Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cupcake Tour 2008

I don't know much about popular food trends, but I do remember a few growing up, though they probably never appeared in Zagat. You know, the uncooked ramen noodles and Lucas Salt from the ice cream man; all the cool kids were doing it. Recently, it seems health nuts have brought a boatload of "trendy" foods to the limelight for whatever reason. Sea salt, raw chocolate, acai berries, and other assorted things that don't necessarily taste good.

Apparently, cupcakes are now in and every hip kid wants one. Don't think for a second we were going to pass up this year's must-have.

December 27th marked the 1st annual(?) Bond Family Cupcake Tour. We hit up three bay area cupcake hotspots to sample the goods.

1st Stop: Satura Cakes, Palo Alto, CA

Satura Cakes
Palo Alto, CA

Flourless Chocolate Souffle

More "cup," than "cake," but still a good eat. The cake was a lot of frosting, but that was ok, being as the cake itself was slightly dry. I suspect the gluten-free recipe might have something to do with this, but maybe it just happened to be that batch. Either way, it was tasty, and appeals to our Celiacs Disease stricken friends.

Red Velvet Cake

If cupcakes are to 2008 what boy bands were to the late 90's, Red Velvet is Justin Timberlake. In the three stores we went into everyone wanted a piece. Just ask Yahoo. They say only Inside-Out Cheeseburgers, Cowboy Tacos, and Burrito Pie get more nods. I thought the cake was delicious. Let's be honest though, with cream cheese frosting, you can't go wrong.

2nd Stop: Sprinkles Cupcakes

Sprinkles Cupcakes
Palo Alto, CA

Milk Chocolate

Out of all the cakes we tried, this was the most dry. I was not impressed by the cake itself, but the overall appearance gets a few drools. The utensils and plating were all biodegradable, only adding to the (sometimes overbearingly) chic, hip attitude of the Stanford Shopping Center establishment. I say quality over atmosphere any day. Sorry, Sprinkles.


Better than its Milk Chocolate predecessor, but still too dry for my taste. I thought the frosting was killer, though. Not too strawberry-ee, and not to sugar-ee, either. If you could put the frosting on a moister cake, you'd probably sleep better at night, knowing you charged $3.50 for a good cupcake, rather than a mediocre one.

3rd Stop: Kara's Cupcakes

Kara's Cupcakes
Palo Alto, CA
(also at Santana Row, San Jose, CA)

Meyer Lemony Lemon

By far, the best cupcake of the day. The cake was moist, the frosting was not overbearing (easy to do with a powerful flavor like lemon), and there was a nice lemon custard filling for surprise. If I were to ever spend the gut-busting, bank-breaking price of $36/dozen, I would do it on this cake. Lemon is one of my favorite dessert flavors, and this one took the cake. (See what I did there?)

Raspberry Dazzle

Though not quite as good as the Lemon, the raspberry cake was delicious. This was not a featured "filled" cupcake, but this is not a disappointment. I don't think a raspberry filling would have done any justice for the cupcake. The frosting was a good flavor and normally chocolate/raspberry combination is my favorite, but I guess this time, I just felt like buying a lemon.