Fenwick Bakery: A True Baltimore Bakery

Opening Day at Camden Yards is not an event to be taken lightly in Baltimore City. If you happen to be stuck at work (like me), don’t expect emails in your inbox or the phone to ring, it just won’t happen—or at least not often.

This past Friday was Opening Day and even the local bakeries get into the spirit. Fenwick Bakery never misses a chance to celebrate our city’s sporting events, so on Friday they converted their Fedora (a cupcake baked without a liner, flipped upside down, and then covered in a chocolate shell whose shape mimics its namesake) into an Orioles’ Rally Cap:

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(Photo from Fenwick Bakery’s Facebook Page. No harm or infringement intended.)

Fenwick Bakery is a true Baltimore bakery (and although their address says Parkville they are still within city limits). According to them, their “love story” began when the two original owners married in 1913 and opened a bakery shortly after (originally named Uebersax Bakery). A century later, it has only had three different owners and still uses original recipes.

When you first walk in, you are immediately struck by the smell of fresh doughnuts. If that’s not enough to put a smile on your face, the two displays filled with baked goods that make up most of their small storefront surely will. But don’t expect any fancy decor or over the top greetings. Fenwick Bakery is a no-frills bakery that only promises to produce fresh, tasty treats. The women behind the counter won’t greet you with an over-the-top smile and perky “hello,” but they will ask you what they can get for you and put your order together quickly. If you are lucky, you might even get called “hon” or “babe.”

Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to pick up their recent Orioles’ Rally Cap Fedoras, but it did remind us that we have been bad bloggers and haven’t shared ANY of the treats we’ve enjoyed from Fenwick Bakery, including the Fedora.

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(Their classic Fedora and a Black Bottom cupcake we tried on our first visit)

When we tried the Fedora it had the perfect, rich, moist chocolate cake. The Black Bottom cupcake was the same, and might have been the best Black Bottom I’ve ever eaten.

On our first visit they didn’t have any regular cupcakes, but it wasn’t long after that I decided I NEEDED to try their doughnuts. While there, I saw they had made special Ravens cupcakes for the playoff games (yes that was about 3 months ago…did I mention I’ve been a bad blogger?).

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Words can’t describe how unbelievably amazing their doughnuts are. They don’t have a ton of flashy flavors like Dunkin Donuts or Fractured Prune, but they are melt in your mouth amazing.

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After having a great experience with the Fedora, Black Bottoms, and doughnuts, I had high expectations for their cupcakes. Unfortunately, they didn’t live up to my hopes. The cake was dry and the frosting tasted different than that of the oh-so-wonderful frosting on their doughnuts. I was bummed.

I don’t think I’d get their cupcakes again (never say “never” though, right?), but this down-to-earth bakery still has a lot to offer. And there is no way I can stay away from those crazy-good doughnuts for very long.

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

Baltimore Cupcake Picnic – Rain Rain chased the picnic away!

Sadly, due to inclement weather, we had to cancel our Baltimore Cupcake Picnic in Patterson Park. We were really sad the rain chased our picnic away, but luckily, for our family and very close friends, Crusader Stacy graciously opened her house so that we could gather together and share the cupcakes we’d already made.

We all couldn’t help but dig in right away, especially after hearing so much about Crusader Stacy’s Nerd cupcakes! As more people showed up, we made room on the table for the cupcakes – some store bought, some homemade. It was great when the tasting was in full swing, with so many kids there, it was hard not to feel like a kid yourself, eating more sugar than necessary and maybe even getting a tummy ache.

