Noshing With the Neighbors

Getting to know your neighbors can be a scary thing. Everyone seems to stay in their homes these days and therefore never really get out to meet their neighbors. Hamilton is a little different. My husband, Ken, and I moved into our home almost two years ago and have actually gotten to know quite a few of our neighbors. People stop for a quick chat while we are out walking our dog or playing in the yard with her. Unfortunately most of these neighbors are about forty or fifty years older than us. However, just last week we went to our first neighborhood dinner with a group that was around our age, cleverly named “Neighborhood Nosh.” Since we only knew a couple of people there, the idea of sitting down with individuals we had never met was a bit daunting, but I was excited to get to know some of our peers who live down the street or around the corner. Even better, I knew there would be cupcakes.

One member of the group, who we already knew, was Devon from Pink Rhino Cupcakes. Devon makes fiercely amazing booze-infused cupcakes and it had been a while since I’d had one (last review here). The dinner theme that night was Italian, so Devon brought Tiramisu cupcakes (one of my favorites flavors that I rarely find).

PinkRhinoTiramisu

I’m not a tiramisu expert by any means. I didn’t grow up eating delectable tiramisu desserts at fancy restaurants or anything like that. But for some reason, when a tiramisu flavored cupcake is done well, I can’t get enough of it. I’m sure it has something to do with my serious coffee addiction (which is increasingly getting worse).

Devon admitted she was a bit nervous that I would be trying (and blogging about) her cupcake, but already knowing the quality of her baking, I wasn’t worried. The cake was moist, as I expected, and the flavors were incredible. I gobbled up the cupcake before I could analyze the components, but I don’t think anything characteristic to tiramisu was missing. And the chocolate covered coffee bean on top was the perfect crunchy finish.

Pink Rhino Cupcakes bakes cupcakes fresh to order and trust me, they are perfect for any shindig that is 21 and over. For more information visit their website or Facebook page, then order the boozie combo of your choice and become the party favorite for bringing these fabulous cupcakes.

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

Catching Up with Cupcakes in Orlando, FL

There are some people in your life that, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen them, you can pick up exactly where you left off. These friends are the ones you can always count on to be there for you, even if you may not talk everyday. My friend, Marina, is one of those friends for me. We became friends in high school, but since then she has lived as close as Delaware or as far away as California. None of that matters though, because when we see each other, the days, weeks, months, or even years just seem like seconds.

Not only is Marina a great friend, she also has a serious sweet tooth (she recently became a certified pastry chef), so it makes perfect sense that when I was in Florida, her current home state, we would do a little bit of cupcaking. When it comes to organizing a day of cupcakes, I usually take the lead on deciding which places we will visit and in what order, but after giving Marina a list of possibilities, she narrowed it down and mapped them out. It was so nice to have someone else help with the planning.

We decided that if we paced ourselves we could manage four places: Raphsodic (a vegan bakery), Blue Bird Bake Shop, Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly, and Sweet Designs Kitchen.

After a tasty lunch at Thai Thani we made our way to Raphsodic, our first stop in downtown Orlando. Raphsodic has an eclectic vintage atmosphere which was carried through with their plates and mismatched antique forks. I must confess that I was really apprehensive about going to a vegan bakery after recently having had some bad experiences, but I think it’s important to review all kinds of cupcakes, especially for the vegan cupcake lovers out there. Marina and I proceeded with caution and ordered the Mocha cupcake to split.

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(Vegan Mocha cupcake from Raphsodic)

Expecting the worst, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The cake had a really nice chocolately coffee flavor, and it was moist (yay!). I thought the simple dairy free buttercream went well with the cake, but it was a little too dense for Marina, who prefers a much lighter frosting. Knowing we had three more places to visit, we left without quite satisfying our sweet tooth, but our next stop, Blue Bird Bake Shop, was just a short drive away.

