Guest Review | Cupcakes in Heels | Bayside, NY

When Alyssa, from Mookology, approached us about being a Guest Crusader, we jumped at the chance. Mookology is a great blog to visit where you can read all about movies that are based off books. Her reviews are always well thought out and detailed, this girl knows her stuff! Today she is switching gears for a moment to share her thoughts on a recent visit to Cupcake in Heels, a cupcake shop located in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens in New York City. We hope this is just the first of many Guest Crusader reviews from Alyssa!

When I’m not writing, reading, and watching films for my blog, Mookology, my absolute favorite past time is eating and baking cupcakes.  Living in one of the New York boroughs has its perks, and baked goods are definitely one of them, so you can only imagine how excited I was to taste the cupcakes at Cupcakes in Heels in Bayside, New York.

I found a Living Social coupon for Cupcakes in Heels for 3 cupcakes and a cup of coffee for (wait for it) $6!  Within seconds the coupon was purchased and I was waiting for the opportune moment to try some cupcakes.  Knowing I couldn’t (well.. shouldn’t) eat 3 cupcakes by myself, I brought along my sister to Cupcake in Heels with me.  They had a nice selection of flavors, all adequately named after prestigious fashion designers.  Although the coupon only bought 3 cupcakes, we decided to get one extra to make it even (and because we couldn’t decide on just 3 cupcakes).


(Prada cupcake from Cupcake in Heels)

Our first cupcake was the Prada cupcake.  This was a Pistachio cupcake with whipped pistachio frosting.  I am a sucker for pistachio desserts and was dying to try this cupcake.  It did not disappoint one bit!  The cake was moist and filled with pistachio bits and the frosting was light, fluffy and tasted just like a pistachio ice cream.  We literally ate every last crumb of this cupcake!


(Balenciaga cupcake from Cupcake in Heels)

The second cupcake we tried was the Balenciaga, a Tres Leches cupcake with a dulce le leche buttercream.  Since the Prada cupcake had set the bar incredibly high, we were expecting a light and delectable Tres Leches cupcake.  This cupcake was just okay.  When I think of Tres Leches, I think of moist yet light and airy cake, but this just tasted like a regular cupcake. There was nothing too special about it.  The dulce le leche buttercream was also missing something.  Although it was very light and fluffy, I wanted more of that caramelized flavoring dulce le leche is known for.  In general, this was just a good cupcake.


(Vivienne Westwood cupcake from Cupcake in Heels)

The third cupcake we tried, the Vivienne Westwood, was a red wine, blackberry and chocolate cupcake, filled with blackberry & red wine frosting, frosted with a red wine buttercream, and drizzled with red wine and blackberry syrup.  I was eager to try this cupcake; the combination of red wine and blackberry sounded very appealing to me and I love to try something different.  However, this cupcake wasn’t very fulfilling.  The red wine and blackberry syrup was a little bit heavy handed on the red wine part and its distinct fermented flavor interfered with the rest of the cake.  The cupcake could have used a little more sweetness.  It was almost bland.


(Stuart Weitzmen cupcake from Cupcake in Heels)

Last, we tried the Stuart Weitzmen, a cookies and cream cupcake with cookies and cream frosting, baked with an Oreo cookie inside. I was looking forward to biting into a rich, chocolatey cupcake but this cake was incredibly dry compared to the others and a major disappointment.  However, the cookies and cream frosting was incredible.  It tasted exactly like the frosting of an Oreo cookie, mixed with chocolate cookie crumbs. The frosting definitely made up for the dryness of the cake.

I would definitely go to Cupcakes in Heels again and try a few more cupcakes; the pistachio cupcake alone gives me high expectations.  The coffee here was surprisingly good also!  I went with an iced coffee rather than hot, and was delighted to see that the actual ice cubes were frozen coffee cubes – pretty smart!  The décor in Cupcakes in Heels was adorable and they had a few cupcake-themed knick knacks available for sale as well.

– Review by Guest Crusader, Alyssa (Mookology.com)

Santoni’s Marketplace “Gourmet” Cupcakes

I used to pass Santoni’s Marketplace & Catering (Glyndon, MD) every day on my way to and from work and think, “I should stop and pick up something for dinner or dessert.” They have a great deli and homemade dessert selection, but since I was often eager to get home I rarely went in. Now I still pass by once or twice a month, on my way to a playgroup meet-up, so when Crusader Stacy reminded me that they have cupcakes I thought, “Now I really need to stop in!”

The selection of mini cheesecakes, mousses, pastries, and other baked goods made it difficult to concentrate on the cupcakes (yes even for me!), but I redirected my focus to the selection. I was originally just going to pick up a couple, but the cupcakes looked impressive, so I ended up choosing 4 of the 6 flavor options.

