National Carrot Cake Day – February 3rd

There seem to be a lot of strange daily food holidays out there, but we don’t mind, they just make life a little more interesting. Several websites claim that tomorrow, February 3rd, is National Carrot Cake Day, so we wanted to share several of our past Carrot Cake experiences. Don’t forget to indulge in celebration!

Woodlea Bakery – Bel Air, MD (Crusader Elisa)

Spicy and sweet, this little mini cupcake packed a punch. The cake was too dry for my liking, and the icing was creamy and a great consistency, but sweeter than I like my cream cheese icing. Overall, being a carrot cake fan, this wasn’t my favorite and wouldn’t be one I would order again. It just seemed like it was missing something. Was it nutmeg? Was it allspice? Was it carrot pieces? Sadly, I just can’t put my finger on that missing ingredient.

(Read full Woodlea Bakery review here.)

Starbucks – Annapolis, MD (Crusader Jenn)

Carrot cake is usually one of my favorite cake flavors. I love a spiced cake that you can get all year round. However there was nothing memorable about this cupcake. Despite my lack of enthusiasm over these mini cupcakes, I still love Starbucks. They specialize in coffee and don’t pretend to be a bakery. I appreciate that they offer fun sweet options, including bite-size minis, to accompany their beverages, should their guest like to indulge a bit more.

(Read full Starbucks Cupcake review here.)

Sweet Sixteen Cafe – Lockport, NY (Guest Crusader Alli & Crusader Stacy)

This cake pop was unlike any we have seen. Rather than being ball-shaped it was rectangular as if it had been cubed from a whole cake and then dipped in chocolate. Inside, the cake pop had two layers of frosting sandwiched in between three layers of cake. It was stunning! This classic carrot cake, with rich cream cheese icing dipped in white chocolate, was moist and flavorful. It was delicious!

(Read full Sweet Sixteen Cafe review here.)

Sweet Bakery (Now Closed) – Baltimore, MD (Crusader Stacy and Crusader Elisa)

Unfortunately this cupcake was a bit of a disappointment. This is shocking because Sweet Bakery was one of our favorite places to get cupcakes. The first big problem was the frosting. I’m a fan of cream cheese frosting with my carrot cake. And their cream cheese frosting was so good that it was a shame they didn’t put it on this one. Another big problem was that the cake was super chunky and really dry. While I like a lot of “stuff” in my carrot cake, this was just extreme. Luckily Sweet Bakery had so many other amazing cupcakes that they will always be one of our favorite bakeries.

(Read full Sweet Bakery review from “Cupcaked Out” here.)

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

Cake Pops: Cousin to the cupcake

Recently I “ran into” three cake pops that I couldn’t pass up. The first two were from Whole Foods in Mt. Washington. I was going in hoping for cupcakes because I’ve read before that they are decent. Unfortunately, there were no cupcakes but they did have cake pops (so not a total waste of a time).

They had three flavor options: white chocolate, dark chocolate, and pistachio. Neither my hubby or I are huge white chocolate fans, so I left with a dark chocolate and a pistachio for about $2 each (I think).

We started with the pistachio. Lately, my hubby and I have been snacking on pistachios so we were both really excited, only be be let down. The pistachios on the outside were soft and chewy, and there really wasn’t much flavor present. Bummer. But we moved on to the next one.

The dark chocolate was melt in your mouth amazing. It was super rich and chocolatey, so much so I grabbed a glass of milk. We were both wishing we didn’t have to share this tiny morsel of a treat. Even though my local Whole Foods doesn’t seem to carry cupcakes, I’ll definitely be going back for their dark chocolate cake pops.

Shorty after that, I strolled into Starbucks for my expensive coffee fix (it’s a special treat for me). I’ve tried their standard cake pops before (see here and here), but on this particular visit, they had a seasonal flavor: peppermint brownie. I figured, why not?

With my holiday red cup in one hand and my cake pop in the other, I headed home. I love the look of this cake pop. White with red flecks scream “winter holiday” and it stays true to Starbuck’s red and white holiday branding.

I have to admit though, I was a bit disappointed. I’m not sure exactly why, but overall it just didn’t excite me. I did enjoy the combination of textures though, with the soft cake, fudgey coating, and crunchy sugar crystals. I think that was definitely the best thing this cake pop had to offer. Guess I’ll have to stick with their tiramisu and rocky road flavors.

Even if I’ve had some recent hit or miss experiences with cake pops, I think they are a fabulous addition to the “tiny treat” family. I’m visiting a cupcake shop this weekend that often carries cake pops, so I’m really hoping they’ll have them. I know that the quality of a grocery store and a coffee chain won’t come close to that of a family run cupcakery. I can’t wait!

