LuLi’s Cupcakes – St Augustine, Florida

Traveling without eating cupcakes is a no-no when it comes to the Crusaders; so on a recent trip to St. Augustine Florida I knew I had to find some cupcakes to review! Luckily my sister knows of my love of cupcakes and told me about LuLi’s Cupcake  and how much she loved their Tiramisu cupcake called “The Godfather.” She’s not a huge sweets person, so if she likes it, I knew it would be really good. We took a trip down Rt.1 and stopped in for some cupcakes.

The sweet shop was easy to get to and adorably decorated! The staff were very friendly, and on top of cupcakes, they serve ice-cream, gourmet coffee and other sweet treats. The glass case that housed the cupcakes was well organized with pink polkadot signage to explain each flavor. I settled on four cupcakes, below are their reviews.

Lemon Twist

Lemon with a real twist! This lemon cupcake had a ginger flavor to it that was exciting and packed a bite. The sweet buttercream icing was a great complement to the cake, whose complex flavors fully developed after you were finished. The cake was light, moist, airy and delicious. There was a very generous layer of icing on top and the Lemonhead candy garnish was a treat too!

Fire Engine Red Velvet

This classic red velvet had a twist with crunchy pecan bits on top! The cake was FLAVORFUL and rich – and definitely the color of a fire truck! This is a red velvet cake done right! The cream cheese icing was everything it should be, creamy, cheesy, sweet (but not too sweet) and married well with the cake. The pecans on top added a layer of texture to this cupcake that I haven’t seen in many red velvet cupcakes. Definitely a red velvet I would like to have again!

Blueberry Fields Forever

Blue and yellow sugar sprinkles delicately danced on the top of this very interesting cupcake. The lemon, blueberry, and poppy-seed cake tasted a bit like black licorice to me – which isn’t a great thing, as I dislike black licorice immensely. The dried blueberries in the cake saved it a bit, as they added texture and much needed blueberry flavor. The cream cheese frosting (the same that was found on the red velvet) was delightful. This was a “special” cupcake for the day, and while it was not my favorite of the four, it was very interesting… so much in fact that I wouldn’t mind trying it again.

The Godfather

“The Godfather” Tiramisu cupcake with mascarpone cheese frosting reminded me of the movie quote, “take the gun, leave the cannoli,” except I would flip that statement around and replace cannoli with cupcake. I would “go to the mattresses” for this cupcake! WOW! The cake had a fantastic coffee flavor, but wasn’t soggy from being drenched in it as it was not dipped into espresso, but the coffee flavor was incorporated into the batter. The icing was smooth and tart – this pairing of cake and icing was simply perfect, as was the icing to cake ratio. I love tiramisu, but this cupcake really is the Godfather of the traditional dessert.

Visiting LuLi’s was a perk to an already wonderful trip to Florida that included some great weather and even better company. I can’t wait to taste more flavors next time! If you’re ever in St. Augustine, stop by and say hi to “The Godfather” for me – well, order one at least.

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

Happy Cakes = Three Happy Crusaders

Before I get into our review from last nights cupcake tasting, I wanted to announce that Jenn and I have decided that Elisa is going to join us as as a full fledged Cupcake Crusader. She has been on so many cupcake adventures with us, and also has always pursued trying new cupcake places when we aren’t even around, so it doesn’t make sense for her to only be a “guest” crusader. Most recently she brought back cupcakes for us all to try all the way from Florida to Baltimore! Without her we would not have all the wonderful memories that we have and we would not have this review.

Over the weekend, Elisa visited her family in St. Augustine, Florida, and was awesome enough to bring back 3 delicious cupcakes from Happy Cakes: A Cupcake Shop. She describes the shop as,”bright, cheery, and very beautifully decorated.” They even have kid’s tables and chairs which was perfect for Elisa’s to nephew to sit and eat his mini cupcake while playing a little bit.

How pretty are these cupcakes?

They even have “Frosting Shots!”

While Elisa was at the shop, she had a “Mocha Mini.” She says that this one was her 2nd favorite of all 4 flavors that she tried.

I’m not sure how she carried 3 cupcakes through 2 airports and on a plane without devouring them before Monday night, but she somehow managed so that Jenn and I could taste them with her when she returned. On Monday night, we all gathered around my kitchen table and decided our plan of attack would be: Red Velvet first, then Caramel Apple, and last the Key Lime Coconut. The Red Velvet probably held up the worst after it’s trip from Florida:

But that’s okay, we piled the frosting back on and divided it for the 3 of us to taste. My first reaction to pulling back the wrapper was how amazingly red the cake was. It was gorgeous!

After tasting this cupcake, our thoughts were pretty much unanimous, the sweet cream cheese frosting was AMAZING, but we don’t think the red velvet cake quite held up to the fantasticness of the frosting. It got lost a little bit. Still, the cupcake was worth it, just for the frosting. I should also say that we are all pretty picky about our red velvet cake, and I’ve personally only ever tried a few that I actually liked. (It’s not my favorite in general). BUT if you are a huge red velvet fan, I would definitely give this a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Up next: Caramel Apple

This cupcake held up shockingly well from the trip to Baltimore. I’m not quite sure how it managed, but if you are looking to travel a long distance with a cupcake, this is definitely the one for you. Hands down, this was all of our favorite. After cutting into it to split 3 ways we saw the aromatic apple pie filling:

Everything about this cupcake worked well. The filling could have been used in a pie or cobbler just by itself, it was that good. The cake was a mild flavor that didn’t compete with the apple and caramel flavors, and the frosting complemented the entire thing. I can only hope that I find myself in the St. Augustine area, in the Fall, sometime in my future, to be able to taste this delicious cupcake again.

After that, we knew that the Key Lime Coconut cupcake was going to have to be pretty good. I would say that if we hadn’t had the Apple Caramel, the Key Lime would have been Jenn’s and my favorite. Elisa said that the Mocha Mini was her 2nd favorite though (after the Caramel Apple) so I know that had to be amazing too. The Key Lime Coconut held up pretty well during the trip. Not quite as well as the Caramel Apple, but still, pretty impressive:

This cupcake was everything you would expect out of cupcake with Key Lime flavor. It was sweet and tart and a perfect warm weather/summer treat. The coconut flavor in the cake was very mild (we are guessing becuase they use natural ingredients) but had a true coconut flavor, not a processed artificial flavor. The key lime frosting can only be described as “WOW!”

If you are ever in the St. Augustine area, make sure check out Happy Cakes (and tell them the Cupcake Crusaders say, “Hello!”)

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