Over the past month the Crusaders have been working hard to prepare for another series which was supposed to be featured on another blog. Unfortunately, this fell through, so instead, we will be featuring this series on our own blog next month. This series will highlight our Top 5 favorite places outside of Baltimore City (but still within a short driving distance). This means we have eaten A LOT of cupcakes. So, for February, we decided to share some of the new spots we’ve visit, but you’ll have to wait until March to see our final Top 5 picks. 🙂
One of the places we visited for the first time was Cooks ‘N Cakes located off the Baltimore National Pike in Ellicott City, MD. This new cupcake spot opened their doors in December 2011. Their tagline, “Home of the Two-Touch Cupcake” means that they have made a commitment that no more than two hands will create a cupcake from batter to frosting. They believe that this allows them to make each cupcake spectacular and not just “a dime a dozen” like some critiques believe.
After seeing all their posts on Facebook, we couldn’t wait to test this latest addition to Maryland’s cupcakeries, so Crusader Elisa and I finally made it there about a month after their grand opening.
We were visiting a couple other places that day (cupcake research is a tough job…), so we limited our selection to 4 cupcakes: Butter Me Up, Childhood Friend, Spiked Punch, and Coffee Craze. They placed the cupcakes in an upside down cup, which is a recent packaging idea that I’ve seen and LOVE. The cupcakes don’t move around and they arrive at your destination with the frosting and decorations still in place.
Elisa and I took our cupcakes over to Crusader Jenn’s house later that night. We also had cupcakes from other locations that we stopped at earlier that day, so we were happy to have help eating them all!
We started with the cupcakes from Cooks ‘N Cakes. Here are our thoughts:
Butter Me Up:
(Vanilla Butter Cake with Butterscotch Buttercream and Chopped Pecans)
The cake on this cupcake was very dense, similar to a pound cake in texture and flavor. The sweet butterscotch frosting worked really well with this mild cake and overall the flavor was nice, nutty and sweet. The one thing about this cupcake that is worth mentioning though, is the unevenness of the cake and frosting (as you can see in the picture above). It wouldn’t have been a big deal, except we were cutting it into several pieces and some taste testers didn’t get as much of the delicious frosting.
(Vanilla Butter Cake with Strawberry Jelly Filling and Peanut Butter Buttercream)
Unfortunately, I think I was the only one who liked this flavor. The others thought it left behind a strange aftertaste that made this a cupcake they would not get again. I’m not sure how I didn’t notice it, but I actually enjoyed this cupcake. The frosting was smooth and sweet and PB&J cupcakes tend to be a favorite of mine.
(Devil’s Food Cupcake with Cinnamon Coffee Buttercream)
The first thing I want to mention is that the cake on this cupcake was very short, like it didn’t rise while baking. Also, from the description it didn’t seem to be a devil’s food cake to us. I’m not sure if they were trying something different that day, but the cake wasn’t very chocolaty and it actually had a burnt coffee taste to it. The aroma of this cupcake was amazing though, and the frosting was equal to that. I also didn’t taste any hints of cinnamon in the frosting and I’m wondering if the coffee flavor in the frosting overpowered everything? The upside of this was that when eating the cake and the frosting together, the burnt coffee taste in the cake was eliminated. Two of the four of us would have gotten this cupcake again, even if it didn’t seem to match its description.
Spiked Punch (Saturday Special):
(Vanilla Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Raspberry Grand Marnier Filling)
This last one was definitely the overall crowd pleaser. The chocolate frosting was considered perfect by everyone and the raspberry filling was amazing. (Like, unbelievably amazing.) We really can’t say enough good things about this cupcake!
All in all, I would definitely visit this cupcakery again. They have so many flavor options and while we were there, they had samples left out to try. Elisa and I each thought the vanilla buttercream from one of the samples was amazing and the chocolate cake from another sample was very moist and light. Next time, we would definitely like to try some full-size cupcakes including those flavors.
– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)
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