Peanut Butter Chocolate:
If you don’t already know, the Crusaders’ husbands are big fans of this combination, which is one of the reasons we frequently review peanut butter chocolate cupcakes.


(In the display case the candies looked like they were coated with sugar, however upon closer inspection, they were just old. Eww. I didn’t eat them.)

While the chocolate ganache frosting on this cupcake was really good, I was extremely turned off by the condition of the peanut butter candies on top. My only thought as to why they looked the way they did is that maybe the cupcakes had been refrigerated at some point and then condensation built up on the candies when they were being brought back down to room temperature, causing the cracked-crystallized effect. The cake was also dense and dry and didn’t have much peanut butter flavor.

Cookies ‘N Cream:
All the cookie pieces in the frosting made me believe this cupcake would pack a big cookies ‘n cream flavor, unfortunately it did not.


(Looks tasty, right?)

The frosting was very sweet and just tasted like your standard American buttercream and the cake was dry and crumbly. I really wanted to like this cupcake, but sadly it just didn’t impress me.

Key Lime:
Key lime cupcakes are another favorite for my husband and me, so while I was a little worried by the bright green color, I decided we should give Santoni’s a try.


(The bright frosting definitely makes a statement!)

This cupcake was probably one of the best from the selection. Although the bright green frosting proved to be a warning for artificial lime flavor, it was tangy and had a nice creamy texture and the cake was very moist and fluffy.

Cookie Dough:
Any cupcake with half a cookie on top (and one dipped in chocolate, no less) is a strong contender in my book.


(It’s like two treats in one!)

Like the Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake, I believe this cupcake was a little old. After biting into it, I noticed that the outside of the frosting was darker than the inside (and had that hard coating that frosting gets after awhile) and didn’t have much flavor. The chocolate cake was also dry and crumbly. Although I didn’t finish the cupcake, I did try the cookie center, which was tasty and could have been the redeeming quality, had the rest of the cupcake been good.

After sampling these cupcakes, I won’t be getting any in the future from Santoni’s. I suspect that some weren’t baked fresh that day, which could have led to the poor quality. While I think their other market selections are good, the cupcakes just didn’t live up to the gourmet name, despite their appearance.

I also think I’m becoming a little bit of a cupcake snob. 😉

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

Due to comments, we thought we should offer a close-up example of the old candies on the Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake. I’m not even entirely sure how this could happen, go unnoticed, and still be put out for sale:

The Cupcakes You Didn’t See | Fresh Bakery | Owings Mills, MD

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Top 5 post on Fresh Bakery, over the past couple of years we’ve eaten a lot of their cupcakes. Even though those cupcakes may not have made the “highly recommended” list, they are all still great, so we wanted to share some of them with you:

Red Velvet


(Not being the Red Velvet pro like Crusader Elisa, Jenn and I thought this cupcake, topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting, was pretty good. But her expert taste buds on this flavor disagreed with us. She said it was good, but not her favorite.)

Banana’s Foster


(Years ago this was one of my favorites, but now having tried so many other great flavors, this cupcake has moved down that list, but doesn’t stop it from being a tasty option.)

Sweet Potato Cheesecake


(This cupcake contains a sweet potato cake blended with soft cheese cake and topped with a sweet frosting. While it doesn’t scream “sweet potato” the cheesecake blends with the spices to create a balanced and delicious cupcake.)

Chocolate Chocolate


(This rich dark chocolate cake has just the right amount of sweetness to make it decadent and wonderful.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter


(Chocolate cake combined with creamy peanut butter frosting form this savory classic cupcake.)

Chocolate Strawberry


(This cupcake has the same chocolate cake that is found in the chocolate peanut butter but instead it’s topped with a sweet strawberry frosting.)

Cookies and Cream


(The cake and frosting on this cupcake are each filled with an abundance of crushed cookie pieces resulting in a wonderfully strong “Oreo” cookie flavor.)

Pecan


(This is a great cupcake complete with large and small chunks of yummy pecans. It would be perfect for a Thanksgiving Day spread.)

Have you been to Fresh Bakery? What are your favorite flavors? We’d love to hear!

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

Old Mill Bakery Café: Not Just a Typical Bakery

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 our many cupcake outings this month led us to Old Mill Bakery Café in downtown historic Ellicott City. Guest Crusader, Beth, recently shared cupcakes of hers from this location, but we decided to check it out for ourselves.

When we walked in we were surprised to find out that this isn’t your normal bakery. It is a bakery, a coffee shop, and a gift shop all wrapped up into one whimsical place. We browsed the large merchandize table as we waited in line, drooling over the plates, mugs, wall hangings, and more that featured cupcakes.

After we reached the front of the line we asked about the cupcake options for the day. They didn’t have any flavors posted, and clearly cupcakes aren’t their main thing. The nice woman told us our options and we settled on three flavors: Red Velvet, Chocolate with Vanilla frosting, and Butterfinger.

