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

GodivaCakeTruffles

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)

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NYC…Part Deux!

Day two of our NYC trip started off with a beautiful sunny day! After a failed attempt to use public transportation (I am determined to use the bus next time), we hailed a cab in true New York fashion and headed down to 20th Street, where we were meeting up with a friend for brunch at Tipsy Parson.

Knowing we would be eating plenty of sweet treats throughout the day, we stuck to a savory order for brunch: grits, eggs, veggies, and drinks of course!


(Our delicious meals! *I wish that Stacy ate bacon, because that bacon gravy over biscuit was the highlight of my meal!)

After brunch our next stop was the Chelsea Market. I had never been there before and Stacy knew I would love it! This is where we encountered our first cupcakes of the day at Eleni’s New York. After such a filling brunch, neither of us could imagine eating anything else, so we decided to take these cupcakes home with us. Packed away, these cupcakes were walked all over New York as well as being trekked all the way back to Baltimore! (I’ll come back to those though, since we didn’t eat and review them until later.) We also happened upon a bit of shopping and both ended up with perfectly sized Anthropologie shopping bags – which ended up being the perfect size bag to carry cupcakes in!

After the Chelsea Market, we walked The High Line, a public park built on a historic freight train railway, elevated above the streets of the city! Filled with beautiful flowers, trees, plants and views, The High Line is officially my new favorite thing in New York. The weather could not have been more perfect for a walk through the park, among the rooftops of New York’s West Side.

(Very cool park design so that the tracks could remain an element within the new organic landscape surrounding it – plus, a great view!)

Lucky for me, Stacy plans out our NYC trips and knew Billy’s Bakery was located just a block away from the High Line on 9th Ave between 21st and 2nd Streets. While we were a little disappointed in the selection, I still managed to break our “one cupcake per location” rule and got two cupcakes to try! Stacy ordered hers and we were set to eat our first cupcakes of the day!

My order: Vanilla with Chocolate Frosting & Banana with Cream Cheese frosting

The Vanilla cake was a little on the dry side, but the chocolate frosting was a very milk chocolaty and smooth. The stand out for me was the Banana; not too dense, which can make a banana cupcake taste more like a muffin, this was the perfect balance of real banana flavor and smooth cream cheese frosting. I enjoyed every morsel of this cupcake and hope they have it again next time we are in town.

Stacy’s order: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Stacy had this to say about it: “The Carrot Cake cupcake was probably the best carrot cake I’ve ever had! It was incredibly moist and full of shredded carrots, coconut, and I think even zucchini. The frosting was a sweet and smooth cream cheese frosting, which in my opinion works the best with carrot cake.” After loving the Carrot Cake cupcake so much, Stacy knew she had to bring one back for Jenn, who we may need to give the title of “Carrot Cake Crusader.” (Jenn, surprise! Stacy has a cupcake with your name on it!) After buying the cupcake and the adorable box for it to be taken to-go in, we trekked on with cupcakes in hand!

(Seriously, how adorable is this to-go box?!)

From there we hopped on the subway – since we had the MTA cards, we figured we would use them – and headed up to Central Park. While I have been to New York City many times, and been to Central Park too, I had never been to see the Bethesda Fountain, so that was our first stop.

From there we walked south through the park, landed in Sarabeth’s for some much needed, very late lunch, and then headed back to our hotel to pick up our bags. Our trip was nearing the end… but not without one last cupcake stop: Baked by Melissa.

We both placed our orders, including a dozen of these quarter sized cupcakes for Jenn, carefully placed the boxes in our handy Anthropologie shopping bags and headed for Penn Station to catch the train home. Being the very patient people we are, once on the train we almost immediately opened our Baked by Melissa boxes to try one of April’s Mini of the Month: Peanut Butter Fluff.


(Peanut Butter Fluff & Chocolate Chip Pancake from Baked by Melissa)

Sweet and tiny, this was the perfect way to end the day and say goodbye to our home away from home. But that wasn’t the end of our NYC cupcake eating because…

Stacy brought home Eleni’s Boston Creme, Billy’s Bakery’s Carrot Cake Cupcake for Jenn, and two dozen Baked by Melissa minis. Here’s what she thought of her Eleni’s cupcake:

Boston Creme

“The Boston Creme cupcake was WONDERFUL! Perfect size, not too large or too small. The cake was moist, the filling was creamy, and the thin layer of chocolate ganache was rich and smooth. I really wish I had bought more of these. Next time I’m getting one for Jenn and my dad who both love Boston Creme as much as I do!”

And never missing the tiny details, she noticed they have personalized cupcake wrappers as well! What a great detail and great way to market their website!

I brought home Eleni’s Raspberry Raspberry and a dozen Baked by Melissa minis. Here’s what I thought of my Eleni’s cupcake:

Raspberry Raspberry

This cupcake may look like a mess – after being trekked around one city, on a train and car ride to another city, I was amazed any of the frosting was still on the cupcake – but it tasted like a raspberry dream! The cake had actual berries in it and the frosting was just the perfect amount of sweetness. I could eat this cupcake for breakfast, it was that refreshing and light, moist and sweet! I cannot wait to go back and try more from Eleni’s!

While our annual NYC Girls Trip was not the same without Jenn – and we kept saying to each other, “I wish Jenn were here” – it was a great trip! Stacy is the very best travel buddy, and to get to see so many new places, in one of my favorite cities, and eat so many cupcakes, made this trip one of the best yet!

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

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