More From Kimberley’s Bakeshoppe, One Of Our Most Popular Reviews

When I brought Kimberley’s Bakeshoppe cupcakes to one of our Summer Cupcake Picnics I had no idea how they would be perceived. I tried them and I liked them, but there would be some serious bakers there. However, after passing them around for our guests to taste, and revealing that the cupcakes were purchased from Walmart, everyone was shocked.

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(Flavors from our previous review: Triple Chocolate, Vanilla Creme, and Lemon Ice.)

After posting our review, we have continued to get (mostly) positive comments from others who have found Kimberley’s Bakeshoppe cupcakes at various locations across the nation. It’s been one of our most popular reviews, with a total of 84 comments and growing weekly.

With the attention our review has received, we wanted contact Give & Go, the prepared foods company that makes Kimberley’s Bakeshoppe cupcakes, located in Toronto Canada. We told them about all the feedback we’ve seen and asked if they could provide us with any additional information about these mysterious cupcakes (they don’t have a website and are not featured on Give & Go’s site).

Give & Go was very prompt in their response and overwhelmed by the great comments you all have left for them. Out of gratitude they asked if they could send us some cupcakes. Of course our response was, “YES!” Shortly after that I received 48 cupcakes at my doorstep!

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(This is what a shipping box packed with four dozen cupcakes looks like. Two dozen on top and two dozen on the bottom.)

I was flabbergasted. As much as I would like to eat 48 cupcakes, I knew I shouldn’t. But at the same time I couldn’t help feeling like a giddy little girl on the day of her birthday party. In addition to the three flavors I had already tried (Triple Chocolate, Lemon Ice, and Vanilla Crème), we had three new ones: Pumpkin Spice, Carrot Nut, and Red Velvet. Our readers mentioned all three of these, but I hadn’t been able to locate them yet. And now here they were!

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(Kimberley Bakeshoppe’s six flavors all together.)

Give & Go informed us that they produce their own products and distribute them using a thaw and sell method, where products are shipped frozen to maintain freshness, but are thawed by the vendor and sold at room temperature. They give credit to their vendors who have adapted to the method in order to ensure that the highest quality product gets in the consumers’ hands.

When I received my cupcakes they were packed incredibly well, with dry ice, and still frozen solid. I’ve been keeping them in the freezer until I’m ready to eat one or give a few away. They have all been so fresh, with consistently moist, light cake and well balanced flavors and sweetness.

Pumpkin Spice

Kimberleys_Pumpkin

The cake on the Pumpkin Spice cupcake was perfectly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, and filled and topped with a whipped cream cheese frosting. I felt a little rebellious eating a fall cupcake in the middle of winter, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy every moment.

Carrot Nut

Kimberleys_Carrot

Out of all the flavors, this was my least favorite. That doesn’t mean it was horrible, because it still had moist cake and Kimberley’s great cream cheese frosting, however the cake didn’t have as much texture as I like in carrot cake. With the name Carrot Nut I expected to have a lot of nuts in the cake, but I didn’t detect any other than the crushed nut garnish on top, which wasn’t enough for me.

Red Velvet

Kimberleys_RedVelvet

We’ve heard a lot of good things about this cupcake from our readers. I’m not usually a Red Velvet fan, but after trying 4 of the 6 flavors I had high hopes for Kimberley’s version and it didn’t disappoint. The cake was rich and didn’t lack flavor. Although the description says that it has the whipped cream cheese frosting on top and as a filling, the frosting on this one seemed different than the filling, and had more of a marshmallow flavor. Maybe it was just the pairing with the cake, but whatever it was I liked it!

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(Just for fun…I like to play around with cupcakes, so here is a Kimberley’s Vanilla Creme turned into a banana split. Oh, it’s VERY good!)

If you happen to pass by these cupcakes in Walmart, Target, Kroger, or another grocer, don’t hesitate to pick them up. Based on the comments it seems like they range in price from $2.99 to $4.99 for four, so you can’t go wrong. If for some reason you find that your product wasn’t moist and wonderful then you should definitely inform Give & Go. They seem to be an honest, hardworking group, who really value customer service and the feedback of their consumers. It’s always nice to find out that the people behind the cupcakes are just as great as their product!

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

P.S. I ate a Kimberley’s Triple Chocolate cupcake while writing this post. It seemed appropriate. 😉

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A Perfect Party, Minus One.