Red Velvet

The cake in this cupcake was airy and moist. Crusader Jenn said that it was the best Red Velvet she has ever had. However, the competition was a little tougher for our Red Velvet Crusader, Elisa. She really did like it but felt that the cream cheese frosting was a little too sweet, but luckily still maintained a nice cream cheese flavor. We all thought the shaved chocolate on top was a nice touch.

Chocolate with Vanilla Frosting

This cupcake shocked us by tasting much more like a Cookies and Cream cupcake. A really good Cookies and Cream cupcake! The vanilla frosting tasted just like the center cream of an Oreo cookie. The chocolate cake was light and flavorful, but a little crumbly. That didn’t stop this from being a very tasty cupcake though.

Butterfinger

This cupcake was the clear winner of the three. Even though the cake was a little dry, the flavor and aroma was unbelievably wonderful! It was packed with so much Butterfinger flavor that it is definitely up there as one of our favorite flavors. The half of a mini Butterfinger on top finished the whole thing off nicely.

Our overall experience with Old Mill Bakery Café was definitely a good one. Since we were on a time crunch that day we didn’t have a chance to sit and enjoy our cupcakes with a nice coffee or a cup of tea, but I look forward to returning to do just that. Historic Ellicott City is one of our favorite places to walk along the main street and browse the boutiques and antique stores. Old Mill Bakery Café will certainly be added to our “must do” list when we are there next.

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

JoJo’s Cupcakes & Cream

I would like to begin this review by saying that I have the best dad ever. He has always been supportive of my interests, and cupcakes are no exception. He gets excited about trying new places with us, he has often brought cupcakes to family gatherings, and he even signed up to receive email alerts whenever a new review is posted to this blog. He is amazing, and I’m so lucky to have him for a dad.

For this review, my dad brought the family cupcakes from JoJo’s Cupcakes & Cream‘s kiosk in the Annapolis Mall. Around the holiday season, JoJo’s had a temporary lease with the Annapolis Mall. Unfortunately they are no longer there, but according to their Facebook Page, they hope to return in April. JoJo’s main shop, located in Easton, MD, not only sells cupcakes, but also homemade ice cream. Their cupcakes are baked fresh daily. They also have a kiosk in the Queenstown Premium Outlets.

My dad bought six cupcakes: Chocolate Chocolate, Lemon, Vanilla with Chocolate frosting, Vanilla Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, and Red Velvet. Unfortunately there is no photo of the Red Velvet and I don’t know which family member ate it. (Sometimes things like that happen during family gatherings!)

The cupcakes had a rough trip over to my sister’s house, so we had to repair a few, the best we could, but luckily some messy frosting doesn’t affect the flavor.

My dad chose one of his go-to flavors: Chocolate Chocolate.

The cake was rich and dense and the frosting was really smooth but heavy. My dad prefers light, airy cupcakes, so this one wasn’t his favorite. It still didn’t stop him from eating every last bite though! So my guess is, while it may not have been the best he’s had, it definitely wasn’t the worst either.

I claimed my cupcake soon after hearing there was a Lemon one.

Like the Chocolate Chocolate the whole thing was very dense, but the cake was moist and it delivered lots of tart lemon flavor. Overall, I really enjoyed this cupcake and would definitely try it again.

The other three were left at my sister’s house. This is where the mystery of the missing cupcakes begins. These are the facts as we know them: three cupcakes were left on the premises. After intense questioning, all of the suspects (my sister, her husband and her two adorable daughters) still insist they have no recollection of what happened to said cupcakes. Yet somewhere along the line, those three cupcakes vanished. Until we can get CSI: Baltimore on the case, we’ll just have to blame the baby, since she can’t speak yet. 😉 Even though we don’t have a review for the remaining cupcakes, I wanted to share some of the crime scene photos for the sake of this post:


(Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting from JoJo’s Cupcakes & Cream)


(Vanilla Vanilla from JoJo’s Cupcakes & Cream)


(Cookies and Cream from JoJo’s Cupcakes & Cream)

If you are in Easton or shopping in the Queenstown Premium Outlets outlets check them out! It will be a nice treat in the middle of a busy shopping trip and you would be supporting a family run small business. But be warned: their cupcakes may lead previously upstanding members of your family to turn to crime…

UPDATE: JoJo’s  Cupcakes & Cream now has a location in Dowtown Annapolis located along Main Street.

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

Baked by Melissa Sells Little Bites of Heaven

You may think that this is an extreme statement to make, but after my second visit to Baked by Melissa, I’m convinced it’s true. There is something so special and wonderful about popping a cupcake the size of a quarter in your month and the explosion of flavor that erupts from it. When you take that cupcake, and dip it in chocolate, it gets about a billion times better.