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(Blue Bird Bake Shop)

Like Raphsodic, Blue Bird Bake Shop also had an eclectic selection of mismatched plates (in fact, it’s the largest collection I’ve ever seen) and their decor was a stunning blend of rustic chic. Beautiful blue and brown tones filled the shop and Marina and I couldn’t stop “oohing” and “ahhing” as we ate our cupcakes. This time around we each got our own cupcakes; I choose the Neapolitan and Marina selected the Chocolate Raspberry.

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(Neapolitan and Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes from Blue Bird Bake Shop)

Neapolitan is one of those flavors I’m seeing more and more bakeries offer, and when it’s done right, it’s awesome. This cupcake was no exception. The frosting tasted just like strawberry ice cream and the vanilla and chocolate cake was moist and delicious. Despite feeling that the cake on the Chocolate Raspberry cupcake was a little more dense than Marina normally prefers, she said that overall, “it was really yummy.”

After eating our cupcakes and browsing the t-shirts, coffee products, and uniquely flavored marshmallows, we headed to our next stop, Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly (a two time Cupcake Wars winner).

Sweet! not only sells cupcakes, they also have a huge selection of frozen yogurt and toppings, but Marina and I didn’t let this distract us from our mission. We made our way passed the froyo machines and straight to the cupcakes.

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(Menu from Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly)

Sampling as many different flavors as possible is always fun, and since Sweet! sells primarily minis, that made it an easy task. They had a ton of flavors available and Marina and I spent a lot of time narrowing our choices down to six each. I decided on the Coffee, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Tiramisu, White Chocolate Raspberry, Banana, and Cinnamon. Some of the flavors were just okay and some were great. The big disappointment for me was the Tiramisu.

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(Tiramisu cupcake from Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly)

The first Tiramisu cupcake I ever tried was from Sublime, in Wyomissing, PA, (review here). None have been as good since then, but Sweet!’s didn’t even taste like Tiramisu. Luckily, it was only a mini and I had other flavors to enjoy, like the Coffee and Cinnamon, which were AMAZING. Each packed tons of flavor in such a small size. I could have easily eaten two of each on that visit.

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(Cinnamon and Coffee cupcakes from Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly)

After our visit at Sweet!, Marina and I found ourselves entering a cupcake coma, so decided to do a little shopping before making our way to our final stop, Sweet Designs Kitchen. Even with shopping and a 40 minute drive, we were still cupcaked-out when we arrived at Sweet Designs Kitchen. It was the end of the day, and their selection was limited, but the staff was super friendly. We decided to get two cupcakes each, to go.

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(Coconut Key Lime and Orange Creamsicle cupcakes from Sweet Designs Kitchen)

After all the cupcakes we tried that day I realized that I was in Florida and hadn’t yet gotten any citrus flavors. I happily remedied that and got the Coconut Key Lime and Orange Creamsicle cupcakes, while Marina choose the alcohol-free Mocha Lua and Banana’s Foster cupcakes. Unfortunately, Marina didn’t eat hers until a day later and I ended up waiting two days. Both of us felt that the cake was dry, but we really can’t fault Sweet Designs Kitchen for that since we didn’t try them when they were fresh. Even though the cake was dry I thought that the flavors of my cupcake were really fantastic, especially the fillings. The Coconut Key Lime was my favorite and I thought the key lime curd filling blended really well with the coconut frosting. Marina thought that the frostings on her cupcakes were both too heavy and that the cake was a little bland, but agreed that the fillings in her two cupcakes were really great.

It’s no secret that a day filled with cupcakes is guaranteed to be a great day for me, but getting to spend time with a good friend who really enjoys critiquing cupcakes as much as I do is even better. It was also really nice to catch up with Marina in between bites of cake and frosting, especially because she is expecting a little bundle of joy in a few months. Hopefully, Marina will pass along the “sweet tooth gene” to her little one, because when it comes to cupcake adventures, I always like to think “the more, the merrier.”

