Billy Vanilly: sweet treats with pizazz

Tricia Peterson

Billy Vanilly, formerly known as Daddy Cakes, has a variety of flavors for everybody.  I learned that immediately when I stepped in the little shop, which is bigger than their last location, and was confronted with tons of flavor and size combinations.  It was hard to choose, so I decided to get one of each of their “Preemie-Cakes.” These are bite-sized cupcakes and are perfect if you are like me, and enjoy a variety.

Of course, there are other sizes available, ranging from “Big Kid Cakes,” which are the little monstrosities in themselves, to “Baby Cakes,” which are closer to the single-serving cupcake most people are accustomed to baking at home.   For all you frosting lovers out there, the buttercream is made from scratch daily in a variety of flavors. Each cupcake has its own special frosting, sometimes with a special topping. In particular, the red velvet cake has crumbles of candied pecans on the top of the vanilla flavored buttercream frosting, and the Cookies-and- Cream cupcake has a piece of Oreo on top of their Oreo cream swirled buttercream frosting.  The combinations seem endless at Billy Vanilly.

If you have a major sweet tooth like me, this is the best place in Topeka and surrounding areas to get a gourmet cupcake. Although it is a little expensive, for example for twelve Preemies it cost me almost $10, the fact that they are baked fresh daily, and the buttercream is real, is enough for me. But if you don’t have a sweet tooth, and you don’t enjoy frosting the cupcakes may be a little too much for you. Never fear, as I said before there is something for everybody at Billy Vanilly.  Perfect for people who dislike frosting “Naked Cupcakes” are the cakes without the frosting.  If you are the other way around, they also sell frosting shots, which are exactly what they sound like, a shot of frosting.

So on to the flavors. I got one of each of what was available in the preemies when I was there, which in other sizes there were many other flavors. The important thing about shopping at Billy Vanilly is to remember these cupcakes take a lot of time to prepare, so what you see is what you get. Come early to have first pick.

The first one I tried was the Southern Style Red Velvet cupcake, which is a deep red color, with white frosting and candied pecans sprinkled atop.  It was rich, buttercreamy and the nuts added a much needed crunch.  I found my favorite right away, or so I thought.

A strange one that I never heard of and had to try was called Apple-Bacon. I was immediately intrigued.  I made sure to have other cupcakes left after I tried this one in case it was extremely awful, I was a little intimidated by this flavor. I was surprised that it actually worked, the savory saltiness of the bacon blended well with the sweet apple flavor. They blended well together, in an unexpected way.

The Peanut Butter Cup cupcake was chocolate cake with peanut butter swirled buttercream with crumbled pieces of the candy on top.  The Strawberry Shortcake cupcake is a strawberry flavored cake topped with strawberry buttercream and pink sprinkles.  The German Chocolate was exactly what is states it is, and has little chocolate sprinkles on the top of chocolate butter cream with the caramel and coconuts and pecans underneath the frosting, in an interesting and refreshing way.

Overall I was impressed with the flavor selection, flavor combinations, and the frosting is to die for.  Not only can you buy single cupcakes, Billy Vanilly also does special orders for parties of all sorts.

Rest assured, there are many flavors other than the ones I have talked about, I just can’t fit them all in, so go in check them out and try them yourself. You won’t be sorry you did.

For more interesting flavors, and the special flavors of the month, check out their website at There you will find what Billy Vanilly has to offer beyond their cupcakes.