I had a a friend in town last weekend...and all she hears me talk about is sweets and cupcakes. So of course she was like 'well lets go try some of these places'.
We hit up Icing on the Cake in Los Gatos on Friday...and got some goodies there, as well as the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake. Their specialties to me are their amazing bread slices and cake slices, like pumpkin spice loaf slice...and their amazing individual small banana bread cake with frosting. Their cuppie was way too sweet, dense, rich...I actually tossed half. I read that they use shortening in their cupcake frostings which is maybe why I don't really like them. But their pumpkin spice loaf and banana bread can come home with me anyday. I forgot to take pictures unfortunately.
On Saturday, we were in SF seeing some wonderful ladies, so we also made a jaunt to the Marina area and hit up Kara's Cupcakes and That Takes the Cake about a 10 min walk over to Union from Kara's. I came home with about 12 cupcakes, thankfully 3 of them were dropped off at my parents house on the way back to the South Bay. But that meant 9 came home with me. And umm I ate 2 minis while in SF. Doesn't it seem crazy that by Tuesday, 8 were gone?
So what did I think of Kara's and TTTC? Well I've had TTTC at a party before and that is what really made me go oooh I have to visit the store. So I'm already a lover there. But I do agree with others who have said that some of their stuff is a little dry. I think it depends on what you get--like at almost any bakery.
Kara's cute little shop is famous for their vanilla and their buttermilk cupcakes. I tried the buttermilk and while the cake itself was very yummy, the frosting was so not where it's at. Way too soft and sweet and just didn't have any flavor. It actually detracted from the cake for me. I scrapped the frosting and ate the cake. Their banana cupcake was AMAZING, frosting and all. I also got a carrot which was tasty. But the winner for me at Kara's was their lemon mini...they don't offer very many mini's and these came out right as we were leaving so we grabbed a few.
The lemon was perfection, lemon curd inside, a soft white cake, and perfect lemon buttercream frosting. Divine. I want to replicate it.
I just have one photo of a Kara's Cupcake..I actually forgot I had my camera til later!
That Takes the Cake, just like Kara's, is another super cute small cupcake haven...I love the whole all-cupcakes-all-the-time idea. Forget bread or cookies or cakes...it's all cupcakes. The gals here were super friendly whereas at Kara's they are more like stressed-out whatsyourorder. When we said we wanted mini's after the fact the poor shop gal at Kara's looked like she was super irritated. Oh well. Anything for cupcakes.
My fave at That Cakes the Cake remains two items...Chocolate Mint Cupcake and their Carrot Spice Cake. However, this time I also sampled a third and was BLOWN AWAY. I tried a mini Strawberry and had to get a BIG ONE too. It was amazing. Super moist pink cake and pink buttercream frosting. I want to make this.
Chocolate Mint has the right strong touch of Mint in both cake and frosting, I want to know how they get it quite so minty without it being overpowering. My Mint doesn't taste like this. And their Carrot Cake...I saved it for 3.5 days in a sealed container and it was moist as can be with so much yummy thick cream cheese frosting.
I have heard that TTTC's red velvet is kind of dry and unappealing...I sampled it a few months ago but don't remember much other than not being into it. And their coffee is just said to be okay. So it definitely seems to be a case of 'get this but not this' at almost ANY bakery you head to. Not everyone can do it all fabulously I suppose.
That Take the Cake photos..I got more of these. Esp the chocolate mint..my fave.