I would like to introduce you to In Chocolate, Baked by Melissa’s new product:


(Isn’t it nice on the eyes? I’m obsessed with the plaid themed sturdy packaging. I will surely keep this and use to store trinkets of some kind.)


(Well hello Morsel of Magnificence. It’s so nice to finally meet you.)


(Oh yes, not just one, but three. So glad they come in groups: Cookie Dough, Tie-Dye and Cookies & Cream.)

After thoroughly enjoying the “unwrapping experience” I decided I could wait no longer and selected the Tie-Dye mini cupcake covered in chocolate.

I couldn’t have been happier with the flavors and textures. The chocolate shell offered a nice crunch, similar to a cake pop, but the inside was 100% cupcake. Soft cake and creamy frosting, it was perfection. This was actually a lot like the texture from a Popsy Cake, but the miniature scale made it so much easier to eat and enjoy.

In an effort to savor the three that I had, I waited a couple of days for my next fix. When the time came, I selected the Cookies & Cream, deciding to save one of my favorite Baked by Melissa flavors, Cookie Dough, for last.

The Cookies & Cream actually tastes a lot like the cupcake even with the chocolate coating. Unlike the Tie-Dye, which typically doesn’t have any chocolate, the Cookies N Creme is chocolate based. I still loved the added crunch the the chocolate shell provided.

The Cookie Dough isn’t going to last in it’s safe little box much longer. I’ve got big (uh… little?) plans for him tonight. While I haven’t tried it yet, I already know it’s going to be amazing. It’s $10 for a box of 3 of these specialty cupcakes, but go ahead and splurge. It’s the holiday season and that’s what it’s all about, right? You won’t be disappointed.

On top of the excitement of finally sampling In Chocolate, Crusader Elisa and I also got Baked by Melissa’s mini of the month for December, Snow Covered Pretzel (as well as all the other flavors I reviewed here).

This is by far the best (non-chocolate-dipped) cupcake I’ve had from them. It was Elisa’s favorite. It was my favorite. And my hubby actually said, “that puts a smile on your face.” And it totally does. The sweet/salty and soft/crunchy combos going on in this cupcake are amazing. We all wish that we had bought more of these and sad that it is only a monthly flavor. Hopefully, they will bring it back at some point, becuase it really is THAT amazing. So, if you are visiting or living in the NYC area, get yourself to a Baked by Melissa to try these while you can. If you aren’t in that area, then you can always place an order on their website. It’s totally worth it.

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

Prairie Girl Bakery – Toronto, Ontario

The Cupcake Crusaders have gone international! Well, sort of… If you consider an eight hour drive to Canada international, then yes, we have gone international.

Last week my hubby and I returned from our anniversary trip to Ontario. We stayed in Beamsville, Ontario, at Cottage by the Lake and had such an amazing time. Since we were about an hour away from Toronto, and had our five month old puppy with us, we were only able to visit Toronto for a few hours. We visited the CN Tower, St. Lawrence Market, Steam Whistle Brewery, and of course, a cupcake shop. Since all our points of interest that day were in walking distance, I selected Prairie Girl Bakery. It’s just a few blocks from St. Lawrence Market so was conveniently located on our walk back to the CN Tower.


(I am loving their logo, and they have it plastered on everything! I was grateful for the excellent signage otherwise I probably would have missed their location at 18 King Street East. It’s not right off of King Street, but actually down a street connected to King Street.)

I didn’t have a lot of time to research cupcake places in Toronto, and knew since we wouldn’t be there for long I couldn’t be too picky, so since this was the closest place I went with it. The only thing I knew from their website was that they had both full size and mini cupcakes in each flavor. I was pretty excited about that since mini cupcakes mean you can try more flavors without feeling guilty.

When I got there I discovered that they have a very structured menu. Basically, you’ve got your vanilla cake options, your chocolate cake options, your specialty cake options (red velvet, carrot cake, and banana cake), and then a “Treat of the Week.” The vanilla cake options are topped with either: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, lemon or vanilla with toasted coconut frosting. The chocolate follow a similar pattern and are topped with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter or peppermint frosting.

I decided to get a 1/2 dozen of the mini cupcakes since I knew I would be hopefully making other cupcake stops later that week. I first asked my hubby what flavors he would like and told him he could pick three (I figured I should share since I dragged him in there) but he only wanted two: Chocolate/Chocolate, and Chocolate/Peanut Butter. So for my final four I selected: Chocolate/Peanut Butter (I wanted one of my own), Banana/Peanut Butter, Banana/Chocolate and their Treat of the Week: Cookies and Creme. I didn’t really want the Cookies and Creme, what I really wanted was Carrot Cake, but they were out of it. I really love Carrot Cake and the cream cheese frosting that usually accompanies it, so I was pretty bummed out. Looking back, I just should have gotten the Red Velvet so I could have at least tried the cream cheese frosting.