Overall there was an amazing variety of cupcake flavors in attendance:

1 & 2) Crusader Jenn’s FUN da-Middles mini Cupcakes, two ways – one with salted caramel and one without the salt
3) Crusader Stacy’s Nerds Cupcakes – keep an eye out for this recipe post!
4) Black Bottoms from a local bakery – yum!
5) Crusaders’ Dad brought four flavors of cupcakes from Sweet Hearts Patisserie, a cupcakery in Annapolis the Crusaders have been wanting to try. Watch for this review!
6) Crusader Elisa brought homemade Peach Cobbler cupcakes that Crusader Stacy had suggested on our FB page – thanks again for the suggestion!
7) A friend made Homemade Ginger Peach cupcakes, filled with a peach compote that was very flavorful
8) Crusaders’ sister Alissa and her friend brought red velvet cupcakes
9) Chocolate Chip cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, made by a friend
10) Healthy Crusader Rebecca brought healthy Black Forest cupcakes – watch for this healthy recipe post coming soon.

It might have been a rainy day, but we had a great time with our family and close friends. So many cupcakes, so many kiddies, so many wonderful people all in the same place! It was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

The Crusaders would like to thank everyone who made it out to our picnics this summer. It’s been a great opportunity to meet our fellow cupcake lovers, try some new flavors, and spend time talking about cupcakes! Can’t wait for next summer!

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

Spotlight: Snickerdoodles Bakery and Coffeehouse, Part 2

We are so excited to bring you our final thoughts for the remaining six cupcakes we tried from Snickerdoodles Bakery and Coffeehouse, since we couldn’t fit them all into one review! If Part 1 wasn’t enough to make you crave a cupcake, I think this will do it!

Death by Chocolate:
This cupcake wasn’t ready when I first stopped in, but the owner insisted that I must try it. I was planning on grabbing lunch next door, so I told her I would be back. I’m so glad I returned!

After hearing and seeing all that goes into this cupcake, it’s understandable why it takes them all morning to bake it fresh. The chocolate cake is rich and moist, the chocolate buttercream is perfection, and if those aren’t enough, it is then hand dipped in chocolate ganache! A chocolate lover couldn’t ask for anything more out of a cupcake!

Strawberry White Chocolate:
Another gorgeous cupcake that puts others to shame, this cupcake is a strawberry cake, with whipped filling, strawberry frosting, and then topped with white chocolate shavings AND a white chocolate covered strawberry!

Us Crusaders are typically concerned with berry cupcakes being overly sweet, however the whipped filling tones down the sweetness and just like the others, the cake is perfectly moist. Also, eating a cupcake with a white chocolate covered strawberry just makes a girl feel special!

Blackbottom:
Considering this next treat a cupcake might be a little controversial, since there is no frosting on top. However, as soon as I saw it I couldn’t wait to try it!

All those chocolate chips mixed in with cheesecake had my mouth watering from the start. I was so pleased by this blackbottom that if they have it on future visits, there’s no way I could leave without one.

Carrot:
As I’ve mentioned before, carrot cake is one of my favorites. It’s a classic and, even though it’s more of a spice cake, you can find it year round.

This carrot cake could possibly be one of my all-time favorites. The cake has real carrot pieces and nuts, which add a nice texture, then a cream cheese filling, with American buttercream frosting. The mixture of spice and sweet is perfect. As large as these cupcakes are, I wish I had a whole one to myself and hadn’t shared! And I usually like sharing!

Boston Cream:
I love anything Boston cream. Pie, cake, doughnuts…and cupcakes are no exception. As soon as I heard this was a Boston cream, I became giddy.

This cupcake is a vanilla cake, filled with Boston cream, and topped with chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache. While speaking with the owner, she told me that after they put the chocolate buttercream on the cupcakes, they chill them, so that the chocolate ganache sets up properly. Normally I would only want chocolate ganache on a Boston cream treat, however their chocolate buttercream is so rich that it holds up well to the overall flavor. I secretly would have enjoyed more pastry cream, but that’s only because I could have eaten bowls of it alone!

Party Cupcake:
I don’t know what else to call this cupcake, but it is so much fun!

This cupcake is priced at only $2.00, which I couldn’t believe. The moist vanilla cake and sweet American buttercream are reminiscent of a traditional birthday cake. Although it is an average size, unlike their other super-sized cupcakes, its decoration makes me feel like I attended a chic party.