Being the only one of your friends to have the bad cupcake of the bunch is like being the only kid in class who wasn’t invited to the party. You are stuck hearing all the wonderful fun things that happened, while crying on the inside that you weren’t a part of it all.

Okay, maybe that’s a teeny tiny bit dramatic. But I can tell you, eating the only bad cupcake is still no fun.

About a year ago we reviewed Cooks ‘N Cakes located in Ellicott City, MD. At the time, our thoughts on their cupcakes were just so-so. Shortly after, Cooks ‘N Cakes contacted us explaining that they made some changes to their recipes and would love for us to come back and give them another try. Fast forward to about 8 months later—time really does fly by—and we finally made it back to their shop.

Excited to give them another try, I selected three new cupcakes and one Coffee Craze, which we had tried previously. I knew then that I would divide the cupcakes among us Crusaders, plus our good friend and Guest Crusader, Miss Beth Lacey, who I would be seeing that afternoon.

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(True Simplicity from Cooks ‘N Cakes)

For myself, I selected True Simplicity, a vanilla butter cake with Madagascar vanilla buttercream frosting. I hate complaining about a bad cupcake almost as much as I hate eating it in the first place, but there is really nothing good to say about it. The cake was so dry that it actually crumbled like a cookie. The flavor would have been good, but there was no way to get past the dryness and the frosting was just okay. In my opinion, it didn’t contain enough vanilla flavor and had way too much of a confectioner’s sugar aftertaste. When buying cupcakes, normally I come from the mindset that “you win some, you lose some,” but I was actually upset that I spent $2.50 on this.

I immediately texted Jenn, Elisa, and Beth Lacey to give them a heads-up that my cupcake was inedible, but to my surprise, none of them had the same reactions. That’s when I realized that, apparently, I had not been invited to the party.

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(Split Decision from Cooks ‘N Cakes)

Beth Lacey said that her Split Decision cupcake (banana cake with strawberry frosting and a dollop of chocolate on top) “rocked!” and that it “totally tasted like a banana split!” Hearing this I was a bit perplexed, but relieved she didn’t have the same experience as me.

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(Coffee Craze from Cooks ‘N Cakes)

Then Jenn, who had tried the Coffee Craze before, said that it still had a great aroma and a nice strong coffee flavor. She added that the frosting was nice and smooth, but that the chocolate cake was just basic and nothing really stood out about it.

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(Chocolate Strawberry from Cooks ‘N Cakes)

Elisa’s exact thoughts on her Chocolate Strawberry cupcake were, “The strawberry frosting was really good and the chocolate cake wasn’t bad either.”

So apparently my cupcake was a dud, while everyone else’s wasn’t. I’ve recovered from my $2.50 loss, but am not sure that I’ll be visiting Cooks ‘N Cakes anytime soon. Their location isn’t really convenient to my home, job, or family and friends, and with a cupcake that was as bad as mine was, I just can’t get excited about another visit.

For Cooks ‘N Cakes sake, I really do hope that my cupcake was merely a random fluke. I would hate to see a small business suffer because others have had similar experiences. So, if you are reading this, I encourage you to go and try their cupcakes for yourself, just maybe stay away from the Vanilla?

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader Stacy (Baltimore, MD)

Convenient and Cheap Cupcake Fix: Giant’s Grocery Store Cupcakes

The Crusaders’ Dad claims that he doesn’t have the same “gourmet tastes buds” as his daughters and swears by cupcakes he found at his local Giant store in Annapolis, MD. They are convenient and (with no better way to say it) CHEAP! Giant sells their custom flavors for only $0.99 each! Most of us are used to the run-of-the-mill grocery store cupcakes that come pre-packed in 6 or 12, with only chocolate and vanilla to choose from, and usually topped with overly sweet frosting, brightly colored and with sprinkles. However it’s becoming more popular for grocery stores to steer away from these and offer more custom confections (whether good or bad), as we’ve seen with Safeway and Fresh & Green.

Our dad has been going into Giant to get, primarily, their Coconut Cream and Boston Cream cupcakes. After going on many, many cupcake crusades with us, he still can’t believe they only cost $0.99. And, after seeing his cupcaking in action, we trust his opinion. So when he told us we had to try them, we said, “Bring ‘em on!” It was decided that he would bring some to our next gathering that didn’t already have cupcakes pre-planned into the mix. That time finally came during a family trip to the Maryland Science Center. It was a beautiful day, so after exploring the Science Center, we found a table outside by the harbor to dig in.