Once we got back to our cute cottage situated directly off of Lake Ontario, it was time for some tasting (and a quick “photoshoot’)!


(I’m super impressed by this bag. Most bakeries use a sticker of their logo (if anything), or even just a one color imprint. Prairie Girl Bakery has gone all out with a 3 color imprint. It makes this bag vibrant and fun. They definitely have their design and marketing down.)


(More of their 3 color logo on what looks like a custom die-cut box. I’m super impressed by all their marketing materials. This bakery makes the design nerd and cupcake lover in me so very happy.)


(Cupcake starting at the top left and working clockwise: Chocolate/Peanut Butter, Banana/Chocolate, Banana/Peanut Butter, another Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream and Chocolate/Chocolate.)

For the purposes of this review, I’m going to start with our least favorite so you leave you dreaming about our most favorites.

Least Favorite – Cookies and Cream

Unfortunately this “Treat of the Week” wasn’t much of a treat for me. While the frosting appeared to have cookie bits in it, all it tasted like was confectioners sugar. I was really disappointed, especially since this was my replacement to the carrot cake that I really wanted. I was so unhappy with it that I couldn’t even finish the frosting on this cupcake, even though it was a mini one (so glad I didn’t have a full size one!).

Banana with Peanut Butter Frosting

I love the combination of peanut butter and banana’s together so I was really excited about this cupcake. The banana cake was really amazing. It was moist with chunks of fresh banana. Unfortunately the peanut butter frosting wasn’t what I was expecting. For me, it was way too sweet and lacking the saltiness that I typically love when you get a peanut butter frosting. Otherwise, it was nice and creamy and I did finish the whole thing despite the frosting being on the sweet side for me.

Chocolate with Peanut Butter Frosting

Since I had already had the Banana with Peanut Butter frosting, I knew what I was getting from this. I would say that it was a tie between this one and the banana one. I really loved the rich, moist chocolate cake, but the frosting again just wasn’t working for me. I still ate the whole cupcake though (so it was good, just not GREAT).

Chocolate with Chocolate Frosting

This was my hubby’s selection and he couldn’t have been more pleased with it. I think he wished that he had a full size cupcake instead of the mini one (sorry hubby!). Of the trip, this was his favorite cupcake. He didn’t try all the ones I had gotten, since he only likes certain flavors, but if we are fortunate enough to make it back to Toronto one day, I have a feeling we will be stopping into their bakery for this cupcake.

Banana with Chocolate Frosting

This was definitely my favorite of the five flavors we choose from Prairie Girl Bakery. The amazing banana cake paired with their luscious and smooth chocolate frosting where the perfect combination. I would have to say that this ranks up there with my other favorite banana chocolate combo from Fancy Cakes by Leslie.

Overall, while I wasn’t “wow’ed” by some of their flavors, their cake is really wonderful, and their chocolate frosting is superb. They now have two locations in Toronto (the 2nd location just opened today!), both not far from each other or Union Station, so if you are ever in the area, you can quickly pop in for an morning, afternoon, or evening treat. But take my recommendation, stick with the chocolate frosting, you’ll be very happy that you did.

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

Everyone Should Have a “Sublime” Experience.

Crusader Elisa has reviewed Sublime Cupcakes before, and she said it the best: “Sublime Cupcakes are just that, Sublime.” I was lucky enough to experience their amazingness myself as we drove home from our girls weekend in PA. It was the perfect halfway stop on our drive home, so there was no question that Elisa and I were going there. After a month of seeing their mouth watering cupcake posts on their Facebook Page, I was ecstatic that I didn’t have to wait anymore.

Sublime Cupcakes, located in Wyomissing, PA, is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and mountains. We couldn’t have chosen a better day to go. The sky was blue, the air was crisp, we had our puppies, and there was outdoor seating. It was the perfect Fall day.

Unfortunately they were already out of their Chocolate Chip Pumpkin, which I had seen being promoted (on a daily basis), but they still had lots of other flavors to choose from.

Elisa and I choose almost the exact same 1/2 dozen with the exception of the Tiramisu (me) and the Oreo (her). The other 5 we each selected were: Coffee Break, Chocolate Covered Banana, Chocolate Dipped Strawberry, Peanut Butter Cup, and Lemon Zinger.

Coffee Break: Mocha Cake with Espresso Buttercream

The only way I know how to describe this cupcake is “OMG Good!” It was a full on coffee experience. For a coffee lover like myself, this cupcake combined 3 of my loves: Coffee, Chocolate, and a Cupcake. After a weekend of little sleep, this sure seemed to give me a boost of energy, just like a strong cup of joe. Loved it.

