Full Disclosure: I paid for these cupcakes with my own money and I was in no way reimbursed for this blog post. The opinions are completely my own.
Cupcakes and cupcake bakeries are a huge dessert trend right now. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that California is full of as many cupcake bakeries as it is FroYo shops. (Note to Madison – you are definitely keeping up with the cupcake trend, so can you jump on the FroYo bandwagon already?) In fact, I’ve even seen shops across the street from each other!
My first stop was at Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica.
Vanilla is a very trendy little bakery a short walk from the Third Street Promenade. One thing that I loved about Vanilla – and that sets them apart from some of the other shops – is that they sell cupcake “babies.” These are small bite size cupcakes, but still in their delicious flavors. I really like this because then you can order a few to sample different flavors rather than having to decide on one large cupcake. Because really, at a cupcake bakery deciding what flavor you want to get is the hardest part! The husband and I got six cupcake babies to share.
My photo is not great, I know. The two on the left are Fudgy Brownie, the two in the middle are Chocolate Vanilla Bean, the top right is a Black and White and the bottom right is Chocolate Raspberry. (Obviously I’m a fan of chocolate.) My favorite – if it wasn’t obvious – was the Fudgy Brownie. I love basically anything brownie, and this was definitely no exception. The others were good too, not too sugary and the ratio of frosting to cupcake was just about right.
Taste: A, delicious and a good variety of flavors available!
Cost: B, not too bad, it was $5 for 3 cupcake babies.
Would I go there again? If I lived here I would for sure, I liked the smaller cupcake babies a lot, and there were definitely other flavors that I wanted to try!
The second place I stopped for cupcakes in California was at Magnolia Bakery. When I was in New York a few years ago, I stopped at the famous Magnolia Bakery that is there. Yes, I stood in a long line for these cupcakes, and I remember them being delicious. When I was on my way to meet a friend on 3rd street in Los Angeles, I was delighted to see that there is a Magnolia Bakery here as well! I stopped in and picked up a couple of cupcakes for the Husband and I. It was not crowded at all when I went there – maybe because it was the middle of a weekday? I was definitely surprised by this.
The one on the left is a S’Mores cupcake and the one on the right is Devils Food cake with Mocha Frosting. These were good as suspected, but honestly not as awesome as I had remembered. The S’Mores was my favorite of the two – I especially liked the marshmallow frosting.
Taste: A-, not as awesome as I remembered, but still good.
Cost: B, one cupcake was $3.25. Not cheap, but that seems to be about the normal price.
Would I go there again? I’m not sure. It is a “famous” cupcake place, but sometimes the smaller places have more unique and interesting flavors.
While we were on our whirlwind weekend to Disneyland, we stumbled upon a cupcake shop in Downtown Disney called The Cupcake Store. This little kiosk near the Rainforest Cafe is almost hidden by all of the larger stores and attractions around it.
The Husband and I chose three different flavors to share.
Cookies and Cream
They were all good, but nothing outstanding. I think my favorite was the Lemon Drop – very fresh and lemony.
Taste: B, good, but nothing special.
Cost: B, pretty much the same as any other standard sized cupcake.
Would I go there again? I don’t think so. There are other places that I like more and that have more unique flavors.
Our last stop for cupcakes while in California was at Crumbs. I have seen Crumbs on some of the New York City area blogs that I read and I’ve only seen rave reviews. When I found on at the Hollywood and Highland complex in Hollywood, I knew I had to try it!
The husband and I choose two kinds each – ya know, so that they would fit nicely in the four pack.
I chose the Brownie and the Black Bottom Cheesecake Brownie. (My blog name does not lie about my food preferences.) The huband chose the Peanut Butter Cup and Watermelon.
Personally, I think these were the most delicious cupcakes that we had on the trip. The brownie one actually wasn’t awesome, but the Brownie Cheesecake one. Oh My. SO good. I also tried the watermelon, and it was interesting but not really my thing.
Taste: A, really really good.
Cost: B, not exactly cheap, but I believe they were $4.00 each, which seems to be about the average for gourmet cupcakes.
Would I go there again? Yes, definitely. The frosting and the cake of these was delicious!