Unfortunately when my dad went into the Giant that morning, they didn’t have a Boston Cream. They did have his other favorite, the Coconut Cream, so he bought that plus 5 others for us to try.

Vanilla Chocolate:

The cake on this cupcake was a little dry, but the ganache frosting was delicious. It was more like what you’d find on a doughnut…gooey and rich! The chocolate ganache redeemed this cupcake, and there was a lot of it!


(As with all of Giant’s filled cupcakes, they use the same frosting on top for the filling and are very generous with it! Frosting lovers can appreciate that!)

We thought starting with a vanilla cupcake was smart, but the richness made me wish I had a glass of milk to go along with it! My dad was a little disappointed that we found the cake dry. After raving about the cupcakes, he could only surmise that these hadn’t been baked fresh that day since he was there so early in the morning.

Coconut Cream:

This cupcake had a vanilla cake, with whipped vanilla frosting, topped with shredded coconut. Crusader Stacy and I felt this cupcake could have used more coconut flavor, but keeping the price in mind, can see why it’s one of our dad’s Giant favorites.

Banana Split:

I was really surprised to see that Giant is offering a Banana Split cupcake. It’s been a popular one to see for the summer season and does show that their baker seems to be in-tuned to what’s going on in cupcake trends. It was a chocolate cake, with banana frosting (and filling), topped with chocolate fudge, walnuts, and a maraschino cherry. Stacy remembers this being one of her favorites of the selection.

Cookies and Cream:

This cupcake had a dark chocolate cake with cookies and cream frosting. The cake was the best of the selection and was my favorite of the group. The frosting alone was worth the 99 cents!

Mocha:

Crusader Stacy and I saved this cupcake for our big sis, who LOVES coffee and chocolate. I did steal a bite, and like some of the other cupcakes, the cake was on the dry side. However, there was a good coffee flavor, and despite how the frosting photographed, it was smooth and flavorful.

Red Velvet:

On this particular day, we let our niece have the Red Velvet cupcake, but luckily our dad brought Crusader Elisa one to try at our recent DC Cupcake Picnic! Here’s what our Red Velvet Connoisseur said:

The cake was bright red and looked beautiful, but was dry and lacked flavor. The icing was smooth, but very bland. The rose decoration on top was very sweet (since it was made with traditional sweet icing) and good, but couldn’t save this cupcake from being just mediocre. Being the “red velvet crusader” probably makes me more critical than most, so while this cupcake doesn’t make my list of great red velvets, it by far is not the worst either.

Can you tell she’s tried a lot of red velvet cupcakes? ;P

Boston Cream:

As I mentioned, this cupcake did not make it into the original taste testing, but luckily Giant had them the day of the Cupcake Picnic, so we were finally able to try it! Here’s what Crusader Stacy thought:

The cake was a bit spongy and lacked flavor, which I would expect from a grocery store cupcake, but the chocolate ganache had really good flavor, even if it was a bit runny, and the filling tasted just like what I would want from a Boston Cream pastry filling. The filling and ganache definitely saved this cupcake, but it was a bit of a mess to eat.

Like my dad, I’m a sucker for Boston Cream and really wish I could have tried this cupcake. From Crusader Stacy’s review, it seems to me that the frosting is very reminiscent of what you’d find on your typical Boston cream cake (or doughnut), and those are always messy to eat!

Over all we feel that if you are in need of a quick, convenient, and not-too-expensive cupcake fix, but want something better then the grocery store cupcakes we usually think of, you can find that at Giant.

Have any of you tried Giant’s cupcakes or any other chain grocery store’s cupcakes? What did you think? Did the lower price make you more lenient on your expectations?

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

Roland Park Bagel Co.’s new Spring and Summer Flavors!

Just to make sure there is no confusion, yesterday we reviewed Roland Park Bakery and Deli, but today we are reviewing the new cupcakes at Roland Park Bagel Co. I promise we are not trying to confuse you, but we couldn’t wait any longer to share with you their spring and summer cupcake flavors – and the new baker. We review Roland Park Bagel Co. last August on our blog and then again in November on KimberlyLoc.com. Prior to hiring a new baker, their cupcakes could be a hit or miss. Sometimes they were great, while other times left us a bit disappointed. Hopefully their consistency has improved with the new bakery, but until we find out, we are loving their new flavors!