Oreo: Chocolate Cake with Oreo Buttercream

Elisa decided to get the Oreo becuase she has never had a decent encounter with a cookies and creme cupcake, and that’s just wrong. So FINALLY, she knew what a good cookies and creme cupcake was supposed to taste like. I think she was most surprised by that fact that the cupcake actually tasted like an Oreo cookie.

Chocolate Covered Banana: Banana Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

I have to say, while this cupcake was good, I was a little disappointed by it. After eating the full on coffee packed cupcake, I was expecting this one to have more banana flavor, and it just didn’t. The cake itself contained a good banana flavor but I think the (amazing) chocolate frosting overpowered it. While I thought this cupcake was only “okay,” I still ate the whole thing. And in the world of cupcakes, this one is still way better than a lot I have had.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry: Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

I was also a little disappointed by this one, but I don’t think that Sublime should be at fault for that. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of fruit flavored frostings, but I couldn’t resist getting it since it was the last one there (which also makes me think I might be the only one who feels this way about the cupcake). The strawberry buttercream was definitely made with fresh strawberries, no artificial flavors were present, I just think it wasn’t the cupcake for me.

Peanut Butter Cup: Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

First, I need to say that I’m sure why I photographed this cupcake on a red plate. Seriously, a major photo fail. That said, this cupcake was another “OMG Good” cupcake. I have to say I think this might be the best chocolate peanut butter cupcake I’ve ever had. The frosting was had full on peanut butter flavor, but remained smooth and light, and not heavy and gooey like actual peanut butter. I’m not sure how they did it, but I would drive 2 hours just for this cupcake.

Tiramisu: Espresso Mascarpone filled Vanilla Cake topped with Light Coffee Frosting

This was another cupcake that seemed to work so well for me. I could very easily eat the filling in a bowl with a spoon.

Like the espresso buttercream on the Coffee Break cupcake, the filling was packed with flavor. And the frosting surprisingly stayed true to it’s description of a “Light Coffee Buttercream.” This was definitely one of my favorites of the bunch.

Lemon Zinger: Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

I finished of my 1/2 dozen (over a 4 day period) with this cupcake. It was a refreshing and perfect way to end my Sublime experience. This cupcake has the sweet and tart combo that it should and the buttery smooth frosting was “the icing on the cake” (for lack of a better phrase). This cupcake was also the only one that didn’t have what appears to be their signature chocolate brown cupcake wrapper, which I thought was fitting and fun.

I’m so glad I finally got to have my “Sublime” experience. They are definitely one of my new favorites so it’s probably a good thing they are 2 hours away.

If you are ever passing through Reading, PA, definitely make a short detour and check out Sublime Cupcakes. I think every cupcake lover would agree that these are cupcakes you don’t want to miss.

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

2011 Cupcake Tour: 4th Stop – Frosting, A Cupcakery

By the time we got to Frosting, A Cupcakery in Chevy Chase MD, we were all ready for another cupcake, since we weren’t able to eat any at our previous stop, Georgetown Cupcake. Frosting is a cute shop on the corner of Wisconsin Circle and Western Ave NW.


(Being the coffee lovers that we are, the 3 Cupcake Crusaders loved this message on this sign board).

I think both Jenn and Elisa will agree with me when I say that this was the best decorated shop we visited all day.

We all loved the built in shelves displaying a variety of cake and cupcake stands with touches of Halloween decorates throughout. There was a chandelier hanging over the booth (yes, they had a booth that you could sit and eat your cupcakes in) that was also decorated for Halloween. Although, I think my favorite had to have been either the wall that was lined with amazing cupcake photography or the frame wall (which I’ve been planning to do in my own home. Just need to hang all the frames I have).

Their cupcakes were decorated just as well as their little shop, and actually had the same “feel” as the interior decor. Simple elegance is the best way I can think to describe it.

After making our selections, we each grabbed a spot at the both with our cupcakes:


Elisa and I chose: 2 Frenchies, 1 REDiculous, 1 Elvis Pretzely, and 2 edelweiss.


Jenn and her husband, Dan, chose: 2 Elvis Pretzelys, 1 Frenchie, 1 Cookie MOMster, and 2 edelweiss.

We each only ate one while there, so I’ll start with those:

The Frenchie (french toast bottom with maple buttercream top ):


This was the one that I decided to eat while there and OMG, it was good! I’m sucker for anything maple, especially in the fall, and this really hit the spot. I honestly wish I had gotten another one to take home with me. After trying an assortment of cupcakes when we all got home, Jenn said that she thinks that the Frenchie is probably her favorite one from Frosting. Elisa had her’s the next day for breakfast (becuase let’s face it, it IS basically breakfast in a cupcake form) and said, “The cake actually tasted like French Toast – YUM! The icing was just as good with a sweet and true maple taste. I love all things french toast, so this is my 4th or 5th ‘french toast’ cupcake… and it is my favorite.” Being the bacon lover that she is, she thinks that if there was bacon on top it would have sent this cupcake over and above, but for me, the non-pork eater, I’m really glad it didn’t have bacon on it because then I would have missed out on one seriously good cupcake.