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

Starbucks…Who doesn’t want cupcakes with their coffee?

On a recent trip to Starbucks, I finally broke down and got a couple of their mini cupcakes to go along with my decaf Americano (cream and sugar, please!).  They had two options, chocolate peanut butter and carrot cake. I was a little disappointed when the employee couldn’t confirm for me that the carrot cake was carrot cake, but this particular location also got my drink order wrong…twice…which is always a disappointment when going into a place that is suppose to be the most popular coffeehouse for a reason. However, I still left happy to have sweets in one hand and a grande hot coffee in the other on a cold rainy day.

As you can see from the photo, the peanut butter frosting on the chocolate cupcake had an almost translucent appearance. My only thought for this was, butter! The frosting tasted like straight peanut butter, which was very pleasing, however the texture wasn’t what I prefer on a cupcake. The cake had good chocolate favor, but wasn’t very moist. My guess is that this is because their treats are trucked in.

Carrot cake is usually one of my favorite cake flavors.  I love a spiced cake that you can get all year round. However there was nothing memorable about this cupcake…maybe that’s why the employee couldn’t tell me what it was?

Despite my lack of enthusiasm over these mini cupcakes, I still love Starbucks. They specialize in coffee and don’t pretend to be a bakery. I appreciate that they offer fun sweet options, including bite-size minis, to accompany their beverages, should their guest like to indulge a bit more. I still think their Rocky Road Cake Pop is amazing and I’m looking forward to trying their seasonal treats, such as their Chocolate Crème Whoopie Pie and the Peppermint Brownie Cake Pop (Crusader Stacy will be posting her review on this, and other cake pops, tomorrow)!

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

My Starbucks Birthday Cake Cakepop Quest is Over!!!

Happy Monday Cupcake Lovers! So, you may or may not have read in an earlier blog post that I was on a mini quest to taste the Birthday Cake flavored Cakepop at Starbucks. As I mentioned in that post, there are several things I believe are in the “cupcake family,” like cakepops, cakeballs, doughnuts, muffins, etc., so to me this is an okay topic for this blog. When my quest began, I had already tried the Tiramisu flavor, but had heard that the Birthday Cake one was amazing and this weekend I FINALLY got to try it for myself!

During my search, I was able to try both the Birthday Cake flavored doughnut and the Rocky Road Cakepop. As a reminder, The Rocky Road was really good, but the doughnut? Not so much.

So what are my thoughts on the Birthday Cake Cakepop? It was good. I really did enjoy it, but I think that I like the Tiramisu the best. I guess it would depend on what mood I was in, but I think I would get the Rocky Road or Tiramisu before getting this one again.

Now, that my Starbucks Cakepop quest is over, I will be moving on to try their cupcakes. (Shockingly, I’ve yet to try them). I’ve heard that the chocolate peanut butter one is pretty decent. They also have a red velvet whoopi pie that I want to try. So many sweets… so little time…

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

Sorta related to Cupcakes.

In my opinion, there are several things in the “cupcake family.” Included in this list are cakepops, cakeballs, donuts, muffins, you get my point…If it is sweet and a single serving, then I think it can be discussed on this blog. Well, I guess since it’s my blog I can discuss anything I want, but back to my story:

So, this weekend I started a small, casual search for Starbucks’ Birthday Cake Cakepop. I heard that it was amazing from a friend, and after trying the Tiramisu flavor a while back, I decided that I had to try this one also. My search began on Friday night when I decided to stop into a local Starbucks while picking up dinner. Well, to my suprise, not only did they not have any of the Birthday Cake Cakepops left, they didn’t have any cakepops left at all. So, instead I got:

You may have guessed, it’s the Birthday Cake Mini Doughnut. I have to admit, I love doughnuts, so I was fairly excited about this, but to my disappointment it was bland and didn’t have much flavor at all. Of course that didn’t stop me from finishing it.

So, my search continued… On Sunday, during the trip home from visiting my Grandmother who recently had her hip replaced, my big sister and I decided that a Starbucks trip was necessary. We were about an hour from home and I was convinced that Sunday would be the day I could try the Birthday Cake Cakepop. But no. They had the Tiramisu and the Rocky Road:

So, since I had already tried the Tiramisu I went with the Rocky Road. Thankfully the Rocky Road was actually very delicious. I still think I liked the Tiramisu better, but at least it was much better than the mini doughnut. I can only imagine how good this Birthday Cake Cakepop must be since it’s been sold out the past two times I’ve been to Starbucks. So, the search continues…

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