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Archive for the ‘Bakery’ Category

“Cupcake cravings are not to be taken lightly”

As I started having a cupcake withdraws, I consulted my “to try” list of Houston area bakeries. Lucky for me, I found a special “treat” up north of Houston. Treat! Cupcakes in Vintage Park was soon to be crossed off my cupcake bucket list.

 

Taste
Cake
This cake was a real simple, plain cake. Not too much sweetness to it, but just an understated satisfying flavor.

Frosting
This frosting was no way near being understated! The frosting was speckled with real vanilla beans, and was rich and smooth. The flavor was balanced well between vanilla and butter.

Presentation
The cupcake sported a classic look—a giant swirl of frosting, topped with a branded “treat” fondant button.

Sweet Endings
The vanilla cake and frosting complemented each other. The powerful sweetness of the frosting was subdued by the simplicity of the cake. You get what you pay for here! First of all, the cupcake was fantastic! On flavor only, it’s worth it. But, it’s an extra special treat when the cupcake is sized and priced accordingly—a rarity these days. The only disappointing thing is they don’t make many options with the vanilla buttercream. Most of the cakes were made with cream cheese or another flavored frosting.

I would argue that Treat is one of Houston’s best cupcakes. It would be so dangerous if they had a location closer to downtown Houston!

As Treat says, “You should have only the best… We all deserve one!” I couldn’t agree with you anymore!

All of their beautiful selection of treats

Treat! Cupcakes
126 Vintage Park Boulevard
Houston, TX 77070
Ph: 281.251.0016
www.treat-cupcakes.com

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A new trend coming for 2012 is mini desserts. Based on the health and economic trend, smaller desserts are a way for people to enjoy without the expansion of their waistline or the shrinking of their wallet.

Petite Sweets in Houston was smart before their time. This store has all sweet treats you would want, just in petite form!

Walking inside, the store is an array of colors. All of their macaroons are made in every color under the rainbow and in every flavor you could imagine. Although, I wasn’t there to try their macaroons, I was in awe and had to pick up a box for a friend’s birthday.

I was there for the cupcakes! Because they were small in size, I allowed myself to get two – the vanilla-vanilla and the maple jam cupcake.

Vanilla-Vanilla

Taste
Cake
A great vanilla bean specked cake. I really enjoyed the flavor, but it was a little dry.

Frosting
A good balance of vanilla flavor added into the buttercream. Melt in your mouth creamy!

Presentation
I was extremely disappointed with the quality of their presentation. It didn’t appear that they had any sort of quality control for the cupcakes. The edges and tops were uneven and the frosting looked thrown on. Also, it looked like the frosting melted a bit, creating a blob of frosting on top.

Sweet Endings
I enjoy this concept and will frequent them often for their other sweet treats besides cupcakes. They make everything in-house besides the custard and gelato. The macaroons looked to be their specialty too.

If they would just add wifi, I think it would be a great place to grab a cup of coffee and sweet treat and get some studying done!

Maple-Jam Cupcake

Petite Sweets
2700 W. Alabama,
Houston, TX 77098
P: 713-520-7007
info@petitesweetshouston.com
http://www.petitesweetshouston.com

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On a little tour through the Heights with the parents, we stumbled across a cupcake house—What’s Up Cupcake. Of course I wanted to go say “what’s up”, so we stopped in for an afternoon pick up of sugar and caffeine.

Vanilla Bean Cupcake

Taste
Cake
Cake a little dry and thick. However, it had a good vanilla flavor, with speckled vanilla beans throughout the cake.

Frosting
It was a very typical vanilla buttercream. The butter was so rich that it melted into the cake, making it a good combination.

Presentation
A simple design… just topped with little gold sugars.

Sweet Endings

I’ve seen their truck drive around through town, but visiting the shop is a must. The shop is this house-turned-into-bakery, with fun cupcake memorabilia throughout the shop. My favorite was two little chairs fit for children enjoying their little treat. Overall, it had a very homey feel and would be a great place to spend the afternoon.

I preferred the other flavors I got to try. My parents had the red velvet and the hummingbird. The cream cheese frosting was delicious!

Look at all of these options!