I recently stopped by Snickerdoodles, after having been impressed by their cupcakes, and tried their coffee and sugar cookies. Just like with their cupcakes, everything was perfectly tasty! Like I said in Part 1 of our review, if you have a chance to visit Snickerdoodles, please do!

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

Good to “The Last Crumb?”

While Christmas shopping at the Annapolis Mall with my mom, we happened upon The Last Crumb, an adorable little cupcake kiosk. Part of the larger smoothie kiosk, Smoothie Sensations, the owner’s wife bakes cupcakes to be sold on weekends. (Because this is a one-woman operation, which her husband supports, she currently does not have a website.) Luckily, we were there on a Sunday and they had a decent selection of mini and full-size cupcakes left for us to choose from. The set up was playful and cute, with a glass case and covered cake stand, and the staff were very sweet and helpful.

I LOVE minis, so I bought every mini flavor available (and at only $1 per mini, that is a deal too) and one full-size cupcake, that was not available as a mini.

Now, onto the cupcakes!

Pink Cotton Candy

This cupcake was the only cupcake I would not order again and was also the only full-size one I ordered. Since there was not much of a description, I assumed this cupcake would be very sweet and taste like cotton candy, sadly it was neither sweet nor cotton candy tasting. The cake was vanilla, but that wasn’t the issue, its dry, brittle texture and lack of flavor was its undoing. The icing was sweet, but tasted simply like confectioners sugar. The melted cotton candy on top may have given this cupcake some more flavor if there had been more of it. Overall, this cupcake looked beautiful and whimsical, but didn’t have much taste at all.

Red Velvet

Being the Red Velvet Crusader, I almost HAVE to get it – this little mini red velvet was very good. The icing was a vanilla buttercream, not the standard cream cheese icing, and had vanilla beans swirled through, creating a beautiful look. The bright red cake was a little dry, but had a great flavor. I would be very interested in trying their full-size red velvet to see if it was slightly better, being larger and able to hold onto more moisture within the cake.

Almond

This little mini packed a PUNCH of flavors! While the cake was a moist and savory almond flavor, the icing was a vanilla lemon buttercream. These complex flavors worked very well together, but apart, the icing was just a bit too sweet for my taste. I really love almond cake and this cake was amazing.

Black Bottom

Moist rich chocolate cake and cheesecake topped with chocolate mousse icing that was smooth, creamy, and not too sweet. Black bottoms are always a good idea, and this one had something extra. Maybe it was the icing, maybe it was the fact that it was a perfectly moist little mini: whatever it was, I wish I had gotten a regular size cupcake of this flavor, and plan on getting one the next time I am at Annapolis Mall.

Gingerbread

Because it was around the holiday season, The Last Crumb had some great holiday flavors available. This little gingerbread did not disappoint! The spiced cake AND icing might be a bit much for some people, and maybe a full-size cupcake would have been too much, but this spicy mini is perfect for me. I loved the true spice cake that revealed a different spice flavor with each bite. Add the spiced buttercream icing that was smooth, sweet, creamy, and of course spicy, and this gingerbread mini really shined.

Peppermint Chocolate

This tiny morsel of a cupcake left me wanting more! Between the incredibly moist and rich chocolate cake and the swirling, smooth peppermint icing, this cupcake really embodied its flavor profile. The chocolate peppermint bar on top was just an added bonus. I’m not huge on chocolate cake, but this cake in particular is one of the best I have ever had.

All in all my cupcake experience with The Last Crumb was a great one! I would really like to go back and get some of the mini cupcakes in full-size to test their moistness, as none of the minis were dry, but the one full-size cupcake was. It amazes me that this woman comes up with these flavor combinations, in mini and full size cupcakes, just for fun on the weekends. I would definitely recommend stopping by on a Saturday or Sunday to get some bite-sized cupcake treats!

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