4th Annual Cupcake Tour – Roadtrip Style | Stop #3: Cupcake Heaven | Wilmington, DE

Two stops into our roadtrip tour we Crusaders felt like we won the cupcake jackpot! Great cupcakes, cool shops, and even a little brewery break set the bar pretty high for our last stop, Cupcake Heaven in Wilmington, DE. (you can read those first two reviews here and here).

Following the GPS to the shopping center, things started to look oddly familiar. As we parked, I knew this was not my first time at this cupcake shop. A friend lives near Wilmington and we stopped by Cupcake Heaven during one of my visits. Honestly, I was hoping this experience would be better than my first… so we walked in and I wiped the opinion slate clean.

CupcakeHeavenSFacade

Cupcake Heaven had a variety of cupcakes to choose from. The staff was helpful, but didn’t seem enthused to be working. After making some difficult choices, we sat to try our flavors.

Cinnamon AppleAppleCinn-HC

Stacy’s Cinnamon Apple cupcake looked pretty appetizing, but was a complete disappointment. The cake was incredibly dry and the frosting was “blah.” The only redeeming quality of this cupcake was the filling, unfortunately there was very little of it, making for an overall sad cupcake experience.

Mint Chocolate ChipMintChoco-CH

Jenn was weary of her cupcake after seeing Stacy’s reaction… but as a true Crusader would, she trekked on and tried the Mint Chocolate Chip cupcake. The chocolate cake was very dry. And the frosting, while oddly bright, was surprisingly smooth and had great mint flavor. The best thing about this cupcake was how much Leah loved the frosting.

Sweet PotatoSweetPotato-CH

My sweet potato cupcake looked fantastic, but tasted like cinnamon cardboard. The frosting was too sweet and didn’t have much flavor, while the cake was a crumbly mess. After years of eating cupcakes all over the spectrum from good to bad, this one sticks out as one of the worst. Confirming that my first experience wasn’t a fluke.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake TrufflePBtruffle-HC

The best part of this cupcake stop, minus the company, was Stacy’s Peanut Butter Cake Truffle. The chocolate cake had great peanut flavor mixed in and the truffle texture was smooth. It might have been the only thing that made us glad we stopped by Cupcake Heaven. Well….That and Leah’s face covered in frosting:

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(No one can deny that adorable face!)

It was such a shame to have our last stop be such a disappointment. Cupcake Heaven was more like Cupcake Purgatory… there wasn’t fire and brimstone, but it certainly wasn’t Heaven. Sadly, after our experience there, I think Jenn and Stacy’s dad, Mr. Ross, said it best: “Go get some tasty cakes instead.”

Overall, our cupcake roadtrip tour was a HUGE success! We enjoyed our stops along the way and while not everything was perfect, spending a whole day together is always a great time!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader Elisa (Baltimore, MD)

 

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4th Annual Cupcake Tour – Roadtrip Style | Stop #2: SAS Cupcakes | Newark, DE

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(Crusaders enjoying lunch at 16 Mile Taphouse, practically right across the street from SAS Cupcakes.)

Although we couldn’t wait to try out our next cupcake stop, the appeal of local brews was too much to resist, so we decided that a savory break would be a good idea. 16 Mile Taphouse is situated across the street and about a block down from SAS Cupcakes and offers a full menu, as well as their own 16 Mile Brewery beers (Georgetown, DE).

16MileBrewery

In addition to each selecting a beer to fit our tastebuds, we ordered the 16 Mile Fries to share. The beer cheese fondue that came with the fries sounded the most appealing, but paired with the spicy aioli…perfection! The weather was so nice that we were able to sit outside (and the people-watching was top notch – Newark is a college town and, to our luck, they were having some sort of family day). After filling ourselves with savory delights and ample people-watching, we headed up to SAS Cupcakes.

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SAS Cupcakes makes sure they are easy to find. Although their awning was a little hard to spot while driving down Main Street, the windows are filled with large cupcake photos and they have a sidewalk sign, so it was really hard to miss them.

SAS_StoreInterior

Walking into the store, we were instantly transformed into kids in a candy store. Greeting us were fun chandeliers, cupcake themed gifts, nostalgic candy, and a wall full of party hats for all occasions. It’s hard to do anything but smile in a place like that, and the staff further proved it. They were all friendly, patient, and excited about their store and cupcakes. We were (slightly) more successful in sticking to our one cupcake per person rule here. I think I had more trouble deciding than the rest, because Crusader Elisa’s eyes bee-lined to the Red Velvet and she didn’t look back.

Red Velvet
SAS_RedVelvet

You can tell just from the photo that the cream cheese frosting on this Red Velvet cupcake is smooth and buttery, Elisa’s favorite kind of frosting. Red Velvet tends to be one of those cakes that you either love or hate. While Stacy and I lean more towards the “dislike” side, we both agreed that this was one of the top Red Velvet cupcakes we’ve tasted. It was hard to get Elisa’s thoughts into words…she was too busy enjoying her cupcake!

 Frangelico Hazelnut – Seasonal
SAS_FrangelicoHazelnut

Stacy also didn’t take too long to decide, settling on the Frangelico Hazelnut cupcake. Her thoughts were that the frosting was really sweet, but had a good flavor. And while the cake was a tiny bit dry (mainly dense and crumbly), it did have a good natural flavor, unlike some places that offer a moist cake, but taste just like what you’d find in a box mixed.