Since Crusader Jenn is a stay at home mom, she often comes to my office (where she also used to work) to visit with the other employees and to have lunch. Everyone always enjoys seeing her and her daughter, Leah, and of course I love any excuse to get out and eat cupcakes with one of my best friends! Despite the curt demeanor of the women who runs the front counter, we often find ourselves at Roland Park Bagel Co. for a tasty panini, a cup of coffee, and obviously, cupcakes. Don’t let her attitude fool you though, she is actually quite nice, but is trying to run a tight ship with the busy lunchtime crowds.

On this day we decided to share 3 of their new flavors: Pink Lemonade, Banana Split, and Piña Colada.

The Pink Lemonade was pure bliss with our first bite. The cake was moist and the frosting was very tart and sweet, just like you are sipping on a real pink lemonade on a hot summer afternoon. This cupcake is a perfect warm weather treat!

Next we tried their Banana Split cupcake. For us, it was good. Not the best I’ve had, but not bad either. The cake on ours was a bit squishy in the center. We think this was because there may have been a fresh banana slice placed on top of the cake either during the baking process or after. So, while the flavors were there, we were having some issues getting over the strange texture. Before trying this cupcake we had already bought a 2nd one to bring back to my co-worker (who is also an extreme sugar-holic). She didn’t waste anytime diving into it after we gave it to her, but her cake strangely didn’t have the same texture problem. So maybe ours was just a fluke?

Jenn and I are both coconut (and piña colada) lovers, so we saved Roland Park Bagel Co.’s Piña Colada cupcake for last.

Boy am I glad we did! With it’s rum glaze, soft cake, and strong coconut flavor, at first it was tough to decide which was better, the Pink Lemonade or this one, but then we hit the pineapple puree filling. The pineapple filling took this cupcake to a whole new level! I might as well have been sitting on the beach eating this cupcake with a little umbrella sticking out of it.

I’m really excited to see what other new flavor combinations Roland Park Bagel Co.’s new baker creates. Hopefully they will be consistently good and creative, which will definitely keep these crusaders going back for more!

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

Cupcakes with a Smile: Desserts Designed Delivers

I think by now it’s quite obvious that I don’t let any event, big or small, go by without involving cupcakes. This past weekend Crusader Jenn and I had a good friend visit and I spent a good portion of last week brainstorming where I would get cupcakes to “welcome” her with. I thought maybe I could go to Charm City Cupcakes because it has been a while since I’ve gotten their cupcakes, or we could try the new Soda Pop line of cupcakes from Whole Foods, but then the perfect solution presented itself in my Facebook news feed: Desserts Designed.

Desserts Designed is a Baltimore City based baker who often offers a Sample Box Sale Friday for $15. A Sample Box consist of 6 cupcakes that you can put together based on the 3 or 4 available flavors they post to their Facebook page on Wednesday or Thursday. Once Friday arrives, you can either pick the cupcakes up or have them delivered for an extra fee (which I decided to do since it was only $5 to have them delivered to my office). Last week, they offered Banana Split, Strawberry Shortcake, and Chocolate Chocolate. After reading the flavor options, my decision was an easy one: 3 Banana Splits and 3 Strawberry Shortcakes.

When the owner of Dessert Designed, Angela, arrived with my cupcakes, she was in great spirits even after getting a bit lost (my office is tucked away and a bit difficult to find). She seemed to be full of life, love and laughter which was exactly what I needed after the morning I had.

After I returned to my desk, I was able to take a good look at the beautifully decorated cupcakes. The aroma of the Strawberry Shortcake beckoned me to eat one right then and there, but my willpower won and I saved them to share with Jenn and our friend, Ashley, the next day.

The Banana Split cupcake was a balanced blend of banana, vanilla, and chocolate flavors, starting with a moist and delicate banana cake, then finished with a vanilla buttercream frosting, a chocolate syrup drizzle, a sprinkle of chopped peanuts and a cherry on top! What I loved most about this cupcake was that it wasn’t overly complicated, but it still produced the same level of flavors that a more complex cupcake could give.

The Strawberry Shortcake was even more moist than the Banana Split! I couldn’t believe it! The cake was chock-full of fresh strawberry bits and drizzled with a strawberry puree. Overall the cupcake was quite sweet, but it is what I would expect from a Strawberry Shortcake cupcake. This is a cupcake everyone should experience for themselves.

I’m often amazed by how many great cupcakes you can find out there from places who might not have the biggest name or even their own storefront. Dessert Designed offers fantastic cupcakes at a very reasonable cost. Even better is that if you live or work in Baltimore City, they can be delivered directly to you with a smile. Someone told me that after eating their cupcakes I would be hooked, and she was right. I am hooked!

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