What’s Up Cupcake
632 W. 20th st
Houston, Texas 77008
cupcakeladyhouston@yahoo.com
http://whatsupcupcake-houston.com/

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On round two of my “DC Cupcake Tour – Virginia style”, I visited Buzz Bakery in Arlington, VA.

I always have high hopes and a little bit of anxiety as I taste new cupcakes. I get a thrill of the unknown! Sometimes, I’m blown away by what I taste… and in the case of Buzz Bakery—I was thrown out of the water!

Vanilla Vanilla


Taste
Cake
Moist, crumbly, mouthwatering, lip-smacking, succulent… just plain tasty. I wish I had better words to describe what a real made-from-scratch cake tastes like, but I don’t. However, if you try this cupcake, you will know exactly what I mean!

Frosting
Just the way I like it… creamy, right amount of vanilla and butter. A very luscious frosting!

Presentation

The cupcake was topped with blue and gold sugar sprinkles. Although, sugar sprinkles aren’t usually my thing, I did find the color combination to be very pleasing to the eye!

Sweet Endings
Head to toe, this bakery was a well-designed branded product. Everything from the art décor to the coffee cups, they implemented their brand seamlessly.

The have a sliding price scale for all of their treats. The more complex the flavors get, the higher the price. Nothing too outrageous… I believe the highest priced item was $4.00. But, you could get a simple vanilla-vanilla (my fav!) or chocolate for $2.75. And all of their cupcakes are very generously sized!

In addition to the yummy cupcakes, the coffee was delicious. I was a little nervous to get their house blend (since I prefer mine nice and dark), but it was great flavor and wasn’t weak on the taste at all. If you wanted a different type of buzz, you could order one of their many alcoholic drinks. Low on cash? Come in for their happy hour at night!

All in all, I believe I found my second favorite cupcake in the country! It was so delightful, that I had to go back again before I left. You bet I will return once I’m back in the nation’s capitol!

Round 2!

Buzz Bakery – Ballston
818 N. Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22217
Ph: 703-650-9676
http://www.buzzbakery.com

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Oh, it feels so good to be back on the cupcake trail again! Yes, I have been enjoying the tasty morsels, but I haven’t really been keeping tabs. I couldn’t tell you how many cupcakes I have in the queue. For some of them, I think I just need to go again!

Last week I made my annual/bi-annual trip to the Nation’s Capitol. Not only is it one of my favorite places in the country, it’s top-notch for cupcake places! This time I kept my cupcake adventures in Virginia.

For my first day back, I headed over to Bakeshop in the Clarendon area of Arlington, VA. Being a rainy day and my first time there, I had some trouble finding the place. It wasn’t located too far off of the main streets, but it could easily be missed.

Immediately upon walking in, I was overwhelmed with a great scent of baking! You can’t fake that smell… if you are a bakery and you don’t smell like one, you are probably doing something wrong. After I asked about all the flavors for kicks, I ordered my traditional vanilla-vanilla. Also known to them as “Perfect White Cupcake”.

Here’s his description: “Light, fluffy and white as snow. This was the first cake I ever baked, and will always be a favorite.

Taste
Cake
Wonderfully baked! The top has crisp, sweet edges (reminded me of bundt cakes, where you sprinkle sugar over the sides of the pan). Inside was delicious moist and fluffy.

Frosting
Sooooo creamy! Mmm, mmm, mmmm! It was similar to ice cream-smooth. Once it rolled over the tongue, it sorta melted in your mouth. And then, it popped with a burst of vanilla flavor. I was calling it the vanilla bomb!

Presentation
Simple and sweet.

Sweet Endings
I really enjoyed my visit. First of all, the people were awesome! While I was there, they were jamming to some tunes and just hanging out. The chill atmosphere definitely stems down from the owner, the sugar master himself. Actually, anyone who calls themselves Sugar Master… Mr. Cupcake… and Confectionary Artist ranks high on my list! Second of all, he offered me free coffee to warm up. Such a small gesture, but it didn’t go unnoticed!

I was also pleased with the pricing of their cupcakes. The size was regular and they only charged $2.50. I’ve seen that size being charged $3-3.50… Outrageous, right?! Good job guys for keeping it real.

