La Cakerie Brings Sweet and Savory to Towson

In my opinion there are a few factors, other than delicious baked treats and good customer service, that create a successful bakery: location, daily specials, new menu items, and excellent social media skills. Apparently La Cakerie agrees because they meet each item on the list and it has already made me a frequent visitor. If their location was any closer, I’d probably end up stopping in every other day (if not every day). I’m sure my waistline is thankful for that.

On our first visit to La Cakerie we were lucky enough to leave with a variety of flavors like Vanilla, Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Turtle, Chocolate Vanilla, Vanilla Chocolate, and Chocolate Peppermint.

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My overall impression of La Cakerie’s cupcakes was that they have the perfect balance of being not too sweet, but not too buttery. Jason, the owner and executive chef, has really found the perfect balance. Going into the tasting I was worried that these cupcakes would taste exactly like Flavor Cupcakery’s, since Jason previously worked there and some of the cupcakes had the same look, but he really has developed his own unique flavor.

One surprising thing I noticed about the cupcakes was that the vanilla cake was much more dense than I’m used to, while the chocolate cake was light and fluffy. Normally I’m a light and fluffy cake person, so at first this was a bit disappointing, however, after multiple visits I’m starting to appreciate their moist dense cake. La Cakerie’s vanilla cake also has a unique nutty taste to it, almost almond-like, which I really enjoy.

Since we’ve tried so many of La Cakerie’s cupcakes, for today’s review we are focusing on our favorites, as well as their special New Year’s cupcakes, their NFL Ravens playoff cupcakes, and one of their savory cupcakes.

PB&J

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PB&J cupcakes have become one of my all-time favorites. There’s something about the nostalgic flavors that have me constantly going back for more. La Cakerie’s PB&J cupcake completely met my expectations. At first I thought the cake was too dense for my liking, but the peanut butter frosting was so light and smooth that it had me thinking two words: frosting shots. I would be perfectly happy downing tubs of this peanut butter heaven.

Chocolate Peppermint

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The Chocolate Peppermint was Crusader Elisa’s favorite. She said, “Fantastic chocolate cake, moist, flavorful, not too sweet and just the right density. The peppermint frosting was also super smooth. It tasted like the holidays!” Crusader Jenn was surprised at how light the frosting was, and I think that it might possibly be the best peppermint frosting I’ve ever had.

Carrot Cake

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Jenn was the lucky Crusader who got to try this cupcake. She’s becoming the “Carrot Cake Crusader” so we couldn’t deny her. Her thoughts were that the cake had a great texture. Although the frosting was heavier than the others, she adds that would be expected with a cream cheese base. However, it was not overly rich or sweet in flavor, something difficult to find in a cream cheese frosting. She ended by saying it was “perfectly balanced.”

Peanut Butter Fudge

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Since this cupcake is Jason’s favorite, we decided we had to give our thoughts on it too. Like the PB&J, the frosting was to-die-for. Jenn thought this cupcake was more rich than the Chocolate Fudge, with the chocolate and peanut butter combination, including a chocolate ganache filling, which I loved. We can definitely see why this could be anyone’s favorite.

New Year’s Cupcakes

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After our first tasting I knew eventually I’d be going back for, but I had no idea how soon. When I saw that they were offering Strawberry Martini and Cosmo cupcakes on New Year’s Eve, I couldn’t deny myself. You may remember my not-so-successful Cosmo Cupcake experiment, so let me just say that Jason’s version blows mine out of the water. This cupcake had a TON of tasty filling, working well with the dense cake. The Strawberry Martini was good, but the star of the night was the Cosmo cupcake.

While there, I decided that having one of their egg and cheese breakfast pastries would be much better than making breakfast myself on New Year’s Day. This was the first of La Cakerie’s savory treats I tried, and its buttery richness really did hit the spot. Elisa tried a bacon and egg pastry, as well as a sausage and egg one, and had nothing but good things to say.

Raven’s Cupcakes

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Just when I thought I would finally be able to start my post-holiday healthy eating, the Ravens made it to the playoffs against the Denver Broncos. This brought purple cupcakes to most Baltimore and Maryland based bakeries, and I found myself back at La Cakerie less than two weeks after my previous visit. La Cakerie even added a “Bye Bye Broncos” creamsicle cupcake that was SO GOOD. Growing up I was never a big fan of the orange popsicles with their vanilla ice cream center, and I still don’t love them, but turn it into a cupcake and I’m so there.

Savory BBQ Chicken Cupcake

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Savory cupcakes raise a ton of controversy in the cupcake world. Who knew a cupcake could spark so much debate? We take our promise not to “rest until we’ve tried them all” very seriously, and if I can have any excuse to eat a cupcake for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I’ll take it. This cupcake isn’t your typical cupcake, rather it is a corn based cake with a cheesy mashed potato “frosting” which is filled and topped with BBQ chicken. You may think that a corn based cake would be more muffin-like, but surprisingly this cake was actually very cake-like with just a touch of sweetness. My favorite bites of this cupcake were when all the components were blended together. Just make sure you heat it up before eating!

