2011 Cupcake Tour: 1st Stop – Just Cakes

We are happy to report that our 2011 Cupcake Tour in the Bethesda area of Maryland was a huge success! In an effort to provide you with as much information as possible on each stop, we are going to post one review every day this week for each of the 5 stops locations we visited.

I want to start by saying that no Cupcake Tour is complete without one of these…

Logo Sticker

… and one of these…

Itinerary for the day

… and one of these…

Cute Baby

Okay, maybe the cute baby isn’t totally necessary, but how adorable is she? Crusader Jenn had her hands full that day, but luckily Baby Leah stayed in good spirits and the rest of us loved when it was our turn to hold her. It’s crazy to think that next year she will actually be able to taste cupcakes with us.

Okay, onto the review… First Stop of the Day: Just Cakes.

Unfortunately this first stop wasn’t a positive one, at all. When we first got there the cupcake selection was very limited. They seemed to have a decent selection of flavors, but at 11am you would expect to see more cupcakes than you see in the below photo. We decided not to be phased by that though and each made our selections.

First Cupcake: Princess? (Chocolate Raspberry)

Jenn and I (Stacy) each choose this cupcake. We aren’t sure what the name is, but we both thought someone said it was called the “Princess” or something like that. But then, when asked about it again, they seemed to not know what the name of it was. Weird. This cupcake was chocolate cake with a raspberry mouse filling, and raspberry butter cream frosting.

As you can see, it’s a very pretty (girlie) cupcake. Jenn and I both love raspberry, so we were really excited about this cupcake but only ended up disappointed. The cupcake itself was cold and dry. We think that it was leftover from the previous day and then refrigerated overnight to serve on Saturday. This is most likely why there were only 3 on the display shelf. The mouse and the raspberry butter cream both had a really good flavor though, but that didn’t save this cupcake unfortunately.

2nd Cupcake: Lemon Mini

Jenn and I are both suckers for Lemon cupcakes, so we each got a Lemon Mini. I haven’t tried mine yet, but Jenn said that it was pretty much the same as the Chocolate Raspberry. Cold frosting, and dry cake. After having the Chocolate Raspberry experience, I decided to take mine home and let it get to room temperature before trying, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to eat it.

3rd Cupcake: Lemon Raspberry

Elisa and Jenn both got this cupcake. It was in the same condition as the Chocolate Raspberry and the Lemon Mini. Jenn said that she actually thinks this one was more dry than the Chocolate Raspberry because there was no filling to even help give the cake some moisture. Elisa says that “the icing was good, but couldn’t save the disaster that was the cake. Good icing can only save so much, I ended up leaving more than half of the cake and a quarter of the icing.”

4th Cupcake: Red Velvet Mini

I’m sure you can guess how this one went… Elisa chose this cupcake and said that not only was it cold and dry but that she could hardly taste any flavor in it. One more cupcake to go… will it get any better?

5th Cupcake: Chocolate/Chocolate

My dad got this cupcake, and he was the lucky one. This one was actually NOT cold. Which is one of the main reasons we think that they refrigerate their leftovers. This might not be so bad if you are just picking up cupcakes “to go” and can then allow them to get to room temperature, but they do have tables and chairs and we weren’t getting them to go. Anyways… The cake on this one was not to dry, it wasn’t the most moist cake we’ve ever had, but it was WAY better than the other selections. At the time, I remember thinking that it was much better than ours, but honestly, compared to the cupcakes we had the rest of the day, it was forgettable.

On a whim, Elisa and I bought a pumpkin bar for everyone to share.

Now THIS was the shocker of the day. After tasting some pretty bad cupcakes, this pumpkin bar was actually REALLY good. It was moist and full of flavor. If the cupcakes had been this good, this place would have been a huge hit.

After having such a bad experience, Jenn’s husband decided to do some research and found that many people have the same complaints. In one complaint a women said she called in on a Thursday to order cakes and cupcakes for that Saturday only to find out that they had already pre-baked all the cakes for that weekend. Yuck.

Overall this place was a letdown. It’s a shame too because it was really cute inside with lots of different baking and cooking knickknacks, fun fall decorations, and a variety of treats. But with the horrible service (Jenn described it as, “No Smiles. No enthusiasm.” which is exactly what it was) and the poor quality of the cupcakes, this is a place that we won’t be coming back to. Luckily this was only the first stop of the day, and we had 4 others places to go and make up for this disappointment.

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)


7 thoughts on “2011 Cupcake Tour: 1st Stop – Just Cakes

  1. Great review! This pretty much summarized my experience. The cupcakes weren’t terrible, but weren’t outstanding either. Overall, i’d say these cupcakes were no better than the ones you find in the refrigerated section of a large chain grocery store bakery. The only problem is they are more than twice the price…..even for the Bethesda area their prices are very steep! It seems like the freshness of their product is hit or miss depending when they feel like baking 🙂 With all the competition in the area, they definitely wouldn’t be on the top of my list to patronize in the future.

  2. Hi Dan! I’m glad you mentioned the price. I looked online and it looks like for a basic cupcake it is $3.50, so I think for our specialty cupcakes it was about $3.75. Definitely not worth the price for what you get. I’ll definitely try to remember to include prices in the remaining reviews this week. Thanks!

  3. Looks like they spend too much time on decorations and not enough time on the stuff that actually matters, like taste and service. Boo.

  4. Stacy, I’ll see if I can pull up the website of reviews that Dan found. And, I hate to say it, because you’d be wasting $2, but you may want to throw out the lemon mini. It’s now at least 5 days old so I doubt it’s gotten better. In all honesty, we already wasted the $2 when we bought them in the first place. 😦

  5. Pingback: 2011 Cupcake Tour: 2nd Stop – Fancy Cakes by Leslie | Cupcake Crusaders

  6. Pingback: 2011 Cupcake Tour: 4th Stop – Frosting, A Cupcakery | Cupcake Crusaders

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