Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Farm

Even though I have been focusing my search on cupcake bakeries in the bay area, I also can't help but check out places when I am out and about traveling. The Farm is located near my old stomping grounds in Santa Cruz. I have visited The Farm many times for various things. The Farm is a bakery and shop all in one. They have so many neat things for gifts and lots of Mexican folk art. The Farm is known for their delicious fruit tarts, but I decided to give their cupcakes a try.

To start the cupcake was cold....I hate that! This has happened to me before and I just don't get why a bakery would sell a cold cupcake - what is the deal? I was really disappointed and the cupcake was terrible. I think I'll just stick to their fruit tarts and cute little gifts.


I was not satisfied with the cupcakes at Noe Valley Bakery, so I continued my stroll and stubbled upon Belgano. Their cupcakes looked homemade and delicious. I choose the white cake with vanilla buttercream. The cupcake was moist and simple, but soooo good! I think the best cupcakes are the ones that are simple and have a balance between the flavors and textures. This cupcake had it all! It turns out these cupcakes are brought in fresh daily from the bakers at Kookez Cafe. Delicious...I will definitely be returning here for more cupcakes.

Tea Cake Bake Shop

Once I found Tea Cake Bakeshop, I was a little disappointed to find that they are located in an outdoor shopping area/strip mall. I guess I was hoping for something on a smaller scale since the decor is so cute.

Tea Cake Bakeshop is cute, but the lay out seemed a bit awkward. The display case did not have any cupcakes, but instead had some other decent looking sweets. The cupcakes were all on display along the windows on cake stands. The cupcakes themselves were gorgeous,but we weren't allowed to take from the ones on display. That seems weird to me...if I go into a bakery I expect the b
aked goods to be rotated through not just sitting on display.

After selecting a few basic flavors to try, I headed home to do some taste testing. I roped my boyfriend in to get his opinion on the flavors too. We agreed that the cupcakes were too sweet. Some might object that a cupcake can n
ever be too sweet, well I disagree. I was really disappointed because these cupcakes were so cute. Ah well, back to my search for the perfect cupcake....

Kara's Cupcakes

Well, I finally made it over to Kara's Cupcakes and this time I remembered to bring my camera. I love that Kara's is an actual cupcake bakery that uses local organic ingredients. The decor is very sophisticated, but at the same time cute. On my first visit I had the Chocolate Velvet, which was delicious. Not too sweet, but very tasty.
My second visit wasn't as great. I decided to try their Sweet Vanilla and Kara's Karot. The sweet vanilla cake was decent, but had a funny taste to it. I think it might have been almond extract, which I don't get because it's a vanilla cupcake. The vanilla butter cream was light and airy, but lacked flavor. The carrot cake was moist, maybe a little too moist-it was falling apart! It had nuts and raisins, which didn't seem right in a cupcake. The cream cheese frosting was probably the best part.
I'll visit Kara's again because I'm curious to try the other cupcake varieties they have, like the Passion Fruit filled cupcake.

Citizen Cupcake

Citizen Cupcake in the Virgin Megastore downtown was my second attempt. The cupcakes were actually quite delicious & the views were nice, but something just didn't feel right about this place. Maybe it was the fact that we had to go up several escalators, then weave our way through the racks of books and CDs to find ourselves in this very simplistic & modern cafe. I don't think I'll be going there again.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Miette Patisserie

I've been on the hunt for the best cupcake in San Francisco. My first stop was Miette Cakes in the Ferry Building. I fell in love the moment I stepped foot inside. Everything was beautifully displayed in pinks, greens, and polk-a-dots. Their chocolate cupcake was moist and had an intense chocolate taste. It was topped off with a strawberry buttercream which was delicate and not too sweet. Their Parisian macarons are what will keep me going back for more. The rose geranium macaron was chewy and had a slight hint of rose & geranium in the filling...Mmm. It was my first time having one of these and they were so yummy. On my second visit, I tried the chocolate cupcake with marshmallow frosting. The cake was flavorful and moist and the frosting was so delicate. Oh my, I'll definitely be going back for more of these. So far Miette's is at the top of my list.