Edelweiss (almond bottom with almond buttercream top):


Jenn had this cupcake while we were there. She liked it and said that it was very almondy, and that the cake was really moist, but that since it was so sweet she was glad it was the last cupcake she ate that day. Elisa and I tried each of ours later at home, and I thought that it was sweet, but not the sweetest I had gotten that day. I loved that it was so full of almond flavor, and even my husband, Mr. Non-Cupcake Man (that might be his new nickname…) really enjoyed this cupcake. I think that he was actually sad that he had to share it with me. Elisa was pleasantly surprised becuase usually when something says almond it just kinda tastes like almond, but this was jammed packed with almond flavor. She did say that she would have loved the addition of a raspberry filling but mainly becuase she loves almond and fruit flavors combined.

REDiculous (red velvet bottom with vanilla cream cheese buttercream top):


Elisa decided to have the REDiculous while were were there. It has become somewhat of a mission of hers to find decent red velvet cupcakes and after the disaster red velvet at our first stop, Just Cakes, I think she was craving a decent red velvet, and this one did not disappoint. She said that, “This was just as they described it, moist red velvet cake with delicious cream cheese/buttercream frosting. The cake was a close second to the best Red Velvet I’ve ever had (see here for her favorite) and the icing was a DREAM!”

Two other cupcakes that aren’t pictured in the group shots above are the Pumpkin Teenie that Dan got, and the ‘nilla ‘nilla that my dad got.

Pumpkin Teenie:


Here is Dan, happy as can be becuase he got the very last Pumpkin Teenie of the day. He said that even after trying all the other cupcakes they brought home, that this is still one of his favorites of the bunch. I really wish they had two left that day…  😉

‘nilla ‘nilla (vanilla bottom with vanilla buttercream top):


My dad usually enjoys the basics. I don’t normally get vanilla or just chocolate, but he really enjoys the classics, so it’s nice when he’s around and I can take a bite of the classics too.  🙂  He said that he really liked this cupcake, but that his favorite stop of the day was still Fancy Cakes.

Okay, so now on to the cupcakes that we all had at home:

Elvis Pretzely (Pretzel cake bottom with milk chocolate ganache, pretzel crumbs and coarse sea salt):


Jenn and I both had this cupcake, and we totally disagree on it. Like, total opposite ends of the spectrum. She feels that it was her least favorite of the entire trip because the pretzel inside the cake took on a stale texture and the chocolate ganache wasn’t chocolatey enough to give the whole thing a chocolate covered pretzel flavor. I, on the other hand, really enjoyed this cupcake. I’ll admit when I first saw the cupcake I almost didn’t get it becuase there wasn’t a lot of ganache on the top, and then when I bit into the cupcake, the softness of the pretzels threw me off a bit, but by the end, I was sold. The cake was moist, the small chunks of softened pretzel blended into the cake, the ganache on the top was soft and wasn’t overpowering the pretzel flavor, and the salt and sweet combo stood out above everything. This cupcake was a little messy to eat, especially when you reached the chocolate covered pretzel on top, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a party, but in front of my desk, I don’t care how messy it is as long as it taste good.

Cookie MOMster (chocolate bottom with almond Oreo buttercream top):


Jenn thought that overall the almond flavor overpowered the chocolate and that from looking at this cupcake it looks as if the chocolate would come first, with the almond a secondary flavor, but that it almost tasted just like their edelweiss (almond/almond) cupcake. She also said that it seems like the only place the “cookie” (Oreo) comes into play is with the chocolate cookie crumble on top.

While we were there, Elisa decided to purchase an Oatmeal Cream Pie that they made there (becuase let’s be honest, who doesn’t love an Oatmeal Cream Pie?) and it was awesome!


Since Elisa bought it, I’ll let her explain in her own words: “just like the Little Debbie’s we grew up with as kids, but 1000 times BETTER! And, while not a cupcake, the Oatmeal Cream Pie was better than the Little Debbie kind you’d find at 7-11. Just another example of fantastic baking by Frosting. If you’re in the area, go in, buy cupcakes and pick up a Oatmeal Cream Pie too!”

Overall we had a wonderful experience at Frosting. The staff was really friendly, the environment was beautiful and relaxing, and the cupcakes were top notch.

Cheers cupcake lovers! Only one more post in this series. Look out for that tomorrow.  🙂

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

Cupcaked Out?

