Safeway Gourmet Cupcakes… or so they call them.

This past weekend I visited my parents in Waldorf, MD, and came across Safeway’s Gourmet Cupcakes in their Bakery section. Instantly intrigued, I bought three: Mint Chocolate, S’mores, and Vanilla Pineapple (they were $2.99 per cupcake).

After leaving the Vanilla Pineapple with my Mom to try, I brought back the other two to share with Crusaders Jenn and Stacy!

After making glass bowls at McFadden Art Glass (yes, on top of eating lots of cupcakes the three of us also love doing artsy things like blowing glass!) we stopped by McDonalds to try said “gourmet” cupcakes. McDonalds happen to by close by and we had decided coffee would be a good companion to our cupcake sampling.

The Mint Chocolate cupcake was covered in mint and cookies butter cream icing with a chocolate covered Oreo on top – which we all agreed were the best parts of this cupcake as the cake was dry, almost tasteless and just plain dull. I could have eaten the icing all day, with it’s not-too-sweet minty cookie deliciousness, and did finish all of it, including what was stuck to the container.

I’ve been waiting to try a S’mores cupcake FOREVER and was very excited by the ganache covered icing with gram cereal and marshmallows on top. It looked better than it tasted, period. The cereal was very chewy, the chocolate overpowered the marshmallows, and again the cake was dry and tasteless. The three of us agreed – the silver lining of this cupcake was again the icing. Stacy, who is not a huge chocolate icing fan, really liked it, and that’s very impressive for grocery store icing! It was smooth, chocolatey, and not too sweet. I really like when chocolate (or cocoa) is allowed to shine in its own glory and not sweetened to the point of being unrecognizable. This icing allowed for that and we all went scraping for a little more of it – leaving the left over cake naked of it’s icing.

I’m not sure I would spend that much on Safeway cupcakes again – now, if they start selling just containers of the icing, count us in!

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

An Unexpected Surprise!

I have a confession to make. I tried to cheat on cupcakes with another sweet treat… ice cream. While I adore cupcakes, my sweet tooth does not discriminate. So last Thursday I thought I would try to mix it up a bit, but the cupcake gods would not allow this. I headed to an area in Baltimore called Mt. Washington to visit an ice cream parlor that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Well, online their hours say they open at 12pm, but their storefront said 3pm. As I sadly left empty handed, I noticed that Charm City Cupcakes has apparently opened a small shop in Mt. Washington. This info is still not on their website or on the info section of their  Facebook Page, but I did notice a wall graphic that mentioned it was coming soon. Since I didn’t know this, and I had not been able to satisfy my sweet tooth, I was ecstatic to see their cute little shop. I wish I had gotten photos of it becuase it’s was so quaint with just enough room for a display case and a small counter. The gentleman working there was so friendly too. He asked about my day and described all the cupcakes they had there. It was a tough choice, but I made my final selections:

Mint Chocolate and Chocolate Turtle. After my less-than-fantastic Chocolate Turtle cupcake from IcedGems (read more here), I was really excited about this one. Charm City Cupcakes is probably the longest, still running, cupcake place in Baltimore City. I’ve had their cupcakes several times over the years, so I knew these would not disappoint.

My co-worker and I had just been talking earlier that day about cupcakes becuase she was thinking about stopping to get some after work. I was really hoping that she would share at least one of these with me, and as soon as I said, “Chocolate Turtle with Caramel and Pecans” she did not have to be convinced.

I already knew that when I cut into this there would be a caramel filling, since the nice man at the shop told me about that. The chocolate cake was moist, the caramel was nice and gooey, and the frosting was light and smooth. The pecan/caramel mixture that tops the cupcake was very similar to what you might find on a Cinnabon pecan stick bun. This entire cupcake worked well. It was decadent while not being overly sweet.

I decided to save the Mint Chocolate for the following day. Since I was at work, I didn’t have any Tupperware to keep it in, and was worried about it drying out, but figured I would take the risk instead of taking it home just to bring back the next day. I was glad I saved it, becuase the next day Cupcake Crusader, Jenn, and her little Leah came in to visit and were able to share it with me.

I’m a big fan of chocolate and mint together, so right away I was really excited about this one. The cake did end up getting a little dry, but I know that was because I left it in it’s box, and not becuase of Charm City Cupcakes since the chocolate cake from the Turtle cupcake had been perfectly moist. That didn’t stop this from being a fantastic cupcake though. The mint frosting was light and fluffy and full of minty goodness. It had a chocolate ganache filling, which I wasn’t expecting but was a nice touch.

All in all, this was a very wonderful unexpected cupcake surprise! If you would like to try any of their cupcakes, you can visit one of their 3 locations:

– Mt. Washington, Smith Avenue
– Downtown, Charles Street
– John Hopkins University (Blackstone Building), Charles Street

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

Sublime Cupcakes in PA is just that: SUBLIME!

I’m so excited to present this post from our first guest Cupcake Crusader, Elisa. She’s been on so many cupcake adventures with me and I know she’ll be going on many more. Enjoy and look out for many more posts from her.  – Stacy

I was randomly in the area of Wyomissing, PA when a friend recommended that we stop by this little shop. The set-up was adorable with fantastic photography on the walls and simple stands that let the cupcakes speak for themselves. There were even cupcakes I have never seen anywhere else. With so many great options, it made it very difficult to choose just 12. Somehow I powered through.

I went with the following:
(1) French Toast  •  (2) Grasshopper  •  (3) PeanutButterCup  •  (4) Strawberry Lemonade  •  (5) Ruby Red  •  (6) Snickerdoodle  •   (7) Dandycake  •  (8) Sublime Keylime  •  (9) Black & White  •  (10) Vanilla Nutella  •  (11) Chocolate Squared  •  (12) The Original

Photos borrowed from Sublime Cupcakes’ Facebook Page (click here). No harm or infringement intended.

We decided to eat one while we were there, so I went with the Grasshopper (2), as I am a huge fan of mint. Sure enough, the cake was very moist, chocolately and the buttercream mint icing was smooth, buttery, and fluffy. If you like “Thin Mints” make sure to get one of these!

Later that night I dove into the Strawberry Lemonade (4) & Ruby Red (5). (I have found if I keep some time in-between eating, I can put away quite a few cupcakes in one day.) Out of the two the Rudy Red was the standout, as it is the only grapefruit cupcake I have ever had! It was light, refreshing, and screamed SUMMER!

My favorite is a tie though, as the next day I ate both of these for lunch: French Toast (1) & Snickerdoodle (6). Anyone who knows me, knows my love of bacon (In fact Stacy bought me a fantastic book about bacon last year!) so that right away was a treat, on an already wonderful cupcake. Just the right amount of salty/sweet with delectable little bits of cinnamon in the cake too! The Snickerdoodle reminded me of the homemade cookies my Nona makes at Christmas, and the frosting was sweet, but mild with the sugar, cinnamon, and I suspect a hint of nutmeg.

Three days later I finished them all off, and even the very last one was good, maybe a little dry from sitting for three days, but still delicious!

All in all, this a place I want to drive 2 hours to go to again, and again – and next time (if Stacy and Jenn aren’t with me on the trip) I will have to bring some back to share!

Find Sublime Cupcakes on Facebook and check out their menu! (And stop by if you happen to be in their area.)

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