I would definitely go back to Bakeshop. The cupcake, the atmosphere, and the selection (vegan-friendly options too) makes it on my list of top places in DC!

Bakeshop
1025 N. Fillmore Street, Suite G
Arlington, VA 22201
571.970.6460
http://www.bakeshopva.com

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Cocoa & Fig

While out and about running errands for my conference in downtown Minneapolis, I hoped that I’d run into a cupcake shop or bakery somewhere in the seven miles of skyway that connects the downtown buildings. As my sweet luck would have it, I walked by Cocoa & Fig.

Look at what I found!

They did not have a solid vanilla option, so I opted for the Twister. A chocolate and vanilla swirl cupcake topped with vanilla & chocolate buttercream.

Taste
Cake
The chocolate portion of the twister was a rich, dark chocolate and was ultra-moist. It was almost too moist to the point that the cake felt sticky and heavy. Just the top held the most vanilla cake and inside had more chocolate swirl than vanilla. So, I didn’t get a good reading on the vanilla flavor.

Frosting
Smoother than a baby’s bottom! This buttercream was so silky, so whipped, that I imagined it as air. If you could taste a frosting cloud, I’m positive this is what it would be! I picked the one with the most vanilla swirl. It had a nice vanilla finish that paired well with the intense cocoa flavor of the chocolate buttercream.

Presentation
Classy and elegant. The swirl was done right and it was simply topped with a waffle cone piece for an added crunch.

Sweet Endings
This little boutique was cute as a button. Every item in the store looked high-end and looked ready to be at a photo shoot!

Everything looked adorable!


There wasn’t many options in their retail store. Also, their prices were a bit high for the size of cupcake I bought.

It was a darling store and their creations were adorable. Overall, it wasn’t my favorite cupcake I’ve tried, but it did curb my sweet tooth for the day!

Cocoa & Fig
Gaviidae Common
Skyway Level, Saks Wing
651 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
http://www.cocoaandfig.com

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In a recent trip at to Zona Rosa in Kansas City, I was looking to kill some time. I randomly passed a sign advertising a new cupcake shop – Glass of Milk Cake Company. Ecstatically, I followed my way with help of the signs to find this new place.

I was hit by disappointment while I searched their menu and viewed all the beautiful little cupcakes in the display case. Was there not a vanilla-vanilla option? That seemed impossible for me, so I looked again… again… and again. I could get a vanilla cake, but it was topped with other flavors of frosting (chocolate, lemon, coconut). Or, I could get a chocolate cake, topped with vanilla buttercream. After much dilemma, I finally settled on the gluten-free Black Tie Affair. Chocolate cake topped with vanilla buttercream and a slight chocolate drizzle.

Black Tie Affair

Taste
Cake
Gluten-free cakes will always have a different taste than regular cupcakes. It’s hard to explain, but it has a grainy/cornmeal hint to it. Personally, I like the taste. I believe it adds a bit of bland/bitterness that keeps the cake from getting too sweet. It was really difficult for me to gauge the “goodness” of the cake since chocolate is not my forte.

Frosting
Their buttercream was fabulous. Silky and smooth – just the way I like it. The vanilla flavor was pure and simple, and almost “crème-like”.

Presentation
This was an elegant cupcake. Personally, I could have done without the chocolate drizzle, however, it did look as if the cupcake was on its way to a Black Tie Affair.

Sweet Endings
First of all, I still can’t believe they didn’t have a vanilla-vanilla option. To me, that’s a staple on every menu. They make vanilla cakes and the make vanilla buttercream… Why not have that on their daily menu?

See, no vanilla-vanilla option!

Second of all, their prices were ridiculously high. For normal cupcakes, it costs $3.50 plus tax. For the gluten-free cupcakes, the cost was a little over $4.00. Now, the price could be justified by its size. However, the size was regular. The market in Kansas City will not bear a cupcake of that size for that price for a new store.

All in all, I enjoyed their cupcakes. If you’re in the area, it’s worth a visit. Even though I adored their buttercream, I wouldn’t make the drive up there to pay that price for a cupcake, especially since they don’t offer my favorite flavor of cupcake.

Glass of Milk Cake Company
6513 NW Barry Rd,
Kansas City, MO 64154
http://www.glassofmilkcakecompany.com

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