Sometimes You Just Need a Bite

Pint-sized cupcakes are already hard to turn away, so when you take an already small treat and make it even smaller it’s next to impossible to say “no!” Today, we are sharing a collection of small bite treats we’ve sampled, from Smith Island Cake Company’s miniscule “cake-its” to a new Starbucks cake-pop flavor.

Smith Island Cake-Its

SmithIslandCakeIts

While in the bakery section of the Giant grocery store, I spotted a wide variety of Smith Island Cake treats. I’ve never actually tried Smith Island Cake (you don’t have to say it… I know… it’s practically a sin among Maryland-based cake lovers), so was excited to see such an assortment. They had mini cakes (which I might have to get one day), slices of their famous layered cake, cake pops, and these teeny tiny little cake bites, which they call “Cake-Its.” I haven’t seen anything like them before, so snatched them up without a second thought. The flavors included were: Original (yellow cake/chocolate icing), Red Velvet (red velvet cake/cream cheese icing), and Coconut (white cake/coconut buttercream). Even though Crusader’s Elisa’s review of their cupcakes didn’t have tons of positive things to say, she’s always said great things about their layered cake, so I was hopeful that these treats would be moist and delightful, and lucky for me, they were. I didn’t really have a favorite because each time I ate a new flavor, I would decide it was the best. Much smaller than a typical cake pop or cake truffle, each was like a little explosion of flavor. The Red Velvet had a good cocoa flavor, the Classic had a rich deep dark chocolate flavor from their signature frosting, and I thought coconut was perfect for any coconut lover.

Godiva Cake Truffles

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Being a long-time Godiva lover (let’s face it, who isn’t?), I couldn’t wait to try their new line of cake truffles, which were created with the cake master himself, Chef Duff from Charm City Cakes. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was able to pick up three flavors on my visit: Birthday Cake, Butterscotch Walnut Brownie, and Pineapple Hummingbird. To my (slight) disappointment, there was no cake involved, but these still had the wonderful creaminess and richness you would expect from a Godiva truffle. The Birthday Cake had a white (pink) chocolate outer layer, then a milk chocolate layer, and a “funfetti cake” center. This didn’t really have the “cake batter” like flavor I was hoping for and, for the most part, just tasted like a white and milk chocolate truffle. The Butterscotch Walnut Brownie ended up being my favorite, and was reminiscent of “brownie batter” with all the other flavors being very present as well. The final truffle, Pineapple Hummingbird, also had a good mixture of flavors, but was still missing that cake-like quality. If you’ve ever had a cake batter ice cream flavor, you know what I’m talking about. I still love Godiva, but I think I’ll be sticking to my favorite, the dark chocolate raspberry truffle, on future visits.

Hamilton Bakery Carrot Cake Cake Truffle

HamiltonBakeryCakeTruffle

With Hamilton Bakery located a hop, skip, and jump from my front door, it’s a shame that their cupcakes don’t rank higher on my list. Despite that, their other baked goods and friendly customer service always have me stopping in for something. During a breakfast visit for a scone and a cup of Zeke’s I spotted this Carrot Cake cake truffle. It was the first time I had seen cake truffles at Hamilton Bakery, so I quickly added that to my order. The texture was perfect: not too dry and not too mushy. The spicy carrot cake flavor was also perfect and the thin coating of white chocolate didn’t overpower this bite-sized treat.

Starbucks Chocolate Raspberry Cake Pop

Starbucks_Cakepop

We are no strangers to Starbucks‘ cake pops. From the classic Birthday Cake to the seasonal Peppermint Brownie (also pictured above) we grab these sweet additions to our coffee break when a caffeine high isn’t enough. Recently we spotted a flavor we hadn’t seen before: Chocolate Raspberry. Crusader Jenn said this cake pop was good with rich moist chocolate cake and raspberry flavor. Although the raspberry tasted a bit artificial.

How do you feel about cake pops, truffles, and other similar items? Do you think there is room in the dessert world for them and cupcakes, or will cupcakes always outshine these tiny treats?

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader Stacy (Baltimore, MD)

Memorial Day Crusade to Smith Island

Memorial Day weekend is a holiday to remember the men and women who served and died for our country. Most people get that Monday off and enjoy having the extra down time. For the past few years I’ve spent my Memorial Day weekend with my friend Kevin and his wonderful family (our significant others also joined us). This year I knew there would be a cupcake crusade mixed in between the fishing, beaching, tanning, eating, and drinking. While in Ocean City at the end of April for the OC Half Marathon, I researched the Smith Island Cake Company and knew I HAD to get there over the long Memorial Day weekend. Luckily for me, I only had to trek to the Ocean City Outlets, as there is a store front located right over the Rt 50 bridge on the mainland.

I adore their traditional layer cake and was very excited to try their cupcakes. Little did I know they also have coffee, tea, etc… so while at the shop I picked up a chai latte and a free sample of their traditional layer cake. Both were divine. The staff were friendly and the shop was very contemporary and clean. Now onto the cupcakes!

Coconut

If the texture of coconut isn’t something you like, this cupcake isn’t for you. The cake is on the dryer side, and is chock full of shredded coconut. The icing was light and fluffy, but lacked in flavor and oddly tasted more like whipped cream than true buttercream icing. The cupcake looked so yummy that it was a bit of a let down overall.

Lemon

The lovely lemon flavor of this cupcake makes it stand out among the rest. The moist cake and lemon curd filling (let’s face it, you all know I love curd!) create a sweet but tart treat. The icing was light and fluffy, but wasn’t lacking in flavor. Overall this was my favorite cupcake of the bunch.

Strawberry

Macerated strawberries are fantastic on top of just about anything (for example, short cake, pound cake, angle food cake, etc), and was great as a filling in this delicate cupcake. The moist, airy cake was simple, while the icing was the same light fluffy icing that was found on most of the cupcake options. Sometimes fruit flavors can be too sweet, because there is too much sugar added to the already sweet fruit, but this cupcake was a great balance of sweetness. I’d definitely eat this one again and think it would be a good base for my next baking experiment! (I’m thinking a basil/strawberry spin!)

Sundae

An ice cream themed cupcake? It was too good to be true… and sadly it was. The cake was moist, but flavorless and I really missed the caramel flavor completely, which I found odd as it was supposed to be “injected” with caramel. The chocolate icing on the other hand was fantastic. Not too sweet, very smooth, and creamy, this icing and filling saved this cupcake from being totally boring, with a cherry on top.

Chocolate Peanut Butter

This delectable cupcake was filled with creamy peanut butter and topped with the same creamy chocolate icing I described above. The cake was a little on the dry side, but with all the filling and icing I barely noticed. I would order this cupcake again and eat it while I drank a cup of coffee.

Rocky Road

Another ice cream themed cupcake?! This one, like the other was a bit of a disappointment. While the cake was moist, and the chocolate icing was good, there was not enough marshmallow fluff or flavor to create that true “rocky road” experience and the almonds slices weren’t crunchy.

While I love Smith Island Cakes traditional layer cake and will gladly pay $4.50 a SLICE, I am not sure I would go back for another half dozen cupcakes. The cake was a little too inconsistent and something seemed to be lacking in almost every cupcake. I did love the chocolate icing, but I’d rather buy it in a tub to spread on my own cupcakes. Overall I am just grateful to Kevin and his parents for the wonderful weekend, and for sharing in my cupcake crusade!

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