vibe, Amason said.
“The name is what stands out to people, they are also really bright on the strip of Hot Springs. They kind of pop out,” Amason said.