Triple Chocolate
SAS_TripleChocolate

It’s possible that my dad picked the winning cupcake of the day, the Triple Chocolate. It was so incredibly moist, with a rich chocolate cake and dense chocolate truffle center. The chocolate layers continued with dark chocolate ganache on top, a dollop of chocolate buttercream, and chocolate sprinkles. Really, that’s five chocolate elements (not three), but we’ll let SAS Cupcakes off the hook for that.

Pumpkin Spice – Seasonal
SAS_Pumpkin

After much debate (and seeing what everyone else was getting…meaning what I’d still get to taste), I settled on the Pumpkin Spice cupcake. I don’t usually like this much frosting on a cupcake, but most of the cupcakes were heavily topped, and the cinnamon in the frosting looked very appealing. As soon as I had this cupcake in my hands, I noticed how sweet it smelled and wondered if I made the right choice. I proceeded with caution and was pleasantly surprised how the spice and pumpkin came through over the sweetness, giving this cupcake a great flavor. However I was left with a kick of sweetness at the end, that stuck with me. The cake was also a little crumbly, not something I’m used to in a pumpkin cupcake, which tend to be very moist and dense.

Despite my thoughts on the Pumpkin Spice Cupcake,  I decided to select two cupcakes to take home since the Triple Chocolate cupcake was so good.

Chocolate Peanut Butter
SAS_ChocolatePB

I was really hoping that the peanut butter frosting on this cupcake would deliver big flavor, however it wasn’t very peanut-buttery at all. My initial disappointment was redeemed when I realized that the center of the chocolate cake was loaded with pure, smooth peanut butter. If the frosting had packed more flavor it would have easily overpowered the chocolate cake, but all the elements blended together created a well balanced cupcake in the end.

Oreo
SAS_CookiesCream

After a full day of cupcakes, I went ahead and gave the Oreo cupcake to my husband, to enjoy all to himself. So, we’ll have to take his word that, “It was awesome.”

All-in-all, we really enjoyed our trip to SAS Cupcakes. We’d love to go back and explore the town more, grab a beer at 16 Mile Taphouse, and pick up a cupcake or two. For chocolate lovers, the Triple Chocolate cupcake is reason enough to visit if you find yourself in the area.

Next week, Crusader Elisa will be sharing our last tour stop, Cupcake Heaven in Wilmington, DE. We had an interesting experience there, so keep an eye out for the review!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)

After 13.1 miles, I needed a “Cake Break”

A few weeks ago I ran my second half marathon in Ocean City! (As Stacy mentioned in this post, I recently became a more serious runner.) Of course when traveling, whether it be for a 13.1 mile run or for pleasure, we Crusaders have to find cupcakes to try. So after doing our usual research, I settled on Cake Break in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

The OC race was very early on Saturday morning and ended at Assateague Island; from there the racers were shuttled to Seacrets where I was lucky enough to have my Mom, Dad, Nona, Rich (Nona’s boyfriend), and a bunch of friends waiting to celebrate. I then headed up to Bethany Beach, where my family and I spent the evening at my Uncle’s beach house, ate a fantastic celebratory dinner in Rehobeth, and got some well deserved rest.

   (My metal and bib from the race! #2 in my metal collection.)

The next morning, I trekked up to Cake Break for some cupcakes, breakfast, and coffee. The staff were very friendly, welcoming, and even knew about the Crusaders! I settled on an everything bagel and a caramel latte – which was delicious – for breakfast, and picked six cupcakes to take home with me:

Carrot Top

Carrots, raisins, cream cheese – oh my! This cupcake had a fantastic spice to it and the icing was very sweet, but paired well with the savory cake. Filled with white raisins and carrot pieces, the cake might be the best carrot cake I have ever had, and I loved the decoration on top too.

Lemon Head

This cupcake was a must, as one of the owners (who helped me choose my six flavors) said it was one of their BEST… and boy were they right! I loved the true lemon flavor of this cupcake and the fact that it was not overly sweet. The lemon curd on top of the icing was an added bonus of lemon pleasure. A great cupcake that I will order again.

Red Velvet

Of course I had to bring home a red velvet! This moist and truly deep, dark, rich, cake really shone all on its own. Then there was the icing, which was very smooth, and not overly sweet. The hard sprinkles on top added an interesting new texture to this already great cupcake.

Cannoli

It is impossible for me not to order a Cannoli cupcake, because they are one of my favorite desserts. Sadly, this cupcake doesn’t come close to the dessert original. The filling was good, but not great and had a bit of a grainy texture to it, and the cake was just okay, as I felt it lacked flavor. I did love the presentation of this cupcake, but it isn’t one I would try again. (They also offer a chocolate version, which I would like to try, just to see if the addition of a more flavorful cake would help overall.)

Chocolate Overload

WHOA. Chocolate, chocolate, and MORE chocolate! If you love chocolate, this cupcake is for you! I was amazed at how moist the cake was, while not being overly sweet! I love when cocoa is allowed to be the star of the show and this cupcake was its own musical!

I-rish I Had Another

I do wish I had another one of these cupcakes! Having created my own “Car Bomb” cupcakes, this flavor was one I didn’t want to pass up. While the cake was moist, I wish it had more stout/beer flavor. The icing was divine, smooth and very Irish Cream flavored. The best part was the Jameson chocolate fudge filling; it melted in like a chocolate truffle and had the perfect hint of whiskey. All together this cupcake truly tasted like the drink and the next time I make them I might have to ditch my jelly and fill them with Jameson chocolate fudge.

Running my second half marathon felt fantastic and is quite an accomplishment on my running journey. Having friends and family there to support me (and my crazy habit) makes me feel like I’m the luckiest person… and having delicious cupcakes to eat isn’t a bad deal either.

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