Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cupcakes from L.A. L.A. Land!

I headed down to L.A. a few weekends ago to hang with a dear friend, Birdy, who is getting hitched in the summer of 2012!!  After a "small" incident at the airport (I forgot my ENTIRE wallet - ID, CC, everything...) it was a great weekend.  Especially since Birdy had scouted a few cupcakery options for us.  We ended up deciding on Vanilla Bake Shop, which is in a cute little outdoor mall where, I believe, a scene was filmed between Ryan Gosling and Steve Carrell for "Crazy Stupid Love."

The location wasn't my favorite, though the mall was great.  It just felt a bit too commercial - Brookstone, The Gap and then this cupcakery.  Again, going back to my dream shop, I envision a stand alone Victorian or Craftsman with a porch - and again, somewhere to sit DOWN and enjoy!  Enough with these fast bake cupcakeries!  Bake Shop was a walk up counter, very similar to Sprinkles or Kara's.  I loved the decor, the wall paper, the beautiful cakes lining the walls, and especially, the wide variety of cupcakes we could choose from!  Overall, I would give the decor:

Lucky for me (and for you), I had a strong team of samplers that included Birdy, her fiance Sasha, her mom Kim, her sister Courtney, Emily and of course, me!  More samplers = ..... you got it!  More cupcakes!  Here are the flavors we decided on....

1.  Blackberry Passion Fruit
2.  Old Fashioned
3.  Vanilla Bean
4.  Chocolate Vanilla Bean
5.  Gingerbread Spice
6.  Peppermint Chocolate
7.  Black and White
8. Toasted Coconut
9.  Fleur de Sel
10. Mint Cookie
11. Southern Red Velvet
12. Bittersweet Dark Chocolate

This is what we started with!  (All minis!)

I should say that we got what they call "Cupcake Babies" - AKA, mini cupcakes.  Obviously, too many to go through one by one!  I have my top recommendation, and one that you should definitely just avoid ordering at all costs!

Try 'Em -

Blackberry Passion Fruit - OMG, so good!  Maybe it was all of the fresh fruit, or just the combination of flavors, but this was a definite WINNER!!!

Leave 'Em -

Peppermint Chocolate - YIKES!  How many ways can you use Peppermint Extract?  Uh, too freaking many, as was demonstrated by this cupcake.  It was fire-through-your-nose pepperminty and not pleasant!

The decorations were okay, but I wasn't overly impressed.  I could have used some lighter duty frosting - it was a bit heavy for my taste.

Given that I don't live in LA, I probably wouldn't make the effort to go to this place again.  There are so many lovely places to try, and I really only thoroughly enjoyed that one.  Oh well, better to have loved and lost...

We divided each mini into six pieces - so we demolished 'em...
Overall, it was okay.  Not great, not terrible.  I know there are better spots, though if you are at this mall already, maybe seeing a movie (like we were), certainly stop on by and see if you can get the blackberry passion fruit!


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