Friday night my friend, Elisa (also a cupcake lover), and I went up against 8 cupcakes. We thought we had this in the bag. Our goal was to try 8 different cupcakes from 3 different locations around Baltimore. We devised a game plan that included only eating a quarter of 4 of the larger cupcakes and half of the smaller ones then splitting the leftovers. I had a small dinner. I thought we were prepared…

But by the end of the night I thought I never wanted to see another cupcake again. I know this feeling won’t last long, but it’s a good thing I have a lot of past experience with cupcakes to post about for a little while. Here is our review of our Cupcake Night:


We didn’t eat the cupcakes in the order that I’ll review them in, we kinda jumped all over the place. But for your sanity, I’ll group them by bakery. First up, Sweet Bakery now located in Midtown Baltimore. My first experience with Sweet Bakery was when they were located on Main Street in Ellicott City and it was a good experience so I was excited to try more of their cupcakes.
Chocolate w/ Vanilla Frosting: Their vanilla frosting is really good. Buttery and not too sweet, just sweet enough. The chocolate cake though? Meh. Not great. Elisa and I both agreed that Betty Crocker makes a better chocolate cake.
Red Velvet w/ Cream Cheese Frosting: This was easily probably the best red velvet cake Elisa or I ever had. It was soft, moist, fluffy, wonderful. The cream cheese frosting was amazing too. Sweet, but like the vanilla frosting, not too sweet. It was a perfect compliment to the red velvet cake.
Vanilla w/ Vanilla Frosting: I typically don’t get Vanilla on Vanilla. With all the unique options out there I usually go for something different, but this was actually really good. Especially with all the other bold flavors we were trying, it was a nice “break” from the others. I would definitely get this one again, and I never thought I’d ever order a vanilla cupcake on my own. Elisa loves vanilla and said she thinks it’s the best vanilla cake she’s ever had.
Carrot Cake w/ Vanilla Frosting: Well… this one was such a disappointment. I’m so sad to say that because we saved this one for last because I LOVE carrot cake. The first big problem for me 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 super dry. While I like a lot of “stuff” in my carrot cake, this was just extreme. This cupcake was definitely the loser of the evening.

Next up:

You are probably questioning my cupcake tasting experience at this point, right? Well, shocked as you may be, Roland Park Bagel Co. was on Baltimore Magazine’s top ten best cupcakes in Baltimore, so we had to try them. We were pleasantly surprised by the fluffy softness and flavor of these cupcakes.
Cookies N Creme: Okay, first and foremost, I need to state that in my opinion, THIS IS NOT A COOKIES N CREME CUPCAKE! That said, it was still delicious. The frosting was cream cheese, which while it’s not appropriate for Cookies N Creme, it was light, fluffy, and very tasty. The chocolate cake was the same. No complaints other than, this is totally not a Cookies N Creme Cupcake. Elisa, however, liked it better than her recent experience with a Cookies N Creme cupcake she tried in Atlantic City (she will be giving me a review to post about that at a later date).
Chocolate w/ Salted Caramel Frosting: The person behind the counter told me this was a black bottom cake with a caramel frosting. What he didn’t say was that it as SALTED caramel and that the cake was really just chocolate cake with a speck of possible “black bottom-ness.” Either way, this was a favorite of the night. Like the “Cookies N Creme” the cake was light and fluffy. The frosting was the perfect combo of sweet and salty. Elisa and I are both really digging the recent salted caramel trend. We never seem to grow tired of it.

Last on our list:

Hamilton Bakery was listed as #2 in Baltimore Magazine’s Best Cupcake. I really don’t agree with that, but that’s just my opinion. They aren’t bad. They are decent, but they aren’t #2 good. Not compared to what’s out there. It might be a readers choice, so maybe they just have tons of supporters? Who knows, but that’s not important, what is important is our review:
Peanut Butter Chocolate: I think the most important thing to mention about this cupcake is that the cake is more like a muffin than a cupcake. It’s very dense, not too sweet and a little on the dry side. However, the peanut butter frosting on this is unbelievably amazing. And to top it off they actually spread a layer of crunchy peanut butter under the frosting. So, even if it is more muffin like, it’s really really good.
Coconut: Really, there isn’t much to say about this one other than: unmemorable. I had totally forgotten what I thought of it and had to look back at my notes (yes, we took notes…). That night we said, “more muffin like” and “more like a breakfast cupcake.” If those things sound appealing to you, then this is your cupcake. Otherwise, don’t bother.

I actually “cheated” on Elisa’s and my “Cupcake Night” by getting a cupcake from Hamilton Bakery a few days before. I figured I could wrap that up into this post. I went by their location and saw that they had a Boston Creme cupcake and knew that it probably wouldn’t be there the next day, so I decided to get it.

The cake was the same as above, very muffin like, and the frosting was just kinda blah. Not my favorite. I might try more cupcakes from them, but I’m more excited to try their breads and other pastries. Those look amazing.

If you have tried cupcakes from any of these locations I’d love to know your thoughts!

EDIT: Sweet Bakery is now, sadly, closed.

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