I think that if La Cakerie continues to offer a wide range of baked goods and actively promote themselves via social media, they will have no problem keeping their customers happy and reaching any goals they have for the future.

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader Stacy (Baltimore, MD)

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Elisa’s “From Scratch” Baking Experiment: Savory Fig and Goat Cheese Cupcakes

Learning and growing as a cupcake baker this past year has been really fun. I feel more confident in my cupcake-making abilities and achieved my goal of making from scratch cupcakes that were also filled. (Yay for keeping one resolution of 2012!) Finding a new challenge for 2013 was easy. The Crusaders have already tried our hands at savory cupcakes (read Crusader Jenn’s Pot Pie review) and I knew after talking it over with them that I wanted to challenge myself with filled savory cupcakes!

My first savory cupcake flavor combination was inspired by the fig and goat cheese cupcake that Fraiche had on their menu when we visited them this past October. Figs and goat cheese are favorite foods of mine, and I couldn’t imagine not liking a cupcake that included them both.

After my usual scouring of the internet for recipes, I ended up not finding anything that was perfect for my savory idea, so I came up with my own combination of walnut cake, fig compote filling, goat cheese frosting, balsamic reduction drizzle and fresh cracked black pepper. Modifying recipes used to scare me, but this time around I let my cooking sense take over and tweaked things where it felt necessary. For the cake, I added more walnuts to the batter, as well as adding clementine zest for a citrus balance. For the fig compote I added orange juice to replace the zest, added 1/2 cup of honey and a bit of flour to thicken it (note: you must be sure to cook it thoroughly or your filling will taste like flour). I only used 1/2 a cup of confectioners sugar in the frosting because I didn’t want it to be too sweet and I wanted the cheese to stand out.

After baking the cupcakes and making the filling, I let them both cool while I made the balsamic reduction and frosting. It was interesting making the reduction, as it is something that I have eaten out quite a bit and never realized was so easy to make. Once everything was ready and cooled I filled the cupcakes with the very yummy fig filling (with my very tiny spoon).

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I drizzled the balsamic reduction, and tasted… but something was missing. Something spicy, or hot, or… peppery! I cracked some pepper onto one of the pieces and tasted it. Yes – that’s just what it was missing! I was shocked at how many flavors unfolded as I ate the rest of it.

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The next day I took them to work and had my co-workers (aka: my tasting team) give me their feedback. Other than the cake being a bit on the dense side, all of the feedback was positive. Even people who don’t usually like goat cheese found it impossible not to finish every bite. And they commented on how delicious the fig filling was and how smooth the frosting turned out. (I swear I don’t pay them to say these things.)

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This cupcake really was quite a success, from the not-sweet walnutty cake all the way to the cracked pepper sprinkles. It might not be a cupcake for everyone, but it is definitely my kind of savory!

Recipes modified from:
Cake: Bite Delite
Filling: Food Network
Frosting: Cupcake Project
Drizzle: YumSugar

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

A Baking Adventure: Savory Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes

There’s a lot of controversy in the cupcake world surrounding savory cupcakes. Some try to balance a savory-sweet combination, while others really are just dinner in a fun cupcake format. You may even remember Starry Night’s Corn Beef and Cabbage cupcake that we tried. We Crusaders appreciate all cupcakes, and different takes on savory versions are no different.

Recently for dinner I wanted to make something new that my almost-toddler would also enjoy. I scanned my Pinterest page for options and was reminded of Chicken Pot Pie cupcakes. The recipe I used was Quick Dish’s modified version of Between 3 Sisters’ recipe (and then further modified by yours truly).

The recipe calls for packaged biscuits, but (in the absence of those) I decided to make Bisquick biscuits. The dough may have been a little more difficult to work with, but it still wasn’t too bad. I used a spoon to push the dough down into the cupcake pan and created a bowl shape.


(Center of the Chicken Pot Pie. I didn’t even need the fork in the end, because the biscuit held the filling in perfectly.)

The recipe on Quick Dish also called for Herbs De Provence. Not being a seasoned cook, I had no idea what that was. Luckily I know how to use Google well and found out that I had most of the spices that make up Herbs De Provence in my pantry. Following the instructions, I whipped up the chicken filling and baked according to Bisquick’s recommended time. Out popped these perfect little pot pies, which were a huge hit. Many of you may know how hard it can be to feed a toddler, but Leah devoured hers!

I’ve gotten some great meal ideas from Pinterest, and this is one that I plan on adding into our regular rotation of meals. What do you think about savory cupcakes? Have you ever made a cupcake meal? If so, do you think savory can still count as a cupcake?

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