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

Josie’s “Creative & Delicious” Confections

What do fried chicken, waffles, and cupcakes have in common? Josie’s Confections. But that isn’t the only amazing cupcake creation up “The Cupcake King’s” sleeve! After the Westminster cupcake picnic this past weekend, we Crusaders realized that we hadn’t actually reviewed Joel’s creations?! So here goes:

For our Washington DC Cupcake Picnic, Joel brought 4 flavors:

Fried Chicken & Waffle

All three Crusaders loved this cupcake. The fried chicken alone was amazing, in fact Crusader Jenn said she wouldn’t mind eating a bucket of the chicken and I agree. The maple cake was moist and very flavorful, with the light maple frosting pairing nicely with the perfectly fried chicken and sweet waffle. Crusader Stacy says it is in her top 5 cupcakes of ALL the cupcakes she has ever had, and ate 3 in one day, the perfect testament to just how delicious this cupcake is. (Wow, just writing about it makes my mouth water and my stomach grumble for fried chicken, waffles, and this cupcake.)

Maple Bacon

(Photo courtesy of Josie’s Confections)

If I were a cupcake, I would be THIS cupcake. My love of bacon is no secret, and this cupcake had perfectly cooked, crispy bacon on top AND in the cake. The maple frosting was again smooth, flavorful and paired perfectly with the bacon. Sweet, savory, salty, bacon-y perfection in cupcake form. I ate 3 at the picnic and took 3 home – and yes, I ate every one of them.

Strawberry Lemonade

I didn’t try this cupcake (I was too busy eating the Maple Bacon), but Stacy shared her thoughts: “This cupcake was a perfectly light and refreshing summer cupcake. It’s no wonder how Joel won 4th place for People’s Choice at the National Capital Area Cake Show’s (NCACS) Cupcake Challenge with this cupcake.”

Salted Caramel(Photo courtesy of Josie’s Confections)

This mini cupcake packed a caramel punch, with a hint of salt. Moist and flavorful, this mini had more caramel flavor than some full-sized caramel cupcakes I have encountered. The caramel drizzle on top added to the light, creamy, smooth texture. In a sea of regular sized cupcakes, this little mini stood out.

For our Westminster, MD Cupcake Picnic Joel brought 4 new flavors to share:

Red Berry Ciroc

Perfect summer boozie cupcake. Even better, you could still taste the Red Berry Ciroc vodka! While this is not a cupcake for a kid, it would be perfect for a bacholerette party or grown-up party. Love the fun bright frosting too – how Joel achieved that amazing red/pink hue without it tasting like food coloring is a mystery.

Tiramisu

This cupcake had all the right flavors, which worked together in unison to create the perfect Tiramisu dessert in cupcake form! The moist cake, tasty mascarpone and Kahlua filling and smooth frosting was one of the favorites of the day. This is one of my favorite desserts, and I was very impressed with just how much it tasted like the traditional dessert.

Capt. Morgan Rum and Coke  &  Mango Passion Fruit

Capt. Morgan Rum and Coke: At first sight you might think this cupcake looks like it has chocolate frosting, but the frosting tastes exactly like Coke – which amazed everyone at the picnic! And the cake tastes exactly like Capt. Morgan and was very moist. Like the Red Berry Ciroc, this is another 21+ only treat, but a treat that the Crusaders wouldn’t mind eating again.

Mango Passion Fruit: Another great summer cupcake! Light and sweet and full of mango and passion fruit flavor. The cake and frosting were an amazingly bright and refreshing orange color, how does Joel do it?! It reminded Crusader Jenn of tropical fruit candy; and while it was a bit sweet for me, it isn’t a cupcake I would ever turn down.

Overall Joel’s unique confections have intrigued and amazed us at each turn. Consistently moist and flavorful cake, smooth and creamy frosting, and inspired flavors are apparent in each cupcake Joel creates. Each inspired flavor has been meticulously paired together to create a delicious confection that anyone would be lucky to eat. He’ll be the first person I call the next time I need to order cupcakes for an event, party, or just when I need a Maple Bacon cupcake “fix.”

For information on ordering Josie’s Confections, call Joel at 301-541-7046, email him at joelegill@gmail.com or visit Josie’s Confections Facebook page.

