When my birthday rolled around this year, I proclaimed I wanted to do something special. Extra special. So my girls and I decided the answer to my quest was cupcakes. A variety of 12 assorted small cupcakes from Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica.

So off I went to cop the wee cakes for my party. Right before we started our raucous game of “Celebrity,” and after we gorged our faces with homemade pizzas, we brought out the cupcakes, each of us indulging in a different one (after I blew out the candles, of course – see picture).

Here’s a list of the sweets we sampled: Meyer Lemon Raspberry, Key Lime, Spicy Carrot, Banana Chocolate Chip, Toasted Dark Chocolate Coconut, Vanilla Bean, Black & White, Bittersweet Dark Chocolate, Southern Red Velvet and Chocolate Vanilla Bean, to name a few.

What I can’t tell you is how I managed to steal a bite of each one. What I can tell you is that the small size of these cakes is so perfect.

Just enough sweet, not too much sugar. And the assortment is ridiculously comprehensive; something for everyone.

In addition to the bit cupcakes, the Bake Shop also carries after-dinner delicacies like Southern Banana Pudding, Triple Berry Shortcake, Amy’s Tiramisu and Icebox Dessert Shots, which is any of the above desserts in a shot glass. Also on the menu are French Macaroons and Cosmopolitans, stylish striped torte-like brownies.

Listening to the ooohs and ahhhhs of my guests, I can only imagine the shop’s regulars who go running back for more. All the desserts are baked in the back, and freshly made goodies constantly come out.

But the best part is the ever-so-happy staff, and the owner Amy, who seems almost sweeter than the cupcakes themselves … almost.

For more information, visit www.vanillabakeshop.com.