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

Our Westminster, MD Cupcake Picnic Recap

Sunday’s Westminster Cupcake Picnic was another successful gathering, with help from Joel of Josie’s Confections. More cupcake lovers were able to make it out to the Westminster Community Pond and the cupcakes were plentiful! We scored a great spot under the pavilion, next to the playground, which worked out well for some of our youngest attendants.


(Crusader Elisa, Guest Crusader Beth, and myself hanging out while others arrived.)

Although sitting on blankets at our DC Cupcake Picnic made it really feel like an old-fashion picnic, it was nice to have the tables this time. The breeze felt great sitting in the shade. It couldn’t have been a better day for a picnic!

We were admiring the cupcakes that had already shown up, but holding off digging in. It seemed like it would be more polite to wait until some of the others arrived. But then our little niece Lylah said, “I want a cupcake.” With that, the cupcaking began and didn’t stop, as more people showed up with their picnic contributions.

Cupcakes that were in attendance:
1) Joel brought some of his new Josie’s Confections’ boozy flavors, including Tiramisu with a Kahlua filling. Look out for a full review of Josie’s Confections coming later this week.
2) Josie’s Confections’ Mango Passion Fruit and Rum & Coke.
3) Josie’s Confections’ Ciroc Red Berry Lemonade.
4) Robin and Camille came with homemade marble cupcakes topped with chocolate ganache.
5) Beth brought an assortment from Fresh Bakery. We’ve reviewed Fresh a few times but this was the my first time tasting their Creamsicle and it had the perfect Creamsicle flavor.
6) Rachael brought her homemade Snickers cupcakes, which I also tried at her daughter’s 1st birthday and are always a hit!
7) Crusader Elisa made Honey Grapefruit cupcakes, two ways. One had a grapefruit curd filling and the other had a honey filling. Keep an eye out for a full recipe review soon!
8) I brought these store bought cupcakes that came from Walmart. Flavors included Lemon, Vanilla Bean, and Triple Chocolate. For those curious about how these full-size Walmart cupcakes tasted, I’ll be doing a review next week.
9) Crusaders’ Dad brought Golden Snitch cake pops, extras from a Harry Potter birthday party he hosted the night before. Guest Crusader Beth was very excited to see these there!
10) I think these Pink Lemonade cupcakes also came from Robin and Camille’s group. So many cupcakes, it was hard to keep track! After tasting and complimenting them, I found out that they were made with Pillsbury’s Pink Lemonade cake mix.
11) Another candy bar themed cupcake came from Guest Crusader Kim, who wrote about her first experience making these for her 30th birthday party.
12) Crusader Stacy made Lemon Blueberry cupcakes and jazzed them up for the summer with some fancy decorating. She’ll be featuring these in a post coming soon!


(With so many cupcakes, we learned that there would be a lot of cupcake-exchanging going on. This time the Crusaders provided a “to-go” option for our guests.)

At the last picnic we had a cupcake eating challenge and thought maybe we’d see if anyone wanted to take on “The King” and try to beat his time of 5 cupcakes in 3 minutes and 45 seconds. There was one brave lady, Simone, who stepped up to the plate (or in our case the picnic table…we ran out of plates that could fit all 5 cupcakes).


(Simone with the 5 cupcakes she selected. We admire her courage in taking on The King!)

She attacked those cupcakes with gusto, but in the end Joel gets to keep his reigning title as the real “Cupcake King.” We were very proud of Simone’s attempt and she left with a prize pack as a thank you for participating.


(My cupcake carnage…Those cupcakes didn’t see what was coming to them.)

We hope that everyone had a good time and thank our guests, especially those who drove over an hour from DC and Northern Virginia! It was great to meet other enthusiasts and enjoy the nice day talking about baking, cupcakes, and getting to know one another better. After two great Cupcake Picnics, we are even more excited for our final Baltimore picnic next month and are already getting requests to have a 2013 picnic series! If you are interested in attending the Baltimore Cupcake Picnic, check out more details and RSVP here.

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

Florida Fun, Relaxation, and Treats! Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes

Crusader Stacy and I knew there was something we needed to take care of soon after arriving at our Florida vacation destination. I know you are thinking, “Get cupcakes!” and you aren’t entirely wrong…However the first thing on our agenda for the week was a girls’ afternoon to get manicures and pedicures. After all, a vacation is about being pampered and our toes deserved some attention for all the time they’d be spending out in the Florida sun, right? I’d be lying if I said we hadn’t thought of getting cupcakes on the way to our appointment, so that we could sit back in the massage chairs savoring a sweet treat. But, we mustered up our patience and enjoyed our sister-time sans cupcakes.

After our nails were beautified we decided it was time to show them off with a walk through Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers, Fl. The location of Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes couldn’t have been more perfect for us. Only a few miles away from our nail place, and situated in a center of high-end retailers and boutiques, we could enjoy the warm weather and shop a little.

We found Grace & Shelly’s easily and admired their cute store. They have some small tables, cupcake merchandise, and something extra…ice cream! This is becoming more common to see in our Baltimore-DC metro area, however in Florida I imagine it’s great for business, with having “ice-cream-weather” year-round.

It wasn’t easy to pick out flavors because they all looked so good! Their cupcakes are gourmet size, so a little larger than your average cupcake, and adorned with toppings. Lucky for us, they also sell pre-assembled containers of mini cupcakes by the dozen. We picked one out and then made our selection of larger cupcakes based on what was left to try. In the end, we were able to sample 13 flavors!

The standouts for us were the Chocolate Raspberry, Caramel Brown Sugar, and Tiramisu. Some of the cupcakes were on the sweet side, even for us, but what you can expect from all Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes is moist cake and creative and flavorful combinations.

Chocolate Raspberry:

Chocolate Raspberry has become my go-to for a decadent chocolate treat. Typically paired with a dark chocolate ganache and raspberry filling, it’s rich and makes me believe that nothing could ever be a more perfect combination. Grace & Shelly’s version of this treat is no different. The raspberry to chocolate ratio was perfectly balanced and Stacy and I weren’t willing to share with anyone else!

Caramel Brown Sugar:

We contemplated getting the Caramel Brown Sugar cupcake in a full-size, but opted not to, since our sample pack included two. After trying our small bite, we wish we had a larger one! The cake was so good and the frosting was buttery, a prefect complement to the caramel drizzle. Crusader Elisa would have loved it!

Tiramisu:

Crusader Stacy called dibs on this mini and, like the Caramel Brown Sugar, was wishing she had more. So was I, since I didn’t get to try it! But, as Stacy described it, it was, “Delicious. The espresso liquor made the cake a little squishy, but it didn’t matter because it was so good. And sometimes that can happen with tiramisu.” We both believe that the full-size cupcake would have stood up better to the espresso liquor drizzled on the cake and are waiting for when we have the opportunity to try it again!

Although these three were our favorites, we wouldn’t want to leave out the other cupcakes we tasted:

1) Chocolate Peanut Butter: Chocolate cake with a peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache frosting.

2) Grasshopper: Chocolate Oreo cake with mint frosting and chocolate chips. This cupcake was a contender for our top three!

3) Butterfinger: Vanilla cake with a peanut butter filling, cream cheese frosting, and topped with crushed butterfinger bars.

4) Vanilla-Vanilla: Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream, topped with colorful sprinkles. We loved the decoration on this mini, and the full-size looked the same!

5) Orange Coconut: Orange cake with a cream cheese frosting, topped with toasted coconut.

6) Vanilla Strawberry: Vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream frosting, topped with a vanilla cookie. My husband really liked this cupcake and said it was as good as his favorite Maryland bakery.

7) Chocolate-Chocolate: Chocolate cake with a chocolate buttercream frosting, topped with sprinkles. Crusader Stacy’s husband would have liked this cupcake better if it had a chocolate ganache frosting instead of a chocolate buttercream, but for the chocolate lovers out there, Grace & Shelly’s does offer a triple chocolate cupcake with that combination and a chocolate filling!

8) Red Velvet: Red velvet cake with a cream cheese frosting. Littlest Crusader Leah (aka: my daughter) really enjoyed this cupcake, including the sweet cream cheese frosting, although we believe it may have been too sweet for Crusader Elisa, our red velvet connoisseur.

9) Black and White: Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and topped generously with sprinkles. Although not really black and white due to the vibrant frosting and sprinkles, it was fun!

10) Chocolate Coconut: Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and topped with shaved coconut.

Not only are the cupcakes from Grace & Shelly’s memorable, so was the service. A nice man explained all the flavors to us, offered suggestions, spoke about the other locations when he found out we were vacationers, and once we completed our purchase, he walked our bag around the counter to hand it to us (a lost art in fine customer service). His enthusiasm about the product was obvious and contagious. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Grace & Shelly’s to my Florida family, or anyone else vacationing in the Fort Myers area!

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

The Cupcakes You Didn’t See | Kupcakes & Co. | Elkridge, MD

Since Kupcakes & Co. made the #1 spot on our Top 5 cupcake places on the outskirts of Baltimore City, we have eaten a lot, and I mean A LOT, of cupcakes from their shop. Today I wanted to share with you some of their new spring flavors and give you a peek at some of the cupcakes we’ve had over the past several months that you haven’t seen.

To kick off March, Kupcakes & Co. did their own “March Madness” cupcake style. They had customers submit suggestions for new flavors and then they narrowed it down to their favorite 16 flavors. Each week customers could vote for the flavors they wanted to see in a bracket style tournament. When the final two flavors went head to head, in addition to voting online, customers could actually go to the shop and taste each option and place a second vote. The Crusaders couldn’t miss out on this opportunity! It worked out perfectly too, because my mom (and Jenn’s… we are sisters – twins – for those who don’t already know) was visiting from Florida and she wanted to get cupcakes with us from one of our favorite places. The two final flavors we got to try were Crème Brûlée and Tiramisu.


(Final March Madness Contestant: Crème Brûlée)


(Final March Madness Contestant: Tiramisu)

I was ecstatic to see the two flavors I really wanted to make it to the final round actually make it, but it was so hard to pick between them for my online vote! However, after tasting each at the shop, the Crusaders (with mom and husband in agreeance) thought that the Crème Brûlée was the better of the two. Unfortunately this flavor didn’t win, but the Tiramisu was still so good that I’m looking forward to having another. AND if you weren’t able to try both flavors and would like to, Kupcakes & Co. might be offering the Crème Brûlée for mothers day. If they do, make sure not to miss out! (I will be stocking up for myself and saving some in the freezer…)

Since Tiramisu won the March Madness Contest it will now be featured on their spring menu. Some of the other flavors on their spring menu are Irish Creme, Mint Oreo, and Hummingbird. We reviewed the Irish Creme with our St. Patty’s Day cupcakes, but wanted you to see the other two delicious flavors! All 3 of these flavors will be available through May.

Mint Oreo

The Mint Oreo has crushed Oreos blended inside the cake and a peppermint buttercream frosting with more crushed Oreos on top! Usually the mint cupcakes I encounter are a chocolate cake base, so this was a nice surprise. The yellow cake makes it much lighter and perfect for a sweet treat on a mild breezy afternoon or evening (or morning if like cupcakes for breakfast like I do). 🙂

Hummingbird

This southern classic cupcake is amazing. You have to like a chunky cake though because it is chock full of fresh bananas, crushed pineapple and pecans. It’s spiced similarly to a carrot cake, but still keeps it light coloring. It is then finished off with their amazing cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with coconut and topped with a pecan. If you like carrot cake, you MUST try this cupcake! It takes everything that’s great about carrot cake but puts it all in a more delicate and airy package, making it a great warm weather option!

While you are there getting the new spring flavors, you will most likely want to try some of their other offerings. Below is a brief look at some of the other flavors we’ve tried.

1. Hazelnut Crunch
2. Chocolate Dipped Strawberry
3. Key Lime
4. Vanilla/Vanilla
5. Salted Caramel
6. Red Velvet
7. Chocolate Covered Pretzel
8. Pancakes and Bacon

If you want to know more about any of these flavors, before visiting their shop, feel free to ask! We love talking about cupcakes